The Hobbit Roleplay

Middle-earth => Eriador => Further Afield => Topic started by: Kargach on May 04, 2019, 01:14:17 AM

Title: Luck Turned Around?
Post by: Kargach on May 04, 2019, 01:14:17 AM
{Omgsh the post is so long, I'm sorry! Once I let the muses free they ran. Feel free to use the NPC other members of the caravan as needed and the "mission" can be background and a direction for the thread as we just have them interact/however}

What it was about relations needing things run back and forth even Kargach couldn't say. Of course this was just a semi-amused thought from him, and he in fact shouldn't belittle the opportunity too much for all it seemed to provide and hold.

He would just do such later!

It had seemed simple enough when he heard about it (yes, perhaps too simple, but wasn't the first Dwarf's fault). Young Friór--the bright-blue-eyed youth whom he was teaching wood-carving tips to, and who's smiles said volumes for him along with his carefully chosen words--had oh so kindly invited his mentor to his house for one of many visits and to further get to know his family.

To take in his parent's praise more. Kargach had worried they would feel he was stepping on their toes, and especially the lad's father, Fritz, who was a smith and so knew some things about shaping and working, just in metal. But Kargach, as a wood-worker, could impart things he couldn't, and he, and the boy's mother, recognized and thanked him for it.

And trusted him with their son. That one was also crucial. Not so much in his safe home of the Blue Mountains, but to allow Friór to travel with him, as they did.

The Dwarf in need actually came by Fritz's shop while Kargach was there chatting with him, maybe because there was a rumor Fritz's brother-in-law had once run messages, or because of his own brother's more established courier business, though he needed ponies run this time! To his brother, with a settlement just outside of Bree.

Though he addressed the words to Friór's father, Kargach soon took up the conversation, and before too long was shaking the Dwarf's hand, agreeing to do the job for him! Then had come the perhaps surprising request to Fritz of if Friór would perhaps like to come.

It was suppose to be a simple enough mission, and the lands around Bree were not all that far and well known. He still expected a no, and was surprised when the request was granted! Partly because Friór had beamed so much when asked himself! He then also brought the lad along on his rounds to gather up said caravan, or more advertise that he would be making the trip if any Dwarves had a need to go that way and wished to join forces for safety. About four others did, but none of them were guards or hired swords.

It was a pride dent to the older Dwarf, but knowing the charge he had and the trust Friór's family instilled, he knew he would need more than just himself with them. While not old, and fully capable for the trip, he wasn't in his prime anymore. Luckily he soon found a Dwarf to fit the bill and after having to agree to pay him a bit more than he had planned, it was agreed he'd come.

Friór had kind of frowned at the Dwarf during observing the meeting, not meanly, but unsure, but Karg passed it off. Not everyone liked everyone. Even that likable lad.

Then there was nothing for it but the trip itself! Kargach had caravan carts big enough to comfortably accommodate Men, just in case the need ever arose, and used two of these, and two smaller carts to both fully accommodate pulling the ponies behind and not over working them or overloading the carts and not making the trip too cumbersome.

Of course to get to Bree from Ered Luin, they had to skirt the Shire. Home-land of Hobbits. Kargach explained that they didn’t take to random visitors well, though he had to think that Friór, as a well mannered Dwarf lad, would probably be seen as pretty harmless. Still one never knew with Hobbits...

Yet broadening the lad’s horizons and experiences was the other nature of this trip, and while those to hire him and his carts dealt with their own business on a stop, Karg and Friór explored some of the unclaimed banks of what was apparently called the Brandywine (and Karg didn’t know wasn’t as unclaimed as he assumed, but none came to challenge them).

Still they didn't tarry, and made good time to Bree, where Kargach inquired about this brother and his settlement, supposedly on the other side. He had moved a bit father out than his brother had last been aware of, a little past Weather Hill, but closer to the Misty Mountains and not near the cursed hill Karg knew better than to take Friór anywhere near if he valued the trust the lad's family put in him. Though he was sure the orcs once said to be there had moved on to further mischief elsewhere.

The rest of the caravan, and their guard, agreed to the journey, so Karg stuck to the plan and agreed to travel further out to the wilds than he had expected to. Again, they had a caravan with them, and Friór had some survival skills from his family, they'd be fine.

And things did go fine, until Kargach awoke one morning, halfway there, to find one of the carts and the guard gone with one other of their company! Karg kicked a stone and just stopped himself from cursing in front of Friór as he realized why (maybe if he'd payed attention to their rambling like the lad had, though Friór had mentioned what he heard and Karg had still brushed it off!).

The guard's aim in coming had been clear enough, and hinted at when he even proved to be the kind to haggle for more before setting out.

The Trollshaws.

He was going to see if that stupid rumor about buried gold in their cavern after Thorin's Company ran into trolls held true, even if, assuming the Company did such, they would have collected it all on the trek back. But with half a chance they hadn't, and half a chance there was unclaimed gold laying around, the guard had taken off, and drug one other with him!

To his credit, he had expected to abandon them in closer to Bree, to just decide whether or not to wait on him nearer in to civilization. That he had still gone through his plan with them in the wilds! Karg was not in the habit of threatening horsewhipping as a punishment, but might gladly see such dished out if he ever caught the Dwarf again!

Of course he was mostly annoyed for Friór's sake. Their were still the horses to deliver (at least he hadn't stolen one of those and had only taken his own steed! He hadn't bought the cart he took but whatever!) and even if they decided to turn back and he just explained what had happened, the trek would be more perilous without their guard! The were still in the middle of the wilds and Kargach knew he would be of little help if something actually happened.

Going to Trollshaw for him was out, much as Karg was tempted to see justice dealt. Though his bad judgement could be a bit of karma. He hadn't taken his payment and was chasing a rumor that would probably not yield gold either.

Karg discussed it with those he still had with him around the breakfast campfire that next morning, after one thankfully uneventful night passed and sorting out their options, trying to keep all of his worry from Friór, but knowing the lad was smart enough to know the spot they were in.

”Lads”, they weren’t the child with him who was his main concern, but they were still younger than Kargach and in their own Nineties, ”Unless you can find me a more experience caravan guard under one of those bushes, we are stuck; It’s simple as that.”. Kargach tried to keep his tone semi-light, despite his worry. "But even stuck, we can't just sit here, that presents its own risks"

"Seems a shame to turn back after this far...we could keep on, at least get the money from the Dwarf for the ponies".

Kargach had agreed to split the payment for the caravan taking this risk with him.

"It's going to get worse closer in to the Misty Mountains", Karg pointed out, "I wouldn't have left Bree without the assurance of another caravan guard and hired sword".
Title: Re: Luck Turned Around?
Post by: Friór on May 04, 2019, 01:15:40 AM
it wasn't that Friór was a homebody exactly, he'd explored extensively the lands around the Blue Mountains, and this wouldn't be his first, or last, trip to Bree; but this time it was just Master Kargach taking him. Along with his caravan. Uncle Einar wasn’t sending any of the Royal Guard with them. That was a big step for Ma to agree to. All of his family.

It wasn’t just them. That was to risky; but with a caravan they’d be fine. Everything about it seemed too great, and the lad was excited for all of it! Most...of their company seemed fine...

It bothered Friór that he even thought such but...the Dwarf Master Karg had found for their hired sword. There was just something about him.

Shifty, the word came to the lad of a sudden as he glanced him over quizzically from the reputable inn the meeting was had at. He didn’t meet Friór’s gaze. Not once. Of course he was just the tag along kid, so he didn’t have to showed.

He made an attempt at meeting Master Karg’s gaze, but would still shift it away just as suddenly. Except for when he asked for an increase in the price. Then he held it challengingly.

There was nothing to say in all this he wasn’t just shy, perhaps, but Friór felt he knew shy. No this was something else.

He was nice enough on their trek though, giving off a worldly air, and seeming to try to make up for his inn impression by telling Friór about his travels. Yet the lad still remained guarded and didn’t fully trust him.

The ponies they were carting didn’t either, he noticed, and he took to walking by them to help keep them calm.

Enjoying the trek with Master Kargach distracted though, and Friór enjoyed what parts of the lands around the Shire they saw, as well as the descriptions and the rest of the company’s stories as well (unsure guard included).

The rain seemed to chose to live around Bree, and it was odd that it did, but not too disheartening. Friór took in the chatter they entered in both the streets and even ‘quieter’ inn they found for Kargach to check on their directions. That was where they found out they were a bit wrong, or the Dwarf had moved since last having word with his brother. The trek to his new settlement seemed easy enough, and not too far, so they took it. Friór nodding eagerly enough with the others.

Their guard at first looked unsure before grinning and putting in his vote for it as well!

Next morning it became evident why. It put him closer to the Trollshaws he aimed for. Friór had little I Told You So to his nature, mostly he just looked stunned even for all the signs he himself had noticed.

He would have left them guard-less at Bree. Had out here!

Still, Master Kargach was still here. They were fine. Sure he said he was old now but...Friór still believed all his family could still do things even though they weren’t in their youth. It wasn’t the same though, and they had hard decisions to make.

Go on or turn back?

Knowing what made up the balance in Master Kargach’s mind, Friór gave a glance the the poor, essentially homeless ponies, who hadn’t made their destination, and walked up. ”You can’t give up. We...we can make it”.

Of course even he knew he didn’t really grasp what going on would entail. Yet they also couldn’t stay put.

After his two cents, Friór left them to debate it again; going over to pet both the ponies in limbo and those of the caravan. He gave them a weak smile, ”Don’t you worry, we'll...”.

The lad wasn’t sure if it was noise or movement that alerted him, but he got the sense something was just beyond the clearing. He made sure his own short sword his father had personally given him was on him and hovered his hand over it, but didn't draw just yet. Just because folks talked about the wilds steadily becoming more dangerous, the caravan talk back behind him a part of that...

"H-Hello?", Friór called.
Title: Re: Luck Turned Around?
Post by: Alanna on May 04, 2019, 10:22:28 PM
Alanna wouldn't have said that she hated Combe, strongly disliked was probably closer. On her travels, she had visited the village on a few occasions but never particularly by choice. It was normally the end of a given job so she would have to spend more time than she liked there.

On this occasion, she had discovered after she had been paid and dismissed from service, that no caravans were due in town for the foreseeable future. With the options of either spending (potentially) months in the village with dwindling finances or striking out for Bree and hoping that she could join a caravan there was little real choice.

As a result, Alanna was out in the rain on horseback, with her mount Midnight seemingly as pleased about the situation as she was. After spending the night getting little sleep as she watched for unfriendly types the idea of spending more time traveling didn't enthrall her to a greater degree.

She had led Midnight into a forest, knowing that it was a short-cut and, more usefully, get both of them out of the rain to a degree. It was also supposed to avoid any entanglements but, upon noting that something was disturbing Midnight, Alanna turned around and smiled. "What is it? Do you hear something?". Not particularly expecting an answer, Alanna sniffed the air, smelling smoke. Unsure of what was happening, she drew her bow and notched an arrow.

She was no ranger but guessed that the smoke wasn't thick enough for a forest fire so suggested that there was a camp somewhere nearby. The possibility that it was a hostile force this close to Bree probably merited investigation so Alanna moved forward, trying to keep to the shadows as best she could until she could make sure that offensive action wasn't needed.

When she saw that the camp seemed to contain Dwarves, Alanna relaxed slightly lowering her bow as she prepared to step back into the forest. That plan was abandoned when one of the dwarves, a younger one from the looks of him (although it was quite possible he was older than she was, considering what he was). Deciding that leaving might leave her in more trouble than staying, she stepped out of the woods, making a show of lowering the bow and sheathing the arrow before lowering the hood of her cloak. "I'm sorry for interrupting". She glanced around the camp. "I smelled the fire and was unsure who would be out here". She replaced the bow on her back, trying to look as non-threatening as possible as she was readily outnumbered.
Title: Re: Luck Turned Around?
Post by: Kargach on May 05, 2019, 04:43:15 PM
{I'm going to combine post this time and will switch off as seems best}

Kargach rubbed at his temples. After having thrown out the first few good ideas of what little options they had, his small troop of three left were slowly reaching Ludicrous and Ridiculous. "Yes, but you see, we can't travel with circled wagons, hence...".

Midway through trying to explain this it occurred to Kargach, all of a sudden, that, not only was Friór very far out, though still with the ponies, but they had a guest that he was now very near!

"Lad...", he wasn't being rude or flippant as he quickly rose from the fire to come over and place his hands on Friór's shoulders, names were guarded things for Dwarves, and he was not about to make this worse by speaking his apprentice's without leave and before knowing anything on their guest.

The caravan manager of their small troop then regarded their new arrival, not so much as suspiciously as those left at the fire, but guarded for more than his own sake, and as she explained herself. She replaced her bow and arrow in a show of good will, and dear Friór gave his own show of good will, though it tensed Karg again, as he stepped even nearer and gave a head nod of greeting. And his name!

"I'm Friór! We were just come from Bree. Ered Luin before that".

Before he could get to next giving her the names of every family member he owned, Kargach stepped up again to greet their guest himself and cut his apprentice off.  He was used to how Friór was, though, and smiled fondly. "And...I'm Kargach. Karg if you like...", it wasn't given as easily as Friór had, but Karg himself was generally good-natured as well; Plus they did have the upper-hand all things considered, though he'd listened to make sure none seemed concealed in the undergrowth. The female of Men seemed what she said though.

"I'd say how do you do, but...out here it may be not so well by default", he admitted, though she could have just come from a civilization. With a sigh, Karg smiled even more at ease, patting Friór's shoulders as if thanking the lad for showing the way into his being properly hospitable as well.

"Won't you join us, we have enough rations to spare if you need and your horse is welcome to share the ponies' water bucket", he indicated to both the bucket before their ponies (which they were moving from after taking their fill even) and the fire, though one of their company stood as if to argue with him. "Oh sit down and stop proving those rumors on our kin true", Karg told him. He heard Friór chuckle. The other Dwarf had to goodness to comply, though no on else offered names, and Karg couldn't blame them.

"So, where are you headed? Water?", he next held over a flask for her as well. He knew that but for Friór probably helping that along immensely, he would no doubt have to carry conversation as his troop would just sit there frowning.
Title: Re: Luck Turned Around?
Post by: Alanna on May 08, 2019, 10:07:33 PM
Alanna had listened to the Dwarves speak, trying to decide how open to be. She had worked for several Dwarven caravans in her time and had realized as soon as Frior was more open than she had expected most of his kin to be that he was as young (relatively speaking) as she had thought.

Kargach, on the other hand, at least seemed more amenable to her being there than the other Dwarves. Alanna had gotten used to the idisyncrasies of working for Dwarves and their mistrust of strangers was about on a par with her own.

She smiled at Kargach's comment about how she was, keeping quiet as she worked out how to approach the situation. Kargach's offer for her to join them was answered with a smile and a quiet “Thank you” as she glanced at the Dwarves sitting around the fire. It was readily apparent that they were unhappy with her being there.

Alanna led Midnight to the water bucket and looked him in the eyes before advising. “Behave, no biting”.

She sat down, placing her bow across her knees before she took a sip of the offered water. Kargach's question provoked a slight smile as she glanced at Midnight, making sure he wasn't causing trouble with the ponies. Glad that he was behaving she looked back. “I had just finished working for a caravan heading for Combe when I discovered that there was no more caravan's due in town for a few months. Rather than spend that long in town I decided we should strike out for Bree in hopes of finding caravan work there”.

She looked around, noting that it looked like the Dwarves were a caravan, if a little under-staffed for the rougher places they could be heading for.
Title: Re: Luck Turned Around?
Post by: Kargach on May 12, 2019, 02:47:39 PM
Their guest was reserved as well, but then that made sense of travelers out here, and given their troop could have given a better welcome as well. Kargach took none of it, or the lack of response, personally and just smiled as, with another pat to Friór's shoulder, both Dwarves walked back to the fire and awaited their guest getting her horse settled.

He'd heard her comment to her steed, and smiled again to himself. Requesting her horse to behave was something of acceptance, though she was probably just trying to curb trouble also. At any rate she took their invitation, despite the other members...not even thinly-veiled, not veiled at all animosity...

She answered where she was headed, and Karg nodded. Of course he already heard in her explanation the opportunity, and he was just trying to figure out how to go about asking when Friór took that for him.

"Working're like guard?", the lad seemed hardly able to believe the fact, because it was so fortuitous! Kargach was in the same boat, still despite her words, was not about to assume anything. She hadn't said she'd worked with Dwarves, and maybe she didn't want to. Their welcoming manner left much to be desired.

"Yes, not many caravans come out this way recently I'd imagine. We ourselves are only out here because we were delivering a stock of ponies from Ered Luin to a Dwarf just near the Misty Mountains. Still have that job to do. We thought he was in Bree, but turns out we got past information, and, er, well now we're...taking a breather to decide course since our guard left us on a while gold-chase".

Karg gave all the information they had, since he knew the offer he was about to go into, and then paused a moment, glancing to the rest of his troop, sort of to let them get used to the idea, though they looked resigned and none stopped him. They were in a bind and all. Friór only didn't speak up for him because the lad knew he wasn't in a position to go hiring people.

"We would be happy to hire you to come along if you don't mind working with Dwarves", Karg added with another smile.
Title: Re: Luck Turned Around?
Post by: Alanna on May 13, 2019, 09:34:02 PM
Alanna had listened to Karg's comments and pondered her options. It was readily apparent that some of the dwarves were not going to like the fact that she would be joining the caravan, that had been a problem initially on all of the Dwarven caravans she had worked for. As a woman in her line of work, having to work harder than everyone else was normal, at least the Dwarves she had worked with had accepted her faster than some of the other people she had worked for.

She smiled at Karg's comment about working for Dwarves. “I've worked with and for Dwarves before. I've had little or no problem doing so. Your people tend to appreciate hard work, I guess it's something we have in common”.

She glanced at the other Dwarves. “I've spent the last year or so working on caravans between the main Dwarven holds in the Misty Mountains”. Alanna glanced back and smiled as she thought of something, then pulled the sword at her back from its scabbard, while making sure to show that it was not a threatening action. The sword was made by a Dwarven smith at one of their Holds in the Misty Mountains and she hoped that at least some of the Dwarves present would recognize it as such. It had cost her a pretty penny but (after she had adapted to using it) had saved her life on more than a few occasions. “I picked this up a couple of jobs ago after my old blade was shattered by the biggest orc I've ever encountered”.

She returned the sword to its scabbard and took a sip of the water. “I would be honored to work for you”. Alanna glanced around as she pondered how the job would go, considering the fact that some of the dwarves were definitely not happy about the development.
Title: Re: Luck Turned Around?
Post by: Kargach on May 16, 2019, 01:06:31 AM
There seemed to be an immediate reaction to the woman’s words of having worked with Dwarves before, one of the others scoffed as if insulted by the very idea! Kargach, on the other hand, didn't really doubt it. He'd never heard of such, and it had clearly not been one of his caravans; he would have recalled that; but stranger things had also happened.

“Your people tend to appreciate hard work, I guess it's something we have in common”

She also wasn't wrong there. Karg nodded. "Yes, that much can be said of our kind". She could be just trying to keep the compliments flowing, so they'd hire her, but even if she was, Karg found he didn't mind.

Of course, he wasn't the one she had to convince (or she didn't have to try that hard), and she seemed to know it. She faced the others as she went on. Her credentials working mainly around the Misty Mountains stronghold were just bonuses at this point. Kargach needed a hired sword (guarding a whole caravan was more than just swinging a sword, as he'd tried to explain before...and had explained to him) younger and more agile than himself to see them...preferably towards the Misty Mountains and then home, but at least home.

It was looking like he could do both, though, deliver the ponies and get Friór home safe.

Kargach didn't need her mentions of Orcs to recall the danger. Even here.

“I would be honored to work for you”

Karg nodded, and grinned, "Well then...", he was all set to sign the deal, but of course it wasn't just him and Friór.

"Uh, could I have a word with ye?". Karg wasn't surprised it was Rolir who spoke up. He'd been their main antagonist for any sort of reason or logic...most ideas along this trek. Of course all three of those left weren't happy, but of course he would be the voted spokes-dwarf to 'speak sense' into their leader.

Kargach hid his grimace. "Won't you excuse me a moment", his fake smile was aimed at the Dwarf not their almost newly hired hired-sword. Rolir left the other two watching their unsure guest and the young lad, so Karg couldn't fault his logic asking to speak to him away from the presence he was unsure about.
Title: Re: Luck Turned Around?
Post by: Friór on May 16, 2019, 01:07:21 AM
Friór looked stunned by what she said about working with Dwarves as well! Not that he didn't believe her, but it was shocking for all the reasons their current troop were showing all to true about...the general nature of their kin.

Even Master Kargach was giving a bit more thought to all of this all for his sake, Friór knew. It was a bit hard to tell, perhaps, since it didn't make him any less amiable, but he still was.

Everyone was seemingly uptight enough about her identity as a Man.

Female of that even was a secondary consideration, perhaps, or just part of the package she represented to be decided on, as if were; but Friór wouldn’t judge there. The females in his family could do just as much as the males.

His grandfather, affectionately called ‘Grandfadi’, could stand up to a whole stubborn Council when need be, and in still aiding Balin, but wouldn’t dare contradict Friór’s grandmother ‘Grandmodi’! Even beyond the hidden, acceptable, strength, Aunt Rian forged and his cousin (not connected to that side) Ti was all set to be next, if just with horseshoes and iron baskets.

Friór wasn’t sure what he exactly thought on Fate, but...if it was useful, it was shouting at them right about now! She worked all but exclusively with the Misty Mountains? Where they were going?

The lad grinned to Master Kargach and the rest, before noticing what she pulled to show next. For a moment, and per his familial experiences, he expected she forged it herself, before he noticed that the quality was on par with Dwarven blades. Friór wouldn’t pridefully start out a boast on Dwarf blades being better, but as the son of a Dwarven Smith as well believed it.

The lad didn’t think her mention of the Orc was a scare tactic to get herself hired, but if it was it was forgivable and a good tactic. Master Kargach seemed to already notice all of this, and be agreeable enough to hiring her. Then Rolir spoke up. He was just normal Dwarven Suspicious, Friór didn’t know if he could fault him for that...

He requested ‘a word’ with Master Kargach; which everyone, the woman included, probably knew meant he wanted to argue the point, but even he had to see how stuck they were. To this point, after they walked off, Friór turned back to their almost hired-sword. ”Don’t worry”, he said with a smile, ”We’ll still hire you I’m sure”. Like he’d thought, what else were they going to do then?

Friór moved over to sit nearer. ”Do you mind if I see your sword again? It is skillfully made Dwarf steel I can tell. My da’ makes swords; and my aunt”. Kargach and Rolir soon came back, and since the latter looked sulky Friór could tell how it had gone and grinned.

”Miss, it would be our pleasure to have you guide us to Bree. We can find our own way to Ered Luin from there, though, as I said, we would have to first go towards one of the settlements just outside the Misty Mountains, not on the mountains themselves, to deliver the ponies we promised and then, well again I'd be honored to share the trip".

Of course if push came to shove and she couldn't do the trek to the Misty Mountains, Karg would just compensate the Dwarf who'd hired him rather than put Friór in any further danger as traveling without a hired-sword.
Title: Re: Luck Turned Around?
Post by: Alanna on May 22, 2019, 12:28:26 AM
Alanna listened to the dwarves walk away for a chat as she kept a wary eye on Midnight, noting that something had the horse acting off somewhat. She dug into a pouch on her belt and motioned to him as she pulled out some oats.

With little prompting, Midnight walked over and ate from her hand, allowing her to whisper. “Behave, you or I cut back on the oats”. She was trying to look professional in front of potential employers and her mount acting up like a colt wasn't going to help with her efforts.

Having fed himself, Alanna watched as Midnight walked back to the water, then turned back to Frior as he reassured her about his suspicion that they would hire her services. “Thank you”.

Upon his request, she unsheathed the sword and handed it to him. “It's a fine weapon. I had seen the quality of dwarven weapons on the occasions that we had to defend a caravan from attack. After that orc had broken my old sword I finally decided to buy a 'proper weapon', as my old boss called it. Once I got used to the weight difference it's served me well”.

She looked up as Karg and Roli returned, then stood, placing her bow on the ground as she listened to Kargach's offer, guessing that Roli had lost the argument. “I would be more than willing to travel all the way to the Misty Mountains”. She was unsure if he would appreciate the fact that she liked that area more than anywhere else she had been to in her travels. It was the main reason why she had mostly worked caravans traveling to and from the Mountains since she started on her travels.
Title: Re: Luck Turned Around?
Post by: Friór on May 25, 2019, 02:55:10 AM
While Kargach and Roli discussed their options (though as he went on to assure, Friór didn't see where there was argument room) their soon-to-be-guide's horse got a bit antsy, maybe with all the new Dwarves and ponies, and she offered him oats to calm him. Friór smiled and watched, tempted to get up and pet him, but not sure how the animal would take to it just yet, and he could work up to building trust along the trip.

His Uncle Andar being Stable Master back in Ered Luin, Friór thought through all of the tips and tricks which he knew for doing so, though in a way they all mostly consisted of letting the horse or pony themselves decide when they trusted you and were more tips to not undo or startle them.

She may have worried about her horse making a bad impression, but Friór, for his part, had the opposite reaction to all the antics and smiled as he watched Midnight walk back to where the ponies were. For their part, the ponies didn't seem as wary to new arrivals as Friór and Kargach's companions were.

Friór then turned his attention back to the woman, both with his own question on her sword and as she explained. He chuckled a bit at the words on a proper weapons. Yes he could see many Dwarves say that!

Master Kargach and Roli soon came back, and Friór could tell as well by the other's grumbling look how it had gone! He smiled to his mentor and current guardian impressed, recalling some of the tales of childish scuffles won which Kargach had shared, and the wheel-wright seemed very adept at winning still!

All seemed settled!

Well mostly.

As Kargach held a hand out to shake on the deal, he grinned, "A Dwarf of anyone understands not rushing to give names to fast", he smirked teasingly to Friór and the lad just grinned back, "but I guess we'll have to call you something on the trip, Miss? What should it be?", was his round about way of asking her name now that she was officially hired as well as giving her the option to give whatever she felt like in terms of it.


Names were one thing, Friór didn't know he might have stepped right into hard things with his own question as they journeyed along. "So...where are you from? Originally?", the Dwarfling equivalent to Fourteen still asked in childish innocence.
Title: Re: Luck Turned Around?
Post by: Alanna on May 28, 2019, 10:58:37 PM
Alanna winced slightly as she realized that she hadn't mentioned her name (granted, she had other things on her mind but it was a bad way to make a good impression. “Sorry, my name is Alanna”. She tried and failed to hide a slight smile. “I've never found a job this way before and I didn't realize I hadn't given you certain information that might be useful”.

She smiled at Frior's question and pondered for a moment how to answer it. Going into too much detail about why her family left Gondor was probably a bad idea, regardless of the fact that Frior was a Dwarf. She knew how important honor was to most Dwarves so explaining that her father was exiled from Gondor was probably not a good idea when she had just met her new employers. “I was born in Gondor but my family moved to Rohan when I was young. My parents owned a farmstead so I learned how to ride and other skills that have come in handy from my father. He was in the army back in Gondor so trained me since he never ended up having a son to pass them onto”. Alanna decided that pointing out that her father was a fairly high-ranking officer in the army was not something she needed to go into at that point. That could wait if she ever decided to go into that much detail.

She looked around and frowned as certain bad memories resurfaced. “I decided to start on my travels after they died. I've spent 8 winters traveling from place to place and mostly working on caravans. I spent the last couple of years traveling to and from the Misty Mountains”.
Title: Re: Luck Turned Around?
Post by: Friór on June 02, 2019, 05:27:33 PM
Both Kargach and Friór just smiled as Alanna gave her name, neither bothered by the fact that she hadn't before, and as for the other Dwarves with them, they were more concerned with her being a Man now in charge of their safety than they were if they had grabbed a name or not.

Friór was not a chatty Dwarfling, and in fact missed the presence of those who were, his all but best friend, the talking Owl, Avila, and his just as close cousin Tuuli, since they would have properly talked Alanna's ear off. Yet, Friór was just as friendly and gave Alanna plenty of his smiles, as he did most everyone, as he semi-struggled to think up conversation topics, perhaps landing on bad, though he didn't know it, with asking where she was from.

Despite his travels with both them and Kargach, it was all still new and he knew so little about so much of Middle Earth; so paid rapt attention as Alanna answered that she was from both Gondor and Rohan! Or had lived both places. "Wow, yeah I heard Rohan is the land of magnificent horses, I just know my Uncle Andar would love to visit if he ever could. He's Horse-Master back home in Ered Luin. Head of the stables of just ponies. He taught me and my cousins to ride too, though I'm just ok at it". Friór wouldn't say that given his extensive family he could relate to anyone, but he had a good background, in that army experience also sounded semi-familiar as well. "My oldest uncle is on the Royal Guard too...or what's left of the Royal Guard". Even now the Line of Durin breaking had left management of Ered Luin in a perhaps unsure state. Subject to Dain if he ever showed up from Erebor of course, but past that unclear and even if Friór's grandfather helped on the council still.

He nodded as Alanna explained starting her traveling shortly after her parents' death. "Yeah, this is my first big trip from home, so this is all still new to me". Friór pondered some of what he'd heard on the Misty Mountains though, "They have Great Eagles don't they? The Misty Mountains? Ones that talk? If we run into one of those, I know a few people back home who will want to hear about it".

Up front, Kargach laughed as he overheard this, "Well I wouldn't get your hopes up, we aren't going on the actual mountains and they are said to be solitary and aloof".
Title: Re: Luck Turned Around?
Post by: Alanna on June 04, 2019, 09:18:43 PM
Alanna listened as Frior asked her about Rohan then nodded as he talked about the situation in Ered Luin as she walked over to Midnight to check his tack. Although she had not personally been there she had worked with enough Dwarves to have heard about the situation. “The Rohirrim have a real talent with equestrianism and their horses are generally among some of the best I've encountered”.

She smiled a little as Midnight snorted, seemingly dismissively. “Midnight's sire was a warhorse from Gondor but his dam was a riding horse from Rohan, the combination seems to have worked out well since he's smarter than most horses I've encountered and he's saved me on a few occasions”.

She glanced over at the ponies, nodding as she noted how they looked at a glance, wondering it she should look them over and not wanting to overstep her authority this early in her employment. “I'm no expert on such things but those ponies look like they are from good stock”.

Frior's comment about it being his first trip away from home and question about the Misty Mountains brought a slight smile to Alanna's face. “I've heard the talk about the great eagles. I've seen what might be great eagles in the foothills but they were either normal sized eagles nearby or a great eagles far away. One of the Dwarves on a convoy said that he thought it was a great eagle but it was too far away for me to be sure”.

Kargach's comment from up front made Alanna nod. “Even if you don't see any great eagles odds are that you will have plenty of stories to tell them. Just don't do anything foolish”. She smiled as memories of her first caravan job resurfaced, lowering her voice so that only Frior could hear her. “If nothing else, I'll make sure that you don't make the same mistakes I made when I first left home”.
Title: Re: Luck Turned Around?
Post by: Friór on June 22, 2019, 01:32:55 AM
What Alanna said on Rohan's horses was about what Friór had heard as well! He looked intrigued, then chuckled as Midnight snorted as if in either argument or agreement. Whichever it was, Uncle Andar would no doubt defend that he had reacted so intelligently, and how very smart horses and ponies alike were. Friór next smiled to the horse.

He was part Rohirrim, anyway, as Alanna went on to explain. "He's beautiful", Friór said, and meant.

Alanna complimented their ponies, and Friór glanced to them as well, both those being ridden and those in haul. "Thankyou", he took the praise for Uncle Andar, far as it went, and as he went on to further explain, what they could and couldn't take credit for. "Duchess and Night are from Ered Luin and good stock, I've heard my uncle say, as is Edge", which was the pony Kargach was currently riding.

"Though I heard one of Master Kargach's first ponies, Blaze, was a cut above the rest".

Kargach aimed a smile back at them, "Ah, yes, Blaze will never be outdone, no offense girl", he pat Edge's neck, lest the mare take offense.

"As for the ones we're delivering...I think most of them still came from the Ered Luin stables, I don't know, we're just delivering them for one of the merchants of Ered Luin, and I think he may have bought some of them from other places", Friór went on to explain. Of course Alanna knew some of this mission since, as their hired sword, it was half hers as well.

Alanna might have also seen Great Eagles, and Friór looked impressed enough at the possibility of maybe. He glanced from Alanna to Kargach and back as they discussed this, smiling as Alanna promised to keep him from any serious mishaps. She would have his whole family's strong, Dwarvish, gratitude if she did, and given the amount of family members he had, it would be quite the thing for a Man to be endowed with! "My father had his share of mishaps too, even before he left home, but yeah, I'll...try to not be reckless". And he already was just cut of a much less reckless cloth than his own father had been, to his relief.

"What, um, what sorts of mistakes?", he hesitantly asked, hoping it wasn't rude to do such.
Title: Re: Luck Turned Around?
Post by: Alanna on July 08, 2019, 07:41:11 PM
Alanna had listened with interest as Frior and Kargach had spoken about the ponies. She had heard good things about ponies out of Ered Luin and they seemed to be in good health. She would give the ponies a look-over later since she had heard in Combe that there was an ear lice infection in town which might have spread across the area. The problem was that she had just started working with Frior and his kin and immediately checking for a specific infection might seem a little undiplomatic.

She smiled as Frior asked about her past mistakes. “I'll preface this with the fact that I was 18 and full of a lot more anger at the world in general than I am now. My parents had just been killed by raiders and I decided to go and hunt them down”. She looked down as she pondered how stupid she had been. “Of course I was on my own and not thinking things through, like the fact that I was about ten hours behind the raiders by the time that I left in pursuit, as well as the fact that I was going to be heavily outnumbered and I was heading out into one of the worst storms to hit that part of Rohan for years”.

Alanna frowned. “By the next morning, I had pneumonia and Midnight wasn't in a much better state. I was found by a caravan who were heading to Minas Tirith from Edoras. They made sure that I didn't suffer permanent ill-effects from my stupidity and I ended up being signed up as a guard for most of the trip. That was when I decided to keep on working as a guard. I've learned a lot since then about guarding caravans and a lot of other things”.

She reached back to her shorter than average hair. “I was prone to rush off without thinking. By the time I learned better I had been cut off from the caravan and ambushed by a group of orcs who nearly cut my head off after one of them grabbed me by the braid I had my hair in. I barely managed to stab him with a knife and fight the rest off before I got back to the caravan. As it was I got a large scar across my back and decided to go with a lot shorter hair from then on”.

She smiled and looked around. “I made a good few other mistakes but at least they were non-life threatening”.
Title: Re: Luck Turned Around?
Post by: Friór on July 30, 2019, 01:04:28 AM
“I'll preface this with the fact that I was 18 and full of a lot more anger at the world in general than I am now"

Alanna began her story. Friór nodded, just to show he understood the conditions hedging the story in. Though as their guide went on, Friór found he couldn't really blame that anger at the world, perhaps. Both parents killed... and probably not a lot of uncles and aunts like Friór had to then lean upon, and was not a scenario the boy found easy to grasp...or liked dwelling on even in hypothetical.

He didn't know what he would have done, but...

His own father had once admitted to being about as impulsive, and no doubt would answer back such a thing in about the same way. He could see his cousin, Ashar, also heading out on a revenge mission.

The context of this story, and saving him from having to go through similar, was not forgotten, and even if most who knew him tended to refer to Friór himself as a cautious young lad; so much so he'd been allowed this trip under Master Kargach's guardianship in the first place.

In the end the storm could have been a blessing in disguise, saving Alanna from worse had she caught up with the raiders, though Friór didn't say that of course, and wasn't close enough to the situation to judge probably.

All of this had happened within Midnight's lifetime, his too probably. He forgot how short Men's lives were and had almost converted Eighteen to a Dwarvish Eighteen and felt worse for her, but even before descriptions of her actions proved it he realized he was converting wrong. No, she would have been older than he was now, closer to Ash and Lis' ages, but still!

As they continued on, the others of course listened to this tale of Alanna's as well, and Kargach wondered if it was too much of the harsher realities of life for Friór to be hearing at this precise moment, but then...equivalent to Fourteen in Men's terms, no. His own family held worse tales and not being sheltered in was part of this trip.

As Friór went on to prove. Paying back the sharing of personal details with some of his own, and again with no fear, or typical aloofness, doing so. ”Yeah, I know adventures themselves are supposed to be learning curves, or my own father hinted at that, saying he had a bad experience at the Weather Hills, though that’s all he’ll share about it”.

Kargach gave a small smile, partly to himself, as he realized this meant Friór might know, a bit at least, why he was so nervous being left without a guide in this part of the world. Not that he expected bad to happen twice, and they weren't near the hills, but still, Fritz would think of his own bad experiences when hearing the story.

So Kargach was glad a guide gave a bit more hope to this one.

Others were listening to what Alanna said, though, and some of the other Dwarves frowned. "I hope ye got over that...habit of yours", one of the others said, meaning the wandering no doubt.

"Oh no doubt she did", Kargach jumped in amiably in their guide's defense, aiming a smile to her. "And as for...setting a life goal after a bad experience, I can relate. I think part of why I used to accompany the caravans made of my own carts, and did the job of guarding them myself for the most part, back before I went and got old", he smiled again in slight amusement at himself still denying that term, "was because my parents and I moved from the Grey Mountains to the Blue when I was only a few years younger than Friór here to take care of my aunt after her husband was killed by bandits on the road. I...promised myself even that young that I'd never let it happen to anyone under my care, cart or otherwise".

Friór gave a small smile as he realized his mentor was half talking about him being under his care now and giving part of the reason he'd worried so and agreed to hire on Alanna.
Title: Re: Luck Turned Around?
Post by: Alanna on August 04, 2019, 07:23:07 PM
Alanna had listened to the dwarves in silence, noting that at least one of her fellow caravan workers was still against her being hired by Kargach in the first place. There was something about the way that most of the Dwarves acted around her that reminded her of her early days working caravans, constantly having to prove herself. On a certain level, she was looking forward to it, if nothing else it made things interesting.

She glanced at Kargach and smiled. “I grew out of my angry youth pretty early on after I left Rohan when others depended on being a professional. Besides I'm of no use to anyone if I was killed because I was a fool”.

Alanna looked down and pondered how things were going to be. “That plan didn't help two winters back when it turned out that I was the only person on a caravan out of Minas Tirith who knew to not go rushing off if some orcs approached. By the end of the day, I was only saved from about a dozen orcs when the rest of the caravan's guards returned from running off after an obvious diversion”.

She sighed. “Suffice it to say that I signed off from that caravan as soon as I got to the end of the run. The pay was good but the men in charge were fools. Thankfully, I've never had such problems with mostly dwarven caravans, there's more professionalism involved than most other caravans I've worked for”.
Title: Re: Luck Turned Around?
Post by: Kargach on August 07, 2019, 03:26:02 PM
“I grew out of my angry youth pretty early on after I left Rohan when others depended on being a professional. Besides I'm of no use to anyone if I was killed because I was a fool”.

"Well, you learned your lesson earlier than me", Kargach smiled, in the interest of making up for others less savory receptions of her, sharing freely on his own end and tales as well. Though, even if he wasn't as much of an open book as Friór could be (for a kid that didn't talk much still) Karg was pretty open and amiable himself just in general.

"I think it took until shamefully recently for me to act the adult I am. Even in what would still count as my twenties, by your count, I was taking risks with exploring off in the bushes and such when I thought I heard a noise. Under the guise of guarding the caravan and making sure it wasn't Orcs and such of course", Karg grinned, showing even then he had known his "excuse" was weak and he had just always had wander lust (hence his job being travel) and too much curiosity.

Kargach then fell somber again. "Now though, and when I do less of it, I feel it's needed more than it ever was before".

He nodded in thanks to her comment on professionalism, taking it as a compliment on his caravan as well, or at the very least how he lead them. He couldn't speak for every member, especially of this current one.

If Friór was one to listen more than he spoke (a good trait) it only meant, like those who did such, he picked up on much of what went unsaid, and so he knew where his mentor's last comment went. That and Alanna's own story seemed to highlight it, given how recently all of this would have been, with Men's short age spans.

When his father and uncle had run into Orcs it was an anomaly.

"You're saying things are bad...", he told Karg, as well as the group at large, and it wasn't really a question. "That the Orcs are getting worse?".

This news wasn't new, with his grandfather still on the Ered Luin council, and Aunt Dags still keeping up conversation with Erebor where she could, he and his cousins had perhaps a better pulse of any discreet news.

Kargach sighed, "It seems that way...Darkness Growing and all that...I...I don't know really though".

"Ah, it's just Fear Mongering", Rolir spoke up, in classing Dwarvish stubbornness. "Things are exactly the same as they've always been".

While Karg was all for knowing all facts and not just spreading rumors, he didn't know that Rolir really believed this last. Rather than answer it though, he lifted a hand to study the progress of the light and as they came out on more level parts. "We can probably make camp here for the night and reach the settlement in the morning", he looked to their hired-sword for her input too as well of course.

<<Still trying to figure out travel time, but since they gained Alanna pretty close to their destination Imma say one or two days to get there?>>
Title: Re: Luck Turned Around?
Post by: Alanna on August 16, 2019, 09:05:39 PM
Alanna nodded as Kargach admitted his less than salubrious youth, unable to shake the feeling that he was saying it more for her benefit than any other reason, then frowned as the Dwarves spoke of evil forces massing. She had heard similar stories and was unsure if it was true or not but if the stories had got as far as where this caravan had come from it didn't bode well. ” I've heard rumblings about dark forces massing in the last six places I've stopped at. If they are massing then it's in unusual numbers and more than one group. I know that some caravans which would be traveling at this time of year are currently staying where they are”.

She looked around as she rode, feeling more nervous than she had been, before whispering into Midnight's ear. ” Keep an eye out for trouble”. Although she was unwilling to admit it to her companions (since some of them were unsure about how professional she was already, her horse had saved her from ambushes on more than one occasion. As it was she had passed out from cold and exhaustion on the night that her parents died and she had only been found by a caravan because Midnight had carried her through the storm until she could be saved.

Alanna nodded after Kargach suggested they stop for the night. ” This looks as good a place as any”. She looked around, noting that there were no obvious ambush sites and there was a decent line-of-sight along the path both ways. With a decent number of guards during the night, it was likely that they would have little or no problem overnight.

Besides, there was another good aspect to this spot. She glanced back to Karg and Frior before calling over as she checked the fishing rod she had among her saddlebags. ” There's a stream nearby. I can go get some water and, possibly, catch some fish”.
Title: Re: Luck Turned Around?
Post by: Kargach on August 25, 2019, 10:33:18 PM
Karg had told of his own youthful excursions for Alanna's sake, she was right, and he knew how transparent it perhaps was; as well as tried to rebuff too much talk of the Dark for Friór's own. Neither seemed to make it completely unnoticed.

"...I know that some caravans which would be traveling at this time of year are currently staying where they are”

Arguably what they should be doing...

Not so much in the situation they had become trapped in, but in not setting foot outside Ered Luin to begin with. Yet that didn't seem the right answer either, and Friór needed all the experience he could get while he could safely get it and...if bad was to come his way.

Karg shook this thought off. No, it was a few more Orcs, nothing more.

As if willing to further prove her worth with them (as no doubt she was) as they stopped, Alanna offered to go for water and fish. Kargach was all set to let her to both, for no other reason than to not insult her, and let her prove her worth to those of their own Company that were doubting her, but also didn't question or judge Friór one bit when the lad pipped up in his own helpfulness, and just enjoyment of being outdoors and sharing what small facts he knew, as well as getting better at them. "I'll come help, um, if you want, Miss Alanna", he offered, before glancing over to Kargach again.

Suddenly the caravan leader had to ponder if his presence in that was further insulting...and how far he trusted their guide. He felt a pretty good judge of character, but actually felt Friór even more of one. If the lad trusted her, even this short in in knowing her, he was no doubt not wrong, and everything she had shown thus far was favorable and worthy of trust.

Sure, she'd admitted to a hasty youth, but so had Kargach, and so he felt he knew growth in that area too.

He was just keenly aware of how many he would answer to about the lad's safety if anything happened, but then that was also why he had waited for a capable guide back. Kargach gave his apprentice a nod of his own approval, so long as Alanna didn't mind his company.