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Author Topic: High Ground  (Read 321 times)

Alvelin

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High Ground
« on: April 29, 2020, 09:06:35 AM »
Alvelin pricked her ears - hidden behind loose strands of her chestnut brown braid - and stepped lightly through the grove, weaving her way through the poles of clustered trees, listening to the warbles, chirps, and hums of wildlife around her.  Alone in the woods, the birds and insects became her eyes and ears.  Any disturbance, and their degree of silence would indicate anything from a passing attraction to a more lurking threat.  A valuable alert system in sensing potential prey or predators around, though it did not guarantee a net of safety for Alvelin to let her guard down.

Camouflaged in hunters' attire, she had set out into the woods for that specific purpose, bow in hand, quiver full, and a spare dagger and utility knife at her side.  She had found lodging with a group of traveling Northmen along the river Anduin, whose camp was about three miles from where she estimated herself to be, though with her Elven stamina, it hardly felt like such a distance, not putting a dent in her fatigue.  Those acquainted with the area had pointed her in the general direction of favorable quarry locations, though Alvelin's intuition on a whim was bound to lead her elsewhere, drawing her towards the streams and pools that bled from the marshes of the Gladden Fields, where faint glints of fish skirted beneath the murky waters.
« Last Edit: May 08, 2020, 12:42:07 AM by Alvelin »

Dialogue: Mannish | Sindarin | Quenya

Nyx

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Re: The Enemy of My Enemy
« Reply #1 on: May 01, 2020, 01:47:36 AM »
Nyx was sticking to the woods about Gladden Fields as well, avoiding the more marshy areas unless there was cause to enter them, like fishing if her hunting proved poor. The Warg was also in a sour mood, though many she'd run across before would say that was perhaps not surprising. Well the ones still able to say such would. Her attempt at snagging one of the fine horses of Rohan had been foiled. It had been one of the captive beasts, with a rider to guard it instead of a proper herd, and yet, for one horse she soon had to contend with a whole army as more riders came to aid their companion.

She'd escaped uninjured physically, but her pride was very much injured! And she was now doubly hungry, and determined that squirrels just weren't going to cut it! Practical, somewhat, in that she needed big game still, but also Nyx was hitting back at the world. If she couldn't have the horse she'd sought, she would take down something else, just to say she had!

While she killed for a purpose, and was unaligned with Orcs, the Warg was still a prideful creature of Morgoth and not above toying with potential victims whether she later killed them or not. Nor was her purpose in killing always sustenance. Sometimes Pride was the entirety of the End, but it was still an End.

She was doing what, to her knowledge, no other Warg had done, and living rogue, solo and without a Master. She was worthy the fear tinged respect of most every other creature of Middle Earth. Great Eagles were complicated on that list, she recognized, but still wouldn't say she was afraid of them...

Not wanting to bother with them or with having to avoid them...was not fear...

Of course, there was a reason Warg packs, and with Orcs attached, were some of the most feared threats of the world, where as she had just had to give up one horse because of numbers outweighing her side. Still, Nyx refused to see it as a blotch on her plan and rogue lifestyle.

As she walked along, she caught a scent on the breeze. Up ahead, and which a shift in the wind brought to her. Elf!

Not as hated a creature as Orcs or Dwarves, those ranked top on Nyx's list, and she would never let one of them leave from meeting with her alive, since both had played an equal part in her mother's death; the Orcs for leading her into a battle and the Dwarves actual killing of her.

Elves were more like many of the other Free Races of Middle Earth, just annoying for being on that path of light and good and favor from the Valor and all. A bit more annoying for their longevity, and connection to the Valor, than Men or the other shorter lived races.

At any rate, worth her time to stalk. Nyx slowed and crouched in her walk, just being mindful of her steps and not giving herself away. Of course the surrounding wildlife slowly made off from her presence, as they always did, and even if they were dumb creatures it was flattering in its own way.


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Alvelin

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Re: High Ground
« Reply #2 on: May 07, 2020, 10:01:51 AM »
It was while she was kneeling down, observing imprints in the soggy earth left behind by promising quarry, that Alvelin's senses tingled with a chill of impending danger, something approaching from behind, that made her sit upright with alarm, paying first heed to the wildlife sounds around her.  Nothing but deathly silence.  All the more amplifying the direction where [Nyx] was stalking her from. 

Hand gripping her bow, Alvelin rose slowly… Without turning.  She did not need eyes to see where the creature was lurking.

Under pressure came the split-second decision. Fight or flight? Honestly, she'd rather not waste her hand-crafted arrows on a kill that couldn't be eaten, if she could help it... Decision time over.

Alvelin tensed, collecting her breath.  And bolted.  Nimbly, she darted through the woods and tangles of brush and undergrowth, away from the direction of the Northmen's camp (Was that a wise idea? Yes - only if she didn't want to risk the Northmen's lives in helping her fend off the attacker).  If the creature were dissuaded or tired out from giving chase after her, then good.  If it were lured out and caught up to her, Alvelin would scale up the trunk of a tree at the last second, away from [Nyx's] grasp.  Here, the trees in this sun-dappled grove were tall, thin and straight, and the twig-like branches would easily break under the warg's weight if it tried to climb up after her, though Alvelin had no trouble balancing on the high-wire limbs and leaping from trunk to trunk to evade being eaten as she peered down at the wolf-like beast below, recognizing its breed instantly.

She could have delivered the fatal shot.  With her aim, Alvelin guaranteed she wouldn't have missed.  Any normal Elf with an inborn hatred and repulsion for all things dark and corrupted wouldn't have hesitated to fire arrows at the warg on the spot.  And yet, there was something odd about the situation that stayed Alvelin's hand from reaching into her quiver, instead turning her gaze to scan the area, expecting more of the same creature to emerge but saw none.  This warg was, strangely, alone.
« Last Edit: May 08, 2020, 12:42:40 AM by Alvelin »

Dialogue: Mannish | Sindarin | Quenya

Nyx

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Re: High Ground
« Reply #3 on: May 19, 2020, 02:53:12 PM »
Nyx was still too far back to be able to see the Elf, but could tell off scent as she got closer, and which direction was the right one in which to head. She listened also for any quick darts and movement, which would tell her that her quarry was, perhaps, aware of her own presence and attempting an escape.

In the predictable manner of these things, it came. Nyx heard the tell-tale signs a split second before she saw more the impression of motion than the Elf actually taking off. With a small smirk to herself, she merely continued along at her same pace, only increasing a bit, and so as to not lose sight completely, but not worried about losing her quarry.

She only vaguely knew about the camp of others just three miles distant, and with the right wind direction, could tell where they had been; yet either-way they were not her focus (and on some level she recolonized that she was outnumbered, perhaps, with a whole camp, though she would still take a good many of them no problem). At any rate she could tell the elf was heading away from them.

Curious, but not an unheard of type of chivalry.

Nyx simply shook her head as the Elf scampered her way up a tree. Not that she blamed the poor thing, there were so few options for escaping one such as herself. Yet, now she was just trapped, and Nyx had all the time in the world!

The Warg stopped below the tree, still looking out for arrows and, as none came, continued to just regard the Elf. She gave thought to if she would speak or not, circling the tree even as she did so, but not anticipating it being all that important a decision. No doubt a volley of arrows would come at any moment. Well ok, one at a time from a lone victim perhaps, but who ever knew about these Elves? They sometimes seemed to have arrows to spare!

Nyx remained on alert, yet as more and more moments spanned without a single shot being fired, her curiosity was peaked, plus she sometimes enjoyed letting others in on the fact that she could speak. It could be used to great intimidation effect. She stopped below the tree, facing the Elf, and even sat, yet still didn't let her guard down. "Well now", she spoke, in Westron even, though she knew Black Speech also of course. Few others besides Orcs and the like did, plus it was a further show of skill that she could speak Westron, having stalked enough to pick it up fairly early on from her escape in pup-hood. "I didn't anticipate you turning this into Cat and Mouse so soon", Nyx smirked amused.


(#4B0082)

Alvelin

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Re: High Ground
« Reply #4 on: May 24, 2020, 09:48:24 AM »
Elf, it was obvious. Even with ears covered, her scent gave her up. As well as the acrobatic feat no common Man could achieve.  Fear, while it might have accelerated her heart for a little while, running from a creature she knew not what its intent was in catching up to her, was mostly nervous anxiety as she expected further danger to appear.  One lone warg usually signaled a pack of them not too far behind, which would have been more concerning if this particular warg had a rider, or even a saddle, but since it bore neither to indicate it was on a scout's mission or simply a loose mount, Alvelin's unease soon dipped into curiosity.  Only because she could afford to relax her guard, sensing no further threat except the one lingering by the base of the tree that couldn't reach her, confident that the warg wouldn't be able to snag her from such a height. And even if the warg did get too close for comfort, her bow and knives would just as quickly take care of the situation.

So why the hesitation?  Sure, she had bellies to fill and needed to get on with her hunt. Any other warg would have been a hindrance to her task that she would have dispatched of sooner than later, to get on with her day (and cleanse the land of one less spot of evil).  What made this one different?  She had encountered a great many odd and weird things during her travels, brushing up with enough wargs to hear them utter the Black Speech on occasion.  The fact that this warg could speak was no surprise. But to hear it speak Westron, that was peculiar. More startling to her in wonder than alarm, really.  It was her sense of wonder that was keeping the warg alive now, for the time being.

"I was hoping to avoid you," she said honestly, as flattering or teasing as it may sound. "Give you some space. If you were interested in hunting those wild pigs over there." She gestured in the direction where she had last been tracking her quarry. The hogs, a few hundred paces away, would have made an easier meal. Why would the warg chase after her, a hunter who was far speedier and well-armed? "But clearly, you're more interested in me instead. You prefer the taste of Elf?" She asked innocently. A bit of a morbid thought. Did Elf flesh have a different taste than that of Man, Hobbit, or Dwarf? Subtle flavors only animal tongues could distinguish? Now she could get the answer straight from the talking carnivore herself.

Alvelin found her own amusement, watching and listening to the warg from the safety of her perch as she crouched down, riveted with fascination.  Perhaps even a little too cocky, tempting Fate by descending the stairwell of branches as she circled around the tree, like the warg who seemed to be so keenly fixated on waiting her out. How taunting it must be for the Elf to be dangling herself just a meter or two from the warg's grasp. Not that it was her intention to tease the warg's appetite (or was it?), but up high in her lofty tree-tower, she could act bold. Still, she was cautious to mind her distance from the animal. As well as her tone.

"If I may ask," Alvelin proceeded curiously, "How you came to be on your lonesome?... How you learned to speak Westron?... Where you're from?..."

She could tell this warg was intelligent. At least more free-thinking than other wargs she had come across, who were all one-track minds, bent on fulfilling anything their orc riders set them upon. This one had the self-control and reasoning to not futilely scrabble its way up in a blind frenzy to reach her, like the average warg under service of the orcs would.

Dare she say it, this warg behaved almost tame in comparison.
« Last Edit: May 25, 2020, 03:13:27 PM by Alvelin »

Dialogue: Mannish | Sindarin | Quenya

Nyx

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Re: High Ground
« Reply #5 on: June 05, 2020, 10:59:27 PM »
Nyx wasn't sure if she had really expected an answer. Most times her prey didn't bother answering back, and just leveled a barrage of arrows. Not so here. "I was hoping to avoid you, Give you some space. If you were interested in hunting those wild pigs over there." Nyx wasn't so gullible as to turn and look, even if scent also told her it wasn't a trick, and there were wild pigs to be had in the glade she mentioned.

"But clearly, you're more interested in me instead. You prefer the taste of Elf?". Nyx smirked. Well, if the Elf was trying to amuse her way into living, it was working. Few of her quarry would actually ask that, or it would have carried more of a verbal bite than the almost honest asking. She circled the tree again, lazily, if just to not remain a still too stationary target for any shots this one might be planning while she was distracted, but waited until she was all but in front again to answer, and her words carry the best.

"Well, you certainly did the first, not even taking up the ground anymore", Nyx bantered back. Verbally playing with injured prey, though the Elf wasn't injured just yet. "I'll get to the pigs, don't you worry, but you're a bit more of a challenge", about as complimentary as she was going to get towards an Elf...

Her quarry moved a branch or two closer, in her own cocky display perhaps. Nyx just observed. For the moment, before she continued answering. "As to your question...", she smirked, "Figures you'd think you tasted better than other races. Oh you're above Men to be sure...".

Nyx had no problem with this morbid line of teasing. A bit more serious a narrowing of the eyes came as the mockery fell from her tone a bit in seriousness as she went on, "That and you're just so annoying, thinking yourselves blessed by the higher powers, I don't mind ridding the world of a few of you when I get the chance. You're semi-lucky I hate Orcs and Dwarves more for personal reasons...".

The Elf's other question came before she could extend her tangent and mention the Rohirrim Horse that had escaped her, though it threatened to lead to another tangent, perhaps. Those who asked were lucky Nyx was proud of her skills and how she had distinguished herself from the other slaves of her kind.

She didn't owe this one any answers, but...

"I don't think there's any harm in telling you that before you die", the Warg went on, after a moment's thought, and casually as to the last. "I was always going to break out, seeing from the earliest stages of training how stupid it was to put our paws and teeth in Orc service, but after such service got my mother killed by a stinking Dwarf's axe...I wasn't going to just suffer the same! So I broke free. Maimed some and even took down one of the guards who tried to stop me as I made my escape, still all but a pup".

Nyx was convinced she would have killed more, but her age, and what teeth and claws her size could do, had spared them.

"I all but reared myself from then on", she bragged, "The others just don't care to learn Westron, I'm sure, but I paid attention to those of the 'free-people' I attacked and picked it up". Nyx threw another tone of mocking on the term Free.

"It's quite handy! Black Speech may taunt just fine, but Westron can be useful too, and for people to know what you say", Nyx smirked again, aware she had examples in some of what she'd said prior even, "And it's about the only useful way to lure...".

Stopping, Nyx regarded the Elf again, as well as remained wary of any attacks, "Why are you so interested? Mere stalling?", she asked.


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Alvelin

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Re: High Ground
« Reply #6 on: June 23, 2020, 10:34:04 AM »
The warg's taunting remarks didn't elicit any comebacks from the Elf, who leaned against the tree trunk, taking it all in with contemplative amusement on her face. Alvelin would not waste her time and breath on stirring frivolous arguments. Rather, her attention was enrapt on the warg's story, unfazed by the chilling details, immersing herself into the eyes of the 'enemy'.  A part of her tingled with excitement in absorbing this new experience, wondering if her parents had ever encountered a talking warg before. She couldn't wait to tell them about this!

Alvelin stifled a chuckle. "You would need it," she scoffed lightly at the warg's attempts to belittle her.  It was Nyx who ought to worry about stalling Alvelin, not the other way around!  If the warg valued her life, she would take care not to lose or depreciate the Elf's interest in her any sooner, less a single arrow bring a quick end to their little chat. 

"Though I can't say I disagree with you about Elves," Alvelin pointed out, small chuckles escaping as she reflected on the warg's viewpoints. "They're…pretty insufferable at times. All the more if you've lived with them. For eternity -ugh-" She shivered in dread at the overwhelming thought - never imagining she'd be venting out her complaints to a warg of all beings - not that she was seriously unhappy or frustrated about her race, but she had to admit, it wasn't all sunshine and rainbows living with a bunch of immortals who, on the downside, remembered everything, and had all the time in the world to talk about it.  "Partly the reason I'm out here, myself," she explained, half-muttering to herself. "'Come to get away from hypercritical, judgmental Elves."

Not nearly as lengthy or dramatic as the warg's saga. Alvelin doubted her sympathies or applause would be of much effect to soothe or win over the warg's favor.  Nevertheless, her acknowledgement was a nod to the both of them.  "Anyway. We learn more on our own. No one to hold us back.

Why was she out here again? Oh yeah. Food.

"So… Fish or pig?"  The offer extended towards the warg.
« Last Edit: June 23, 2020, 10:34:15 AM by Alvelin »

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Re: High Ground
« Reply #7 on: July 26, 2020, 10:04:57 PM »
The Elf answered back to Nyx, giving back as well as she got in terms of slights, and insinuations about stalling. Surprising, though Nyx wouldn't go so far as to say she was impressed perhaps...

"Though I can't say I disagree with you about Elves, They're…pretty insufferable at times. All the more if you've lived with them. For eternity -ugh-". As she listened, Nyx narrowed her eyes slightly, both curiously and suspicious. Well, she wouldn't have expected the Elf to agree with her, then again...she of all people knew that species loyalty was something the other members of your species had to earn.

She was pretty disparaging towards other Wargs, after all, for still being slaves.

"Partly the reason I'm out here, myself, Come to get away from hypercritical, judgmental Elves.". "Makes sense...", Nyx answered cautiously, not confirming whether she bought the Elves tale or not. She was a bit loath to admit to any common ground with an Elf, so also let the comment about making it on their own pass by without being commented upon, but for a slight nod of at least acknowledging the words, if not admitting to all out to agreeing with them, or giving her thought one way or another.

She was aware of how the situation sat. There was no way Nyx could get herself up into the tree after the Elf, and while her adversary was perched there, with arrows to spare, she had a bit of an advantage, so keeping her talking and interested was the Warg's best bet of the moment. To avoid unpleasantness at least. She still wouldn't say the Elf was assured to win such an encounter, and all Nyx would have to do was move back out of range and the fight (if any) would be upon the ground and level playing field once more.

"So… Fish or pig?"

"Pig's of course better where I can get it, and prefered", Nyx answered lightly, with an almost shrug of her powerful front half, before tilting her head curioiusly again, "Why are you offering?". It was half a jesting taunt and...half an honest inquiry. Though she didn't say yet if she would take such an offer.


(#4B0082)

Alvelin

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Re: High Ground
« Reply #8 on: August 10, 2020, 11:37:32 AM »
Trying to pacify a warg was like inching her way across a lake of fine ice. (Heh, but Elves can walk on snow effortlessly, right?). One wrong word or move could drown all hope of Alvelin running walking away from this situation unscathed. Truthfully, she had no interest in killing anything that had a mind of its own - free from the hive mind, at least.  So long as she kept the warg’s attention off herself and that of her race, she might subdue her aggressor into tolerating the Elf’s presence for a while longer.

Clearly, there were boundaries. A creature of Darkness, innately repulsive to Alvelin’s senses, she could never side with or even hope to befriend, though she aimed to give benefit of the doubt.  Approaching the matter delicately, in diffusing the warg’s temper, would have to employ the Elvish tactic of “neither yes or no”, so it seemed.

You are a traveler passing through, yes?  Normally, one would offer a meal to a traveler in exchange for stories. Like yours.  Unfortunately I cannot offer myself, unless you would...” She ran her hand briefly along the smooth wood of the bow, in reminder. “Rather take your chances.” A passive remark, not posing to act on that threat anytime soon. “If only I wasn’t so reasonable and intelligent to negotiate priorities,” she half-commented to herself. “Ah, but here you are.” She glanced down at Nyx, letting a flash of camaraderie show. “We are both independents. Free from the pack, not to let our mind-washed hatred for the other blind us to possibilities.“ Rarely did she resort to using that silky voice of persuasion, as innocently as she tried to hide her motive. Yet there was firm belief to her tone. “I do not believe you seek quarrel with me, but with Orc. Those who enslaved you and wrought your mother’s death. Those who control your kin.” Appealing to the whole ‘enemy of my enemy is my friend’ scheme, if the warg bought it. “It appears we have a common enemy. So, why scuffle with each other, when we might live to compare strengths another day, once the bigger foe is vanquished?”

“Vanquished”? Since when did you become a poet?

Clearly, this is only a waste of time,” Alvelin leaned her shoulder against the tree trunk, hand on her hip in a posture of boredom, glitter of amusement in her eyes unceasing, “When we could have caught our fill by now and been on our merry way.  I know, the fault is mine.” She shot a guilty look behind a smirk of jest in pretending to flatter herself (and indirectly insult the warg). “If only I wasn’t so distracting.  So, if you would allow me to make it up to you, and hunt for you before we part ways... I am dying to hear more, of how you’ve been besting life in the wild.” Pun intended.  It would be offensive to suggest that she was offering to help the warg hunt, but to alter the perspective and cast blame on herself, claiming that she owed the warg a bite to eat, might just help ease the blow and keep the warg’s pride intact.

Besides, if you kill me... who else will know of the Free Warg I met?  I venture far and wide, you know.  Imagine your story spread throughout all Rhovanion and beyond. Even across the seas from Middle-earth.  Though it will not be my problem if others come looking for you, to see if such tales are true.

Alvelin’s hope hung by a thread, uncertain which way the warg would interpret her last bargaining chip.  Yet none of her words were false.  If she survived this encounter, Alvelin wouldn’t hesitate to spill about her meeting with a talking warg, and yet what others decided to do with her stories was beyond her control... If the warg viewed the promise of exposure as a free meal ticket (in luring those keen on searching for the warg) or as a threat to her freedom, increasing her chances of capture.
« Last Edit: August 10, 2020, 11:56:36 AM by Alvelin »

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  • Gard: Tag for Arahin [link]
    June 25, 2020, 01:41:34 PM
  • Ari: Tag for Gandalf [link]
    June 16, 2020, 07:01:59 AM
  • Dory: Plotter tag for Aragorn/Estel
    June 16, 2020, 05:06:42 AM
  • Dory: Plotter tag for Pip
    June 16, 2020, 03:48:54 AM
  • Dory: Plotter tag for Shadowfax
    June 16, 2020, 03:27:53 AM
  • Dory: Plotter reply from Morwen to Theoden. <3
    June 16, 2020, 03:13:39 AM
  • Arahin: Reply for Nauroval [link]
    June 14, 2020, 05:12:45 AM
  • Ari: Tag for Gandalf  [link]
    June 13, 2020, 08:01:39 AM