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Author Topic: On the Edge of Trouble  (Read 5191 times)


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On the Edge of Trouble
« on: October 27, 2016, 05:39:22 PM »
{Even if it's just outside Fangorn ^^}

Stupid Men! Had they been trying to hunt her? Surely even they knew of what a grand and almost ageless race she came from!

Not Nauroval herself, of course, she was still what was considered young, though by comparison, had many more season behind her, nest time not included even, than those that had caused her this annoyance.

And that was all she would label it, refusing to admit the perhaps very true statement that she was in bad straights. One lucky shot by a stupid, traveling hunter, either in misfire or on purpose, and Nauroval found herself grounded by an annoyance to her left wing that, while not serious, and which she could tell would heal, hindered catching air properly to take off again from her emergency landing herself in this clearing.

No Men came rushing after her as she glanced about, further putting weight to the Accident Theory, but the Great Eagle almost wished they would so she could give them a piece of her mind!

Stupid bipeds, they probably ran away the moment they realized the grave error they had made in shooting down a Great Eagle!

Nauroval flexed the wing, tinged with beautiful red feathers which had lend her her name, and scanned for any deeper scarlet that would tell of trouble.

None of that, thankfully.

She then assessed as to her surroundings. The Eagle of course knew where she was, and had purposefully been flying over the area of Rohan, and all but above Fangorn exclusively. Not in aiming for the woods, though she wasn't truly fearful of them either. She gave the old tales respect and a wide berth for them, but that wasn't fear. She just, also, being from a long lived race, knew better than to discount. Many strange things had occurred in the old days.

So Nauroval wouldn't say she was fearful to now be on the clearing just outside Fangorn. Cautious perhaps, but it was no more trouble than being stranded elsewhere would have been...probably.

And in some ways better, at least she was far-ish from civilization and could work out what to do, and test her wing, away from the threat of meddling Men. Then again, these "horse lords" did ride a lot.

Pampered Fodder, horses...

Though Nauroval understood that those around Rohan were a bit better trained than the average wild stallion, and any creature should be given it's due, even Man, who seemed but a wisp when up against ancient races such as the Eagles.

Still, the Eagle didn't know whether to wish one of Men's race would come by...or keep off!

Two further flaps with her wings smarted on the injured one, but just maybe...

Carefully, Nauroval tried to catch air even from this low elevation, yet almost as soon as her right side took the lift, she felt the error and knew it was no good.

Folding her wings in to minimize any further injuring, she was forced to concede that she would not be taking off, from here at least. Still, Nauroval tried to refrain from panic and scanned about again even as she took unsure steps along the ground with talons meant to hold firmly to perches or prey, not waddle at this awkward angle on completely flat ground, yet she made the best of it (and it wasn't like the trees off to her right were any sort of temptation given what she'd heard lurked in there, and the close confines)

Still, a higher elevation and maybe she would have a better shot at at least finding a better place within gliding distance from which to let her wing fully heal, and asses her damage further.

Good thing she wasn't on assignment and delivering anything for Gwaihir. No message would be late today.

With an odd hobbling waddle of catching air then skipping slightly that reminded her of a wounded songbird, and further shamed her, Nauroval moved away from the trees to better scan for such elevated places.
« Last Edit: May 20, 2020, 08:10:25 PM by Nauroval »

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Re: On the Edge of Trouble
« Reply #1 on: April 30, 2020, 06:43:44 AM »
Five months ago, he had tasted what it was like to be truly free. No walls, no borders, no one to harass him and order him about, no one to stop him from running… Flying across the plains…

He had half the mind not to return to Rohan at all. Not now, not ever. But at Gandalf's bidding for him to do the "right" thing, and - as much as he hated to admit it - a little bit homesick as well, Shadowfax had traced his way back to his home country, halting outside the capital city in which he had spent his whole life in captivity.  The white stallion had paraded himself outside Edoras, prancing and rearing with head held high. Showing himself to the mighty King of Rohan, with a taunting gleam in his eye, that yes, he had returned, to fulfill that pledge that Gandalf would send back the borrowed ride.  But nothing about setting his hooves back inside Edoras had been part of the contract.  Whatever ownership the House of Eorl still had over him, they could behold and admire the Lord of the Mearas out here, not in that boxed pasture of theirs.  If King Theoden wanted him back in his possession, he would have to catch him first. 

He was a free horse now.

There was so much more to this vast land of Rohan he hadn't seen, or even knew existed. Seas of grass that stretched on for days. Though he had heard stories about the wild herds that ran freely across these plains, and had met many a tamed horse in Edoras that claimed to have belonged to these herds, Shadowfax had never seen one before. With Rohan being full of them, it wasn't difficult for him to sniff out their tracks and scent markers and catch up to them. Landing his eyes on a wild herd for the first time, he was thrilled to be united with those whose minds and spirits were like his.  Intelligence however, Shadowfax knew he was different, aware of his lineage that set him apart from others of his kind, that he could process things beyond what any ordinary horse could comprehend.  With great gifts came great responsibility. With divine speed and intelligence, he would use them to look after his fellow horses. 

He could have fought the stallion in charge and drove him away and lay claim to the whole herd as his own. But Shadowfax, with his more 'sophisticated' mind, was not one to be overcome by these primitive instincts.  He did not wish to rule over this herd, but to shepherd them.  And they too, could sense that the white stallion had an aura of mystery about him.  But because he looked like them, smelled like them, acted like them… They accepted him.  Even their head stallion, though wary of letting a potential rival get too close to his herd at first, soon came to trust Shadowfax as being their watchful guardian, not bent on disrupting the herd hierarchy, and left him alone to graze freely amongst them. 

Man, beast, weather, starvation... He would protect them at all costs.


His nose alerted him to a sudden shift in the air, hit by a wave of unfamiliar scent that signaled the approach of… Incoming danger, unless proven otherwise.  Shadowfax tossed his head, issuing the warning cry a few seconds before a large shadow flew overhead, scattering the herd in sheer terror. 

While the others fled with their head stallion, rallying them to a safe distance across the shrubland, Shadowfax stood his ground, striding over to investigate the overgrown bird that had disrupted the herd's peace.  This was a new sight to him.  A creature he had not beheld the likes of before.  As curious as he was, the white stallion was careful to mind his distance as he approached.  Judging from its resemblance to the large birds of prey he had observed, and what they hunted, if this one intended to make a meal out of him and his herd, Shadowfax would confront it with a challenger's stance, scrutinizing whether this creature was a threat or not.  Should it attack, he was fairly confident his speed would allow him to distract and outmaneuver the bird and prevent it from attacking his herd until they reached the crevices of the rocky hills where he knew the colossal creature could not fit.

Who are you?  He snorted, half curious, half demanding.  What brings you here?  He was no telepath. None that Shadowfax was aware of anyways..  But if there was a universal language of body movements and emotions that creatures of higher intellect could somehow translate into words, the bird would be able to understand him.

Surely if it was on the hunt, the bird would have swooped down on top of the herd and sprang back into the sky. Not be waddling around on the ground with… Was that blood?  The iron smell reached Shadowfax's distended nostrils, drawing his attention to the crimson stain, marked by an arrow - though it looked like a splinter in comparison - jutting out from the gigantic bird's right wing.  Well that would explain the creature's handicapped situation.  Should he be glad, or sorry, that this predator bird who likely feasted on meat and helpless creatures could now feel what it was like, being hunted and not at the top of the food chain for once?  Or so he assumed that's what happened to the bird, being targeted by a hunter's arrow… But for what purpose - food, sport, or bounty? - He didn't know.

What happened?  He pointed with his nose at the bird's injury.

In sympathy, he supposed he could relate to what the bird was coping with. His hooves mattered life and death to him as much as wings did for a bird.  Even the tiniest pebble lodged in his hoof crippled his movement and was just as annoying and painful to deal with, until he could somehow pry it out with his teeth or scrape it off.
« Last Edit: April 30, 2020, 01:16:13 PM by Shadowfax »


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Re: On the Edge of Trouble
« Reply #2 on: May 04, 2020, 07:52:36 PM »
In the same way the herd was seemingly always on alert, Nauroval was too familiar with her own even temporary surroundings, as any Great Eagle worth their fledge-state should be, to not detect both the herd making off, as well as one lone member approaching.

No doubt the Leader on guard.

She merely kept an eye out for any trouble. She couldn't hunt right now, even if she had wanted to, the arrow in her wing being her primary concern.

As the white horse got closer, Nauroval noticed it wasn't just any other horse; or there was something about it. Something about him. It wasn't the same majesty and regalness that all the horses of this area had.

Even for a predatory bird, but one called to act a bit above primal instinct, both for Sentience as well as that Northern Blood of hers that was a bit more refined than the Southern Heritage also mixed in, the horses of Rohan were worth a bit more consideration before being put on the menu than, say, a deer in the woods.

Nauroval still wouldn't judge any who then decided they did want at an injured member of a herd or such, unless it was her brother, but then she just judged him every chance she got and for the sake of it.

This one was above even that level of consideration for other normal horses of Rohan, the Eagle could just detect. Very much like the difference between Northern and Southern Great Eagles even.

Even in a perfect situation, she might have left the herd be for his sake alone.

Not that he was a creature capable of Speech, like her kind; and she picked up his question more off just the general cues of body language, ones she used to answer back, though she was also proud of how well she could speak, and around the limitations of her beak, so didn't miss the opportunity to add that in as well and if it helped understanding between them.

Simple Bad Timing, she answered back, by way of gesture, and even inclining her beak towards her injured wing, though he seemed to notice it even without her aid.

"My name is Nauroval, daughter of Rysstre and Thraegas", she went on, in the spoken word, and in information that was harder to give off just gesture, and therefore was not so consequential to the conversation that it would lack if he did in fact miss this.

Or she had hit upon the important bits; what she was doing and if she was a threat.

If, as an Ambassador for Gwaihir, she couldn't get herself out of this talk; well she would just most definitely not tell anyone about it!

He asked for details concerning her injury. Nauroval didn't roll her eyes, it wouldn't have had the same effect as it did on Men's and other biped's faces and in their mannerisms, but her posture and a slight click she gave seemed to communicate the same disdain.

A hunter who can't recognize a Great Eagle she answered back. She then paused, and realized, further, the disadvantage she was at. If he decided he didn't believe her, and wanted to press the issue and drive her off, there was little she could do about it.

I won't make trouble, you and the herd are safe, it had been an implied point before, and with her prior answers, but Nauroval wanted to make sure he understood that. She wouldn't ask his help, both for her own pride not letting her initiate that, and also it didn't really seem something even a horse of such higher intelligence, and with one job, that towards a herd, should be expected to concern himself with.

As soon as she knew he believed her, she'd go back to trying to get the pesky arrow.
« Last Edit: May 04, 2020, 07:54:10 PM by Nauroval »

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Re: On the Edge of Trouble
« Reply #3 on: May 09, 2020, 02:43:15 PM »
You understand..?  Shadowfax wasn't sure if the creature would, if it was intelligent enough to. Not all gestures translated the same with every species. Though its - rather her (he'd soon pick up on) - reply proved him otherwise, much to his pleasant surprise.

His ears pricked forward, head and tail raised attentively at the sounds that emanated from Nauroval's beak.  A talking creature! Oh, how he wished he had the mouth for Speech too!  He'd give those horse-lords a piece of his free-will mind, if he could.

You can speak!  A small snort escaped him as he questioned the bird eagerly, beneath his veil of suspicion.  How?  How did you learn?  Was there a secret to acquiring Speech that he had yet to unlock for himself?  Perhaps there was still hope he might receive this gift as well!

Names.  A concept that creatures of higher sentience understood and utilized, apart from the rest of the animal kingdom.  In the horse world, names were simply part of the conglomerate of babble uttered by two-legs, meaning little value except to those horses that were called frequently enough to recognize the pattern of syllables that pointed to them, as the two-legs' way of catching their attention.  There were no names in the horse world. Only scents, subtle yet strong to distinguish one body from the other.  It was Man that branded him "Shadowfax" at birth, and for that reason, the white stallion disdained the word as another reminder of his slavery. So long as the name followed him in the Wild, he would never be rid of Man's ownership entirely.  Inspired by Gandalf, the wizard with many names, the free horse had fancied creating a new one for himself.  But being occupied with his new herd had pushed that thought to the back pasture.

Shadowfax.  Whatever mystical projection or impression that allowed him to communicate, the stallion did not convey the word with the same pride as Nauroval.  Head and tail deflating slightly, a tone of scorn arose.  What the Men of Rohan call me, anyway. If you must.

At Nauroval's claim that she would not harm the herd, Shadowfax took liberty to complete the statement with a tense swish of his tail, eying the bird warily.  For now.  He harbored no animosity with this reply. Rather it was one of mutual agreement, enough assurance for Shadowfax to relax his stance without lowering his guard. He did not expect the truce to last, once predator and prey parted ways. The cycle of nature must continue.  But for now, the two species could interact peaceably.

As for the arrow… The extent of the injury was concerning.  From what Shadowfax had observed and overheard in Edoras - war horses and soldiers hobbling back from the battlefields, riddled with arrows - the barbs of an arrow were not so easily removed without dealing greater damage to the flesh and inflicting extraordinary pain.  If the "treatment" was even worth it, to bleed out in the end…

But the bird was huge. More body mass meant more flesh room. Less likely for the arrow to have hit something vital. Although if the head were not removed with the shaft, that would guarantee infection.  Much could go wrong here…  Despite his grudges, Man's hands would certainly be helpful for an operation like this.  Desperate measures being to find one of them to get the arrow out. Without startling Man to panic or faint at the sight of a giant bird and Mearas together. Unfortunately, he didn't know of any Men that lived within the area.  Except maybe that "hunter" according to Nauroval, if they were close by.

Accident?  Shadowfax commented with grim amusement, watching Nauroval tackle the issue in her right wing.  You must have been flying very low, for a stray arrow to hit you.  Still suspicious of Nauroval's purpose, he inquired,  Were you looking for something around here?  Mostly likely scouring for food, he assumed. Unless if there was another reason why the bird was sweeping over these parts of Rohan.

He then took a moment to stare at Nauroval's full height and display, not withholding his wonder and amazement.  I have not seen a bird so large as you before.  Forgive me, he added respectfully. I have not walked on these plains a full moon, and there are many things in these wilds still a stranger and foreign to me.  He hesitated, recollecting his thought as flashbacks surfaced.  Although.. I have heard…

During the short time they had spent together, Gandalf had mentioned something to him about the Great Eagles, one of them having transported him to Rohan prior to their meeting.

Could this be one of them?   He'd feel foolish for not connecting two and two together sooner.

Taking his chances, he decided to come forward with the name. As risky as it was, for fear of it falling upon the wrong ears of the Enemy that would seek to do his friend harm.

Gandalf.  The Grey.  Is he…familiar to you?
« Last Edit: May 22, 2020, 11:08:44 PM by Shadowfax »


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Re: On the Edge of Trouble
« Reply #4 on: May 20, 2020, 08:09:34 PM »
Understanding the horse's gestures was not all that hard, and since she understood the universal bird language, and was able to adapt it; yet Nauroval knew it still was not something to be lightly shrugged off either, so his surprise at the fact made sense. She merely nodded in response. Her ability at speech was far more impressive to the equine.

Nauroval gave another smile, but this one one decidedly more pleased. How?  How did you learn?

"From my parents", the Great Eagle answered, "As well as other Eagles I encountered after Fledgling, or they helped with...perfecting it, though I was already very good".

She didn't mean to brag, it was just a true statement...

Though Nauroval rushed on to reassure it was not through any fault of the horses if he wasn't able to also do such. "It's a pride point with Great Eagles, we all learn". Well...most did anyway...

Her brother, Aurhîn, still struggled, but Nauroval didn't mention him, having the goodness to not go spreading her brother's failures to strangers (and maybe for her own sake as well). He was a bit of a blight on family reputation.

"I've...heard rumor that Wargs also might hold the ability, though you'll understand why I don't think so myself", her feathers almost poofed at the blasphemous notion!

"We even learn some Sindarin", she went on on the brighter topic of Eagle's skills, and took a slight chance in telling, since her own grasp of the Elf language, which the Great Eagles named themselves in, while not lacking, was not as well formed as her grasp of the common tongue.

"Bird gestures, often understood by others, are more for their sake", she added, though it was also just the basis of even Great Eagle's interactions as well. She then wondered slightly if she'd misspoken, and been insulting. Since the horse had to rely on such. Yet her bird pride also just saw it as true...

Shadowfax. He gave his own name, before adding a clarification.

What the Men of Rohan call me, anyway. If you must.

She nodded and inclined her head, understanding what he meant. "Well...but you're more than just the average stable horse, I take it?", she added, the statement half being a question and half an observation.

"I wouldn't be having this conversation if not", she went on, her mannerisms seeming to give off a smile of amusement more than her beak could form the odd two-legger's gesture.

Perhaps in making up a bit and back-tracking from her pride of earlier, Nauroval next asked her own question, leading from her observation. "What's your story?".

She gave another small gesture of amused understanding as the knowledge of her not attacking the herd being conditional and temporary passed between them even without her needing to state such.

He seemed to doubt her words on Accident a bit, not that Nauroval could fully blame him, though it did make her alert again. You must have been flying very low, for a stray arrow to hit you. She glanced him over in her own form of suspicious, and until he went on.

Were you looking for something around here?". Oh! So he was doubting her purpose and not her skill. Nauroval could tolerate that, and relaxed.

"Yes", she answered honestly enough, though also went on. "Whatever I could find, though I hadn't progressed so far as to know what exactly". Such was little consolation, she knew, but true nonetheless.

Nauroval next noticed him taking in her stature and wondered if it was in sizing up risk or just curiosity, though he went on to explain and answer the unasked question, almost embarrassed.

It was the former, and Nauroval couldn't help the pride boost his words brought; her stature straightening though she winced again from the arrow. He next explained away his perhaps overt interest by stating that he was young.

She smiled kindly enough to him. "Well, that's no crime and...". Her words were cut off, something that at any other time might have brought a sharp look, if not retort (depending on the offender), but the enthusiasm with which he put his next question to her intrigued the Eagle so much she let him have it.

Gandalf.  The Grey.  Is he…familiar to you?

Nauroval looked surprised as well before answering.

"I haven't heard that name in a while myself...", she gave a small chuckle, "Yes, yes he is! Well...". She realized that, even for an Eagle, and as such, she shouldn't push her association too far.

"I know who you mean, at least", she clarified, "Though whether he could say he knows me...I am the renowned Gwaihir's ambassador", she explained,  and straightened her posture again.

"And had, for all purposes, just begun in that duty when myself, along with my brother--though I forget how we got him involved--", she gave a slight clacking sound that was the equivalent of sighing, or rolling her eyes, shaking her head, though her disapproval held the barest hint of fondness...if it would take the Valar to hear it.

"...found ourselves aiding Gandalf the Grey and a company of Dwarves with him, Thorin Oakenshield's Company, in repayment for a favor once done by the wizard towards Gwaihir". Very similar circumstances, if she recalled the story correctly...

"Repayment of duty aside, there was a small pleasure to feeling we did all of Middle Earth a favor as well as it required taking out a few more Orcs and Wargs".

There were few creatures, created by Illuvatar, which Nauroval would actually count as useless or a blight on the world; but these fit, and since their creation might not have been natural nor Illuvatar's doing in the first place.

Yet for that matter Dwarves weren't either, but they weren't all that bad, though being made by Valor and being made by the corrupt Valar, Melkor, were two different issues!

"We then aided in the battle also, where Thorin was tragically lost". As she went on, Nauroval gave a respectful inclination of her head again before glancing back to the horse curiously.

"How do you know the great Wizard?", she asked, sounding just as intrigued now. She realized that this, and discovering a link between this horse and Gandalf, could just mean she would end up leaving the herd alone forever; yet that was a fine circumstance if his own association was strong enough to warrant such. As her story had proved, Eagle society was built on respect when earned.
« Last Edit: May 22, 2020, 02:50:55 AM by Nauroval »

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Re: On the Edge of Trouble
« Reply #5 on: May 28, 2020, 12:02:48 PM »
The Eagle's explanation was not offensive to his pride, but disappointment squashed what little hope he had of acquiring Speech all the same. It was frustrating, being mute. What knowledge he had picked up of Man's language from birth till present, as fluent as he had learned to speak it in his mind, he would never be able to utter the words aloud. His voice -one that Man might listen to- forever trapped inside of him. 

What made the Eagle so special?  Surely he, being of grand race among his kind, would have used the Gift for good. If anything to help improve relations between horse and Man.  Perhaps then, as much as he spurned the fantasy of what could be, he might not have come to view Men with such contempt.  If only communication was made easier…  Why did his kin not deserve it?

In mind. In reasoning. In liberty, he replied coolly to Nauroval guessing at what more to him than he was.

Mearas.  Another name the Rohirrim had thrust upon his kin.  Nothing more than another brand of ownership by the House of Eorl. He despised the word as much as "Shadowfax". How he wished he could erase them from memory… The two-leg world was full of superfluous names, ranks, and titles.  Undoubtedly he would have been the King's steed, had he subjected to being ridden; added to his speed unrivaled and looks that outshined the rest of his kin; these had nominated him "Lord" and "Prince" of Horses, "Chief" of the Mearas, in Man's adoration.  He did not ask for them, nor did he boast about them, for he found such identifiers to be humiliating. Especially in front of his kin, who knew full well of his aspirations to disassociate himself from Man entirely.

His only dignity came from being free. But to claim he was a free horse would be a lie from a different view, weighing heavily on his conscience. While he was no longer within Edoras' reach, try as he might to escape it, only the word of the King could release him from the blood service of his ancestor.  And since he had already mentioned the Men of Rohan in the first place, he might as well spill a little more to the Eagle.

Edoras, the capital of Rohan. His head gestured in the general direction of the city, wistful as memories of kin and family wafted over him. I was born there, forty-two springs ago. In a field owned by the House of Eorl. I was to be the mount of Kings and Princes, bound to a life of servitude like that of my ancestors. He scoffed, ears flattening in disapproval. Foolish ancestors.  Many a dispute in Edoras' pasture had escalated into kicks, rears and scuffles between him and his kin over such a heated topic, and it never ceased to amaze him why they didn't band together and riot and break themselves free. Indeed, they often kept a wary eye on him, thwarting any of his attempts to sneak out of the pasture.  Because they respected the ancestors too much to let Shadowfax ruin their reputation, ever loyal to the House of Eorl.  For them, it was an honor to serve.  Was something wrong with him? He had wondered to himself as a young colt, realizing the depth of his discontentment that estranged him from the rest.  How could they be so blind to their own slavery?

He let out a short sigh, releasing his steam before it got the better of him.

Proud to say, I know not what the taste of metal is on my tongue, nor the weight of saddle or Man upon my back. Though my hide is familiar with the whip and the rope. His shoulder twitched.  Deep down, he flinched, recalling the sessions of terror and affliction he had endured at Man's bent pursuit. Whether these "trainings" were condoned by the House of Eorl or not, the scars of abuse still lingered, no longer evident on the stallion's snow-white coat that had healed over long ago.  His trust in Men had shattered completely. Pompous horse-lords.  He was glad to get away from them.  I escaped, three days ago.  From Edoras to where he now stood, the distance was feasible for an ordinary horse to achieve in that time… If they were traveling constantly in a straight line. Of course, he had been sightseeing, zigzagging all over the place to cover as much of the land as possible, before happening upon his new herd which he had already spent a night with, now committing him to his current location.

My family still lives in Edoras. Last I saw them.  I hope.  It had been five months since he had seen their faces last, bidding them goodbye. For all he knew within that time, any one of them could have perished.  As independent from Man as he strived to be, he never wished to be apart from those of his own kind.  Like any horse, comfort and security came from the herd.  And despite their quarrels at times, he loved his kin dearly. To leave them behind was a heart-wrenching decision.  But to risk himself being captured by the King's men again, he could not tarry beside the city for long.  One day, he would come back for them, he promised, shooting a last whinny over the walls before wheeling off.

Listening to Nauroval's story, he was surprised she would reveal so much, though he appreciated the details (drawing a bit of a blank stare at the mention of "Dwarves" and "thorn-and-oak-and-shield", not knowing fully what they were). 

Likewise how you came to know him, he replied with amusement. He needed a ride. I carried him.  And I do say we're quite good friends. Only fair he should come clean to the Eagle, since she had indulged him already with her tale. I met him in Edoras, five moons ago. Obviously, he was attracted to my fine, swift legs and exceptional beauty, he half-joked with a floaty prance and slight toss of his mane.  Regaining his formal composure, he went on, I carried him to a place called Bree, and up to a place called Rivendell. I wouldn't have minded going farther with him, he admitted wishfully. But he released me and bid me leave. And now I am back here. Though I will not be going back to Edoras, not anytime soon.  I will not be locked up in a pasture again, he said resolutely.

His concern then shifted back to the arrow, still lodged in Nauroval's right wing. The bird's beak or the horse's teeth might grasp around the end of the shaft for a few experimental tugs -gently, so as to check the extent of the damage- but ultimately, would reveal that the head was a barbed one.  It would not be a swift, clean pull. Though they could certainly rip it out with force… if Nauroval would rather risk inflicting further damage to her wing that would prevent it from healing quicker so she could fly sooner, or again, breaking the shaft from the arrowhead which could lead to infection.

Well this is no good, he commented. Unless if you want to waddle on the ground for the rest of your life. We best find someone who can dig it out.

We? Who said this was a team effort? Surely the Eagle could go off and get help by herself. He had other matters to attend to with his herd, now vulnerable to danger without him to protect them, said half of him worriedly. On the other hoof (if it had three toes), was it pride, amusement, or genuine care for the Eagle that prodded him to stay and help her? Probably all of the above.

Or you could do it, if you can handle yourself out there… He extended a note of caution, swiveling his ears and glancing around warily. Orcs and wargs and all sorts of wild beasts roamed both the plains and the wood, even in Fangorn. A downed bird, no matter how large, would be a tempting feast for a pack of them.

He had speed to maneuver and scout ahead, and a good set of hind legs for kicking.  If only he knew which way to search, he could set out to find someone and lead them back to Nauroval. But without Speech, it might be difficult to convince them over, by himself.  And who knew how far they'd have to wander before they came across anyone?
« Last Edit: June 13, 2020, 09:19:22 AM by Shadowfax »


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Re: On the Edge of Trouble
« Reply #6 on: June 21, 2020, 02:42:36 AM »
The horse, Shadowfax's, origins were, of course, simple. Though Nauroval caught he wasn't all that proud of either his name, given by Men, as well as many facts within his story. Even for a well respected and almost revered species as she'd heard these Mearas were...they were still horses, so the origin made sense.

In much the same way she and her kind were still Creatures, perhaps, Nauroval tried to remind herself, though she found that a bit harder to believe and couldn't fully allow herself the comparison, that Great Eagle's pride hard to squash, even when she was attempting to be fair. Not just for having the power of speech.

His stubbornness, she could at least appreciate, and admire a small bit. Perhaps no surprise. The Grey Wizard, as Nauroval assumed he still was, had turned his own attentions towards this horse for some reason.

A reason, even the Great Eagle realized she may never fully know.

Gandalf, as a wizard, could be hard to figure out, or his intentions could be baffling. After their aid of Thorin's Company, Nauroval had inquired, still respectfully, with Gwaihir as to the whole assortment of odd beings. Maybe finding the Hobbit the oddest of all, and thinking on him the most since he was the one she had all but literally been saddled with!

What would the Wizard see in such an odd being?

Gwaihir had admitted to not knowing, and with an almost amused sound told her even he didn't know why the Wizard chose to do what he did, such as pause to remove an arrow from the wing of a wounded Lord of Eagles...

She could also appreciate his leaving his family behind to make his own path. Granted, it was a bit expected of Great Eagles. Rysstre and Thraegas had no doubt had other hatchlings by this point (still an odd thought even if Nauroval also knew some had come before as well most likely) which they even now helped rear towards independence same as they had herself and 'Asgar', or Aurhîn if he had gained that back by now.

She shouldn't be so quick to judge this 'mere Mearas' even, perhaps, Nauroval reminded herself. He still knew Gandalf far more intimately than she could lay claim to. Nauroval might have held a proper amount of pride, but she was fair about such and would never claim a connection or perk if she had not earned it in truth and honesty. She gave a small beak click of amusement at both of his half jokes.

Dare she say she was getting on good terms with a prey animal? Well, as this talk had proved, more than that, and especially if Gandalf was now their link. Still she should work to make sure her brother never found out about this! He would tease her endlessly!

Though Nauroval had not been to either Bree or Rivendell, she knew of the places he mentioned.

Talk turned back to her injury, which she had been putting all of her focus into not noticing as much as she could, and not that she minded the switch back to focusing on it. It just meant they could perhaps reach a conclusion sooner! Oddly she began to think they also, and think Shadowfax would help her. If he could.

He both offered but didn't press.

Nauroval glanced out at their surroundings once more. She was in a bind, no mistake, but then she'd already known that...

Still, she wasn't in a rush to admit to needing help, obvious as it was. "Thank-you for your willingness to help", she began, and in remembering to be grateful for him putting himself out like that, even just in offering. He didn't have to, he could just go see to this new wild herd he'd found, and he was risking being brought back to people perhaps, depending on who they found.

"I would say I don't need it...", she knew better than to try to fly, but even a testing movement of her wing once more brought a sharp sting of pain. "...but that would be untrue", she admitted with a wince.

Nauroval sighed, "I won't suggest finding the Rohirrim, for both of our sakes". She still wasn't sure it wasn't one of their number who had hit her! "But I'm not going to get far on my own, unfortunately, and...we do need better than your teeth, and my beak, especially as my beak can't reach, I already tried". She sighed. But how were they going to find help all the way out here?

{ooc: I guess cue their help?}

Thankies to Alagon for the set



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Re: On the Edge of Trouble
« Reply #7 on: June 27, 2020, 12:06:23 AM »
For a few decades now, since T.A. 2966, Annúngilel had been traveling the world trying to undo some of the damage she had done to others while she was cursed. She blamed herself for all the tragedies she had caused. She should've been stronger than she was. She should've fought harder. What was done, was done. All she could do now was try to fix what was still possible and keep wandering until she felt she could settle somewhere without her presence being considered a burden to others. The good name she had made for herself during the First Age and almost half of the Second one had crumbled and now she always had to prove herself good again to gain anyone's trust. It was understandable.

Her current situation made her feel like those Noldorin who had taken part in the Kinslayings of the First Age, of which she was never a part, but she had done evil towards her own kind, but not only them, during the years she was cursed, even leading some of them to their deaths. She felt horribly guilty for it now that she was herself again. The only times she felt more at ease was when she was dealing with mortals. Most of them didn't even know of her darker past or didn't care. Change, for good or evil, is easier for them to accept. Maybe they were gifted in ways Elves would never truly understand. She had been wandering the lush lands of Rohan for a while, until she delved deep into Fangorn Forest for the last 5 years.

Annúngilel believed she had managed to befriend some of the Ents during this time. Patience was always one of her characteristics from youth and it was all that you needed to get along with the tree shepherds of the ancient forest. Now she felt restless again. She knew there was still some old evils to be undone. That had been just a respite from her self-imposed errands. So she left Fangorn for the wilds of Rohan again, but as soon as her grey mare started to gallop her away from the last of the tree lines, Annúngilel saw the most interesting of sights: A Great Eagle and a horse sharing a moment. She couldn't tell what it was about from afar, but the sheer unexpectedness of it caught her attention. Soon she had approached the pair, but not too close.

"I'm Annúngilel of the Noldor." She chose to introduce herself in Westron even though she knew the Great Eagles of Manwë that had stayed in Middle-earth knew how to speak Sindarin for the horse's sake. She could recognize the stallion as one of the famed Chiefs of the Mearas due to the unusual color of his hide and imagined he'd be more used to either Westron or Rohirric, of the latter she had no command to keep a conversation in. "May I be of assistance?" The offer was followed by an approach of the duo in a very slow walk. "This is Yurrë" Annúngilel introduced her mare to both of them as she had been her companion for quite some time now and they were good friends.

((OOC: Sorry! This post is kinda smallish, but I've lost the one I was working on yesterday and didn't want to leave you waiting even more. Ann is just getting acquainted with the odd duo anyway. Yurrë is a Quenya name that means Woman who runs.))
« Last Edit: June 27, 2020, 12:08:49 AM by Annúngilel »

Thanks to Alagon for another great graphics set!!!!!


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Re: On the Edge of Trouble
« Reply #8 on: July 12, 2020, 07:53:13 AM »
Shadowfax raised his head on alert, having smelled and heard the other horse approaching before he saw and caught wind of the Elf, as the two strangers emerged from the trees. He pinned back his ears slightly, moreso at the Elf than the mare, unsettled by this new company. Shadowfax had not had enough contact with Elves to be thoroughly comfortable with their presence, but little did their race matter to him, being different from Men. At this point, he was much more wary in allowing himself to get close to any humanoid, compared to other creatures like the Eagle.

Of all the languages of Speech he had heard and picked up on, Rohirric was the native tongue that Shadowfax understood most fluently, though it did not help him to practice and polish the skill, when he had spent most of his life avoiding Men, isolating himself in the far corners of Edoras' pasture. He did not have a solid enough grasp on Westron to comprehend each word that the Elf spoke, but Speech mattered little to Shadowfax as well. Words were empty ramblings. One could lie through Speech, as Men often did to conceal their stupidity and true intent, but actions and emotion and body language could not cover up what lied within the heart. Shadowfax could read these minute expressions below the surface, and it was all he needed to cast judgement on the Elf and her companion.

Not a threat.

If Nauroval had no qualm with the Elf's presence, Shadowfax would relax again in allowing the Elf to come close, though he certainly felt a little more tense, now that there were two sources of pressure on him. Perhaps he might have run off, if not for the beautiful mare that was with the Elf, luring him to stay. While Annúngilel and Nauroval would no doubt strike better conversation with each other, Shadowfax would sidle over to sniff Yurrë in curiosity and exchange friendly greetings. From what he could gather at first impression, if the mare was comfortable with her Elf rider, then there ought to be nothing for him to fear from Annúngilel.  Being with another horse helped put those uncertainties to rest and made him feel at ease with the Elf and Eagle around. He would stand back and watch the two with interest, keeping Yurrë company and otherwise staying silent, unless the conversation concerned him.


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Re: On the Edge of Trouble
« Reply #9 on: July 17, 2020, 07:35:23 PM »
As any Great Eagle worth anything (and especially one who was now in Gwaihir's service and estimation) would, Nauroval heard the approach of the Elf before she spoke, even if both came almost back to back. In truth she was probably one of the few who could detect such, though other Creatures of Middle Earth, Shadowfax included, might also be predisposed to catch the tread.

Their light-footed reputation was well earned, though.

Her head tilted slightly at the fortuitous words, coming just when she seemed at the hardest point in the decision making process; when she and Shadwofax had decided to seek help and were trying to decide how exactly.

So maybe the words weren't so fortuitous, as her appearance. She had no doubt caught their conversation.

Nauroval wasn't one to bend to the first available opportunity, unless it was necessary, and usually weighed situations, but...this seemed in the category of Necessary and Forced, if slightly. She would also be a fool to let this opportunity pass by without very good reason. Such as detecting ill from the Elf. Unlikely. Elves were a revered race of their own for a reason, and Great Eagles used their Sindarin as a sign of respect for their two-leggers.

Her past was not something Nauroval was likely to be able to detect off instinct; only the feel she gave off now, and that was seemingly on the up and up. Or enough so.

Still cautious of spooking the mare, Nauroval inclined her head. "Nauroval, Ambassador of Gwaihir". Let her know that she was part of a Convocation, and there would be those that would check up on her if trouble came.

Though obviously not in too convenient a time-frame...hence her predicament.

Nauroval doubted the mare would understand her as fully as Shadowfax had, and either-way, she was not of any use, no insult to her, though her presence seemed to help Shadowfax. Nauroval was grateful for that, for while she could explain the situation herself, she would be sorry if Shadowfax felt the need to bolt due to the two-legger's presence. He had offered his help, and there was a small understanding between them at least.

"This is Shadowfax", she went on to introduce, for his benefit, and since the mare had someone to introduce her, but he did not. Not in a way anyone but the other mare could detect.

"While, per my position, I'm not one to ask for help so happens your arrival is most fortunate. I'm...afraid an arrow has struck and caused me...some discomfort, as well as inconvenience". Nauroval lifted her wing just enough to show, yet then put it down again, despite the fact that she would have to lift it again to let the Elf at it.

The whole situation was just embarrassing; hence why she couldn't even go into detail and explain that it actually hindered flight. Her Eagle's pride wouldn't allow her, true as the words were.

Thankies to Alagon for the set


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