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#12784607 Oct 15, 2016 at 10:26 PM · Edited 1 year ago
High Nine of...
53 Posts
Ramield stepped to the other side of the cave mouth as the goblin put his bag to the fire. Surely, this was what had thrown her earlier during her second encounter with Ulf-Mutter. Her suspicions were confirmed by a loud boom and a blast of hot air from the entrance, accompanied by a flying, flaming goblin. It came at her ferociously, arms swinging wildly. Ramield drew one of her knives, darting and weaving to avoid the flaming limbs while slicing and cutting with her knife. It was a single goblin, no match for an elf, but it was also unpredictable, not trying to avoid her blade. It was all in a frenzy, screaming painfully and euphorically as its flesh burned and melted away. She severed its right arm, but that did not stop it. With a hiss, feathers sprouted from its back, yet it continued. Tongues of fire licked at Ramield’s arms as she fought with her knives, her bow discarded.
By the time Ramield cleaved its head from its shoulders, there was hardly anything left to fight. The slight, smoldering figure collapsed to the ground, its head rolling away. The elf immediately began kicking dirt over the corpse to douse the flames. She waved Gaellant over to take over and rushed into the cave, stamping out small fires as she made her way towards her target. She swiftly swatted away one of the burning twigs that had landed on her opponent and friend. The unconscious figure before her looked like naught but a skeleton with a thin layer of pale skin wrapped around it to contain it all. Her eyes, above all, looked pained even when closed.

Ramield knelt by her and whistled toward the cave mouth. She combed her fingers through the girl’s tangled hair, restoring some semblance of order and bringing a softness to Ulfban’s face that had been hiding. Gaellant approached, eyeing Ulfban with ambivalence. Ramield held out her hand. “May I have your cloak?” The huntress hesitated but wordlessly removed her cloak and handed it to Ramield who wrapped it around the emaciated girl. She lifted her and gently placed her down in doing so, carefully as if any spill might shatter the frail form. She lifted Ulfban’s head. “Taurgwathel, poldh lastanin? Dadwen amen, aldorath neguruthos.”
When there was no response, Ramield sighed, rolling up the hood of the cloak and resting Ulfban’s head on it. She tossed and made some small noises, but would not waken. Taking a cord of thin elven rope from a pouch on her belt, she put Ulfban's wrists together and wrapped it around them, firmly securing it. She looked to Gaellant and nodded to the entrance. “Go retrieve the others. Station them at either side of the cave mouth.” The other huntress turned to go but paused, turning back to Ramield who was nudging burning sticks back into a pile where the fire was. “When we saw her pass us, on the western edge of the wastes, I wondered why you hadn’t just sent an arrow through her. I’m sure you had chances. But now that I see her…she’s so weak right now, and pained. She’s tossing and turning as if she were in a fever. But I’ve seen faces like that, I’ve known them. Between that snarling and growling, there may be something.”
“If it came to the direst hour, could you kill her?”
Gaellant sighed. “I’ll go get Arohir and Landion.”

Ramield sat softly by the small reassembled fire, the sound of footfalls fading to be replaced by its crackling. “Ulf Mutter, I know not if it is you who listen through her ears, but if you can, hear me: I will not allow this. You will not ravage the lands of men for your personal pleasure. If I must, I will drag that form before the feet of Elrond so you may be banished to the void that awaits you eventually. You and your children are not the only hunters who will pursue their quarry relentlessly.”
“But if it is Ulfban who yet hears me, harken to my words. Grieve. Grieve your loss and find solidarity in others. This spirit within you will stoke and feed off your rage until that is all there is left of you. Only if you can move on from it will you find any peace.”
The elf turned to the west, toward where the boats that waited to receive Hethan had once moored, and where a pile of stones was assembled over her grave. She began to sing the song she had sung over the spot after Ulfban had stormed off.

“From the sighing grass of the rolling plains
To the weeping boughs of the willow tree,
The wholeness of nature laments your departing
To the West away from me.

In my loneliness shall I walk the woods
Where we once would sing and would laugh carefree;
However the home where my heart would find rest lies
In the West, away from me.

On the wind a sound to my heart brings hope,
Tis your song come flying from o’er the sea
Containing within it your tight warming embrace
From the West, back home to me.”

The tone was melancholy, though the third verse differed, its tune containing the same longing the first two had, but with a grain of peace about it. She did not sing the final verse, and as her voice faded, the other three neared the cave.
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#12785167 Oct 16, 2016 at 04:03 AM · Edited 1 year ago
Knight
49 Posts
Ulf Mutter hovered over her near lifeless form. She watched helplessly as the Golug bound her wrists and sent the Tark woman for reinforcements. It had been a mistake to lose her full wrath on the Orc camp. Her mortal frame was exhausted beyond the point of reanimation. While this meant that the change was almost complete, it also meant that there was nothing she could do to save her either. She had to give up the thread of life on her own; it could not be cut for her. It was enraging how she still clung tenaciously to life. Even after her communion with the Lithul of Frith-Vaile, the woman’s rebellious spirit had been quieted but not conquered. There was something hard as steel in her and, small though it may be; it adamantly refused to give up on life.

She watched as the Golug spoke to her. It threatened and challenged her. She knew the name of Elrond, the herald of Gil-galad. Though she had been out of the world for an age she knew that the threat was real. He could banish her beyond the door of night. This could not be allowed. Ulf Mutter howled and raged in the shadow where she could not protect her mortal form. Her anger caused it to toss and growl, but nothing more. She had no more influence over it than that.

Ulfban could hear, as though it were the faintest whisper, a voice. “Come back to us,” it said “Do not dwell in the darkness.” But she was tired, so tired. She barely had the strength to be aware of the voice; it came to her as though on the wind. A whisper, the faintest kiss of kindness, then all went dark and the voice was gone.

Ulf Mutter hatched a desperate plan. To leave the woman, to separate her spirit and it’s own would cause her to have to begin the process all over again, the melding of spirits that would subsume the woman into the shadow, the creation of Ulf Mutter. But if it left it could call the pack, and the pack could rescue the woman, keep her safe while it began the process anew. She was desperately close to death, Ulf Mutter would have to return before she died, and the woman could not be killed, or die, while she was gone. But here she could do nothing and she was certain they would kill her. Rising up she could see the Tark woman returning with two men, a Tark and a Golug. At first her wrath began to swell, but then she saw it was not the Golug that had killed the woman’s love.

It was fascinating, how the two spirits could make something completely new. The spirit itself had no care for the Golug, only for the wolves. The Woman was wrathful and hated the Golug man. When the two combined, when she allowed the spirit into herself by denying the truth she knew, opening a seemingly bottomless pit of despair, they became Ulf Mutter, lover of Wolves, hater of Gulog.

It had already left her twice; she had ejected it once, while talking with the Golug woman, and it had left her in a rage after the fight with the Krahjarn. Each time it had been forced to begin the process anew. But each time she was weaker and the melding process was easier, faster. If it could return to her before she was killed the process would be almost instantaneous. She had no strength left to fight, she only had to die. It was decided then; the spirit would leave, splitting Ulf Mutter asunder one last time.

As the Tarks approached the little cave Ulf Mutter billowed up once again, she could not manifest but her shadow could be seen. Like a great wolf-woman; tall as a Troll, hands and feet clawed, mouth full of sharp fangs, hair corded and wild, her shadow reared up and howled long and loud. It was a ferocious keening scream, terrible and cruel, all fury and sorrow. In its wake a cold wind sprang up, gentle at first, it slowly gathered power until it was a raging fury, a towering black cloud of anguish and anger howling away to the south. The shadow faded as it split from the woman. Riding on the storm it fled south to Maethad and the safety of the pack…

Again she heard the voice, singing softly of love, of loss, of pain, but there was also hope unspoken, unsung. As the song ended a terrible cry screamed in her head and she felt as though her skull must split asunder. Then there was peace, and with the very last of her strength Ulfban allowed a single tear to roll down her cheek.

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#12797213 Oct 20, 2016 at 10:50 PM · Edited 1 year ago
Knight
49 Posts
The spirit raged as it rode the storm south. It called to its children as it flew high above them on wings of fury. The Scara heard its call and turned their noses towards the great arena of Maethad. Howling as they went, the message began to spread through the wastes of eastern Angmar like wildfire. Soon every pack was charging headlong into the forests of the Gorothlad.

Looking down from its flight the spirit saw something that made it even more furious, here and there about the landscape were circles of stakes, wolf and warg heads set upon cruel spikes, guarding their butchered corpses lying in heaps in the center. Screaming its frustration in loud, pealing, rolls of thunder, unaccompanied by lightening strikes, it charged up its children until it descended into a storm of fur and fang, the great arena of Maethad was ready to explode...

The troll and orc warriors that had been patrolling the lip of the great bowl cowered in fear as they felt the very air grow heavy with a fury that was thousands of years old. The defilers, however, were awed and hushed in reverence of an ancient power, one many of them had felt before but never come face to face with.

The great spirit billowed and smoked in the storm, forcing the very elements to give it shape. An enormous wolf-woman stood in the air above the Maethad and spoke with the growling tongue of wargs, a language it had invented an age ago so that its greatest children could communicate with the masters slaves.

"The Golug bitch has taken my body and she will kill it. I can not come to you, my children, if she does. Go now! Go and free my clay. Kill the Golug! Kill the Tarks!"
And in a final high pitched scream, "KILL THEM ALL!"
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Finally the storm broke. Raugzok and Grish led the charge, slavering and snarling as they went. The storm of fur and fang exploded out of Maethad like a tidal wave of death. They were in a frenzied rage and nothing was safe, even the fire worms of The Malenhad were fair game. Goblins, Orcs, Trolls, everything fled before the flood of rage and death.

Yammering and howling the great pack spread like an evil tide across Eastern Angmar. It rent at flesh, only to leave the dead and dying to rot. It watered the parched ground with rotten blood and smoking poison. It scorched the already barren land with the very heat and pressure of its rage. Driven on by the terrible fury of its master the pack swarmed closer by the hour to the gentle shores of Lake Duvuinen and the small group of women and men camped there...
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#12801884 Oct 23, 2016 at 07:50 AM
25 Posts
Allabeth feels the spirit as it arrives at Maethad. Ancient. Cold. Evil. It’s howls of rage pierce the world, a crack between the world of living and the world of spirits. She pulls back into the cave she was using as a hide out. Listening to the yammering of wolves and wargs in Maethad.

It’s not long before the beasts begin to rage, rampaging towards Lake Duvuinen. The pack spread out in all directions, killing all living creatures in they could find. They savaged the land, passing her cave. A splinter pack push into it upon catching her scent, but to their dismay she was gone. They could also smell a horse of mighty stature, one of the intelligent elven kind it would seem. The elf and steed had ridden hard and fast away from the cave, making their way west towards safer parts of Angmar.

Allabeth could fight a pack of wolves by herself, but there was no way she could take on the entire horde that was in the area at one time. She had packed up her camp of meagre supplies and begun the hard ride west, speeding over the barren wastelands of Angmar. The wind raged about her, ever carrying the howls and cries of warg and orc from behind her. At times, it felt as if she were surrounded by the pack, wolves biting at her legs. There were times when her elven eyes could see them, far behind her in the distance. They were too far off to be able to see her, but her scent was fresh and that was all they needed to follow her. Worst of all were the unearthly screams that occasionally pierced her ears. The came from high in the sky above the main body of the pack, rendering the barrier between worlds asunder as it came. Such a cry would fill a mortal with such dread they would not be able to move. Yet Allabeth was not afraid, she had faced worse in her many millennia in Middle Earth, from the Wars of Beleriand through to the War of the Ring.

Allaebeth spurs on Limlhinn, urging on the white steed to outpace the warg pack, her spear in hand and ever at the ready should she encounter any foes on the ride.
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#12828922 Nov 04, 2016 at 04:53 AM · Edited 1 year ago
High Nine Ad...
76 Posts
The sun disappeared, far beyond the mountains and at last plunged the world into darkness. As night descended, the moon rose towards the heavens, casting a soft blue light across her cairn. Her fëa stood there, bare feet in the grass and cloaked in white and silver, head bowed beside the Elf Ramield as she sung. She could not help but smile, though at her a worry gnawed away.

She had seen it, following Ulfban. It hounded her - some dark spirit from the darkest places on the earth - as she fled the havens. She felt it, chilling her to the bone before she died, and saw it, dark and sighing like cold draughts through caves when she rose by her own grave. Before the sun rose again she was gone, as on the wind she hastened eastwards, back over the Ered Luin, through the Shire over Wellbridge (how she remembered!) and through the trees of Bree-Land. And when she came to that village again to see, and only to see, she saw his house. Window smashed, door hanging off its hinges and papers strewn across the floor. But nothing moved. Where was he? Ah… to Angmar, yes. Low talking came from the outside.
“Are you sure? It was really her?”
“Quite sure, sir.”
“Well now… you really think she could have done this?” A guard gestured to Zargodon’s house.
“It don’t seem right, but-!”
“Not the huntress. I don’t believe it.”
“I’m tellin’ you, she were right there! You couldn’t miss her, all screamin’ and a-hollerin’.”
“Bah, well ain’t much we can do now. Get some rest, boy.”
“...Yessir.”
The table was turned right over and on the ground a map, marking the region of Angmar. If this was Ulfban indeed... had she followed Zargodon to Angmar?

Fallen leaves blew into the house through a door creaking open. It was eerily silent, even more so than Zargodon’s home. The rug by the fire was empty – night was falling, Ulfban should be here by now. It didn’t make sense – none of it did. What reason should she have to break into a house, and why would she leave without her horse? Where…?
“Oh… oh no…”

It took days for her to catch up - though it couldn't have been said to be hard. She could feel that fell spirit every step she took, right from the ruined gates at Hookworth to where she stood now at Nen Harn. She could only watch helplessly from a distance as Ulfban screamed and cried, shouting out "Ulf Mutter" to Ramield. They were so close, but so far away. And there was nothing she could do. Ulf Mutter... it would see her if she neared any further.


--------------------------------------

She grieved many a night for the fate that had taken Ulfban, It was not her who did all this, she knew. But for what had taken her she was surprisingly strong-willed as she had seen pockets of the young huntress shine through on occasion, though as the days passed she feared for the life of Ulfban. She followed Ramield, as if one of her group. Though she passed the Watching Stones without being stopped, she dreaded them and was nevertheless glad to reach the other side.
“Do you miss her, Hethan? Are your thoughts with us? Are you at peace?”
Ramield seemed to speak to the shell, but drifting back and forth, standing every so often at her shoulder, she responded,
"Of course I miss her. And forever my thoughts shall be with you - all of you... though I cannot say I am fully at peace."
She laughed softly, though it would have been little more than a light breeze to anyone nearby.

"Your sister needs you now more than ever..."
"I'm coming."
“Elenath, goheno nin. Le annon veleth nín, gin iallon natho nin.”


--------------------------------------

A great racket came from up within Maethad. The old woods echoed the roaring and howling down over eastern Malenhad. She stood at the mouth of the cave. There wasn't much time for Ulfban - or the quarry of the pack for that matter. Grief wrenched at what feeling her spirit had left, for the poor huntress on the ground holding onto the last shreds of her life. She knelt before her and wept,
"You didn't deserve any of this, Ulfban. This is not your fault. You asked for my forgiveness, and you shall have it... should I have any way to give it to you."

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#12832213 Nov 05, 2016 at 05:31 PM
Knight
49 Posts
For a while she wandered out of thought. All was hazy and grey, as though seen through a curtain of rain. There, the bright flame that was Ramield, there another, he had been with her since Lin Gilliath, and there the pair of flickering spirits that were the west men, small points of light in the vast wilderness of Angmar.
She could see the fountain of shadow that welled up from Carn Dum, spreading sickness across the land. She could see the small dim shadows that crept about everywhere, oppressing all light. And she could hear it on the wind, the howling.
Ulfban had been born with a gift for languages; they came as easily to her as nursery rhymes to other children. While still young she had even learned a bit of Khuzdul by spying on her father’s trapping companions when she should have been in bed. That gift was a curse to her now though as she listened to the fell voices on the air. The quiet murmur of the watcher stones was clear to her, even dozens of miles away. The occasional wail from Imlad Balgorth, too faint for even Elven ears to hear. And there, on the wind, a terrible shrieking howl. Vengeance it screamed, vengeance on the firstborn. Outside the little cave, in the world of mud and pain it was merely a booming thunder, a storm rolling up from the south, thunder with no lightening.
As her body slept the sleep of death Ulfban discovered that she could move about. It was as easy as walking. She stood up and watched the little cave. There was Ramield, caring for her corpse. She was wearing the shell Hethan had given her. The sight of it brought cold tears to her eyes. Walking a little she stood just outside the cave and wept to see people whose faces she knew but names she could not recall; an elf, a woman and a man. She climbed to the top of the mud pile that was her shelter and looked all about. Afar off she saw a sight that caught her breath and brought tears to her eyes. A star was shining in the darkness, and it was coming.
Before long there she was, Hethan. Barefoot and clothed in silver and white, Hethan could not see her. Silently she entered the little cave and silently she stood watching over her dying friend. She spoke, in her kind, quiet voice. “… This is not your fault…”
“Elenath,” Ulfban whispered, tears blurring her vision. “Elenath, Le annon veleth nín.”
Ulfban stood and wept, and as her spirit wept so did her corpse, silent tears of the uttermost grief. But these tears were different than before. Ulfban was no longer sorry to have lost her friend; she knew that there may be a brief time in Mandos’ halls for them. For the spirits of men may abide for a moment before passing out of thought and time.
She was sad for the wickedness she had caused, sad for the evil that had entered her soul, sad that she had not been stronger. Ulfban was sad that her friend was still here, watching over her as she lay slowly dying, still caring for her. There was a way, perhaps, to end all this. The spirits of Melkor were bound to this Middle Earth so she could not cast Ulf Mutter out, but she could destroy her. Reduce her to nothing more than an irritant, an itch for all dogs to scratch.
With that hope Ulfban stepped up to her friend and, wishing Hethan could see her, wrapped her arms about the Fea, whispered farewell and kissed her upon her cheek. Then, lying down, she wandered into time again…
-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-
Weakly, with all her effort, Ulfban whispered faintly. “Ramield, she is here.”
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#12832403 Nov 05, 2016 at 07:11 PM
Knight
49 Posts
The pack had her scent, the Golug and her steed. Warg and Wolf ran together, reveling in the hunt. Her scent was not fresh, but not old either. They ran on, panting hard, ignoring all they passed as they slowly closed the gap. And then, up ahead, a howl. The message had spread far and wide and the western Scara had answered the call. They were coming, running to their mother.
“A Golug.” The pack cried, “A Golug rides your way. Cut it off and route it here. We will feast together!”
The reply was loud and long, a howling that chilled the bone. “We will hunt together,” they said.
And the hunt was on, she was caught, the Golug, between hammer and anvil, fang and claw. Thunder rumbled over the landscape as the packs put on speed and began to close in on their prey…
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#12855538 Nov 15, 2016 at 01:08 AM
High Nine of...
53 Posts
Ramield could feel the great spirit rising up and held up a warning hand to the others. The spirit took form this time, its shrieking and howling more recognizable. Malevolence dripped venomously from its shadowy fangs. Its howl stirred up winds that swirled through the cave, and with a great gust it tore from the mouth, sweeping across the wastes. The elf leapt to her feet, checking Ulfban again, what little was left of her. She still had breath, for which Ramield thanked the Valar; for while there was life, there was a hope. Indeed, the alcove as a whole seemed more peaceful after the departure of the vile spirit, its hatred replaced by a softness.

As he jogged to Gwaenor while the others approached the cave, Arohir approached her. “She’s in there, isn’t she.” It wasn’t a question. Ramield went through her saddlebags, finding a pouch she usually kept on her belt. “Yes.” Arohir loosened his sword in its scabbard, but made no move toward the cave. A look from Ramield told him to stay put, and he grudgingly turned his gaze outward toward the hostile land.

As Ramield returned to Ulfban’s side, she disregarded the contents of the pouch and instead sliced the seam in the back with the tip of her knife. From the hidden pocket between the back two layers of the pouch, she delicately pulled out a small vial of clear liquid. The firelight danced along the walls as it leapt and bounced off and bent through the liquid, seemingly amplified by it. Ulfban’s lips were as parched as the ground that the huntress knelt upon beside her, opened vial in hand, the very smell of the cordial invigorating her. The cracked lips mumbled weakly, “Ramield, she is here.” Ramield smiled softly, knowing the only person she could mean. Taking the shell from around her neck, she laid it upon Ulfban’s breast. “Then let her speak to you, sister.” She held the vial of precious miruvor to her lips. “Let her words bring healing to your spirit and this strength to your limbs.”

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#12855815 Nov 15, 2016 at 04:44 AM
Knight
49 Posts
Ulfban had given herself up to death, the last of her life bleeding out with her tears. But then a coldness touched her lips. Frosty sunshine filtered through her eyelids as a cool feeling spread throughout her body. She was reminded of shivery mornings in Suri-Kyla, of the brisk winds that gusted from the icy bay of Forochel. Nowhere else in Middle Earth had she loved the warmth of the sun like she had in the frozen northland. It was there that she truly began to understand the Elves fascination with all things light.

Sunlight in the north was a liquid thing. It oozed and pooled about the landscape like a shivery cordial. One could almost scoop it up and pound it into a solid brick of brightness. The weird lights in the night sky danced and waved like so many children at a party. Some of the inhabitants claimed the lights were the spirits of dead children, playing in the sky. In the deepest parts of winter, when the sun hardly shone at all, a bright moon could light up the nighttime landscape like sunlight. At those times the sun was a puddle of light bubbling at the horizon like gold in a Dwarven foundry. A mere hour or two, then the forge would cool and the molten sunlight would diminish, leaving the world in cold and darkness again.

Weakly she opened her eyes and; perhaps it was her closeness to death, perhaps it was that she had been touched by the shadow, perhaps it was the Miruvor, perhaps she was only hallucinating, but she could see, just behind Ramield, Hethan smiling down at her.

She was too weak to reach out to her, but she had a strength that she shouldn’t have. Smiling through her tears she whispered. “Elenath, Elenath, Le annon veleth nín.
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#12856124 Nov 15, 2016 at 09:45 AM
High Nine Ad...
76 Posts
A relieved smile crossed Hethan's face when at last, Ulfban showed a sign of real life. As her eyes opened and she uttered what words she could, Hethan knew she could be saved. But she had to hold on. Silently, calmly, she knelt at the huntress' head with Ramield, speaking slowly as if she were weary beyond the days, though her voice still held the musical tones it always had.
"Well sister, tell me, where are you going? You limbs and soul are tired as the low stream ambling through Hookworth where you long to be again, do you not? This is not the girl I know! Let the cold of the miruvor waken your bones again so you may climb where you once did with me, feel its warmth bring light to your soul and let the memory of those you love free you from this acceptance of death."
Pausing, Hethan watched Ulfban for a moment and briefly smiled up at Ramield who sat so calmly, bringing life back to Ulfban.
"Do not tell me you plan to leave so soon. You are not Ulf Mutter, and the spirit does not define you. So for what has been, I forgive you, and may you, sweet child, live on with those you love until you grow old and are satisfied with all you have done. Come back to the light of the Earth. Le annon uireb veleth nín."

Then she exhaled and rested a hand on Ulfban's shoulder, still smiling down at her. She understood finally what Ulfban had thought of her but she felt no tension. While the same love she could not return, she held much in any case for the girl she had come to know so well. At least, what left of love she could give...
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#12858334 Nov 16, 2016 at 02:36 AM
Knight
49 Posts
Slowly a skeletal hand reached up to her breast. Feeling the shell there she began to cry. Fresh, cleansing tears welled up in her eyes and rolled over her leathery cheeks like rain in the desert.
For a moment she seemed confused, eyes fixed on a point in space, blurred by tears. With a sigh she relaxed, all the tension of life draining from her body. With a barely perceptible nod she whispered again,
"Goheno nin, Elenath... I am so sorry. Will you wait for me sister? Will you wait in Mandos?”
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#12860330 Nov 16, 2016 at 09:09 PM
High Nine Ad...
76 Posts
The firelight in the alcove seemed to dim, burning without light. Ulfban was dying. Death was not Hethan's to command, and Ulfban was beyond her help now. She could weep no more tears for her fëa was growing weaker every moment as emotion drained from what being she had left.
"Ulfban my friend, we shall not meet again until the end of time. But when we do, remember the name Oldhindes for that is my given name. I am sorry I have not told it to you. But if you can find any strength left within you, hold on. Please. I want you to live to see tomorrow."
Knowing there was little else she could do or say, even knowing what she had said would likely help little, she lay on the other side of Ulfban and took her hand to help see her calmly to the other side.
"I'll be with you. Take another breath."
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#12861127 Nov 17, 2016 at 03:21 AM · Edited 1 year ago
Knight
49 Posts
Ulfban smiled up at empty space. Turning her head to the wall she seemed finally to be at peace. Eyes blurry with tears she whispered softly, “For you sister, I will endure. Do you remember our summer in Lothlorien?”
A faint laugh “I thought you were Luthien. Tinuviel herself, dancing down the path to your beloved Beren.”
Tears, both happy and sad, cleansing her spirit, “Go now. Navaer Elenath, Le uivelin Oldhindes. Do not worry for me.”
She wanted to say more but, invigorated though she was, she only had strength left for sleep. Having gone without for weeks it came as a blessing to her. At first she seemed almost dead, her breath so faint as to be almost nonexistent. But her face relaxed, stress faded, and her shallow breath came steady and even. Soon she was snoring softly, hands clasping the shell at her neck, murmuring to a ghost no one else could see…
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#12861238 Nov 17, 2016 at 04:53 AM
High Nine Ad...
76 Posts
"I remember our summer, Ulfban. It was the most joyous summer I've had in all my years." She whispered as the huntress fell asleep, "If you hear me, give my love to everyone when you return."
Her grasp on Ulfban's hand loosened. Her fëa was fading. Like smoke she dissipated into the air, out of the alcove and westwards to the sea. A light wind fluttered behind her, perhaps disturbing the hair of the Elf and the huntress and causing the light of the fire flicker to the west. Oldhindes was gone at last to the Halls of Mandos where she would be at peace until the end of time, when again she would meet with Ulfban and Aeglirwend and all she had loved.
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#12870922 Nov 21, 2016 at 04:48 PM
Knight
49 Posts
Ulfban was delirious, but she was safe. The miruvor lent strength to her body and Hethan's words lent strength to her spirit. As she lay in the little mud cave next to the giant warg, watched over by a patient elf, she slept a peaceful and healing sleep. But it was a sleep from which she could not awaken.
Occasionally she spoke, not always in westron, not always in the same language. Her words were mostly gibberish, strings of unconnected syllables. But one phrase she repeated over and over, quietly she whispered and repeated it in every language she knew; Westron, Sindarin and Quenya, Khuzdul, Rohirric and Hobbitish, the strange languages of the Lossoth and the Dunlendings, even the darker languages she had learned in her travels; Orcish, The Black Speech, in the tongue of Wargs, "for you sister, I will endure. For you sister, I will endure. For you sister, I will endure."
It became a mantra to her fevered mind, desperately trying to repair itself. To re discover her personality and separate it from that of Ulf Mutter. Her face would respond strangely to her mutterings, at time calm and peaceful, at times hard and stony, at times violent and tempestuous. But always the phrase, no matter what language, no matter the dominant personality, would bring her back "for you sister, I will endure."
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#13007158 Jan 22, 2017 at 05:12 AM · Edited 10 months ago
High Nine of...
53 Posts
“Hold on, you will get through this.” Ramield hastily bound up the wounded soldier’s torso. The gash was shallow, thankfully, only grazing his ribs. He nodded slowly, wincing in pain. Their band had ultimately won the day, however much of a victory it was. Three had been rescued; five died in the assault. However, only able to imagine the horrors their comrades had been through, every one of them felt it worth the cost even if only to spare them a day of it. One of the healers, his hands now free of another patient, relieved Ramield of hers.
This wasn’t the first such mission she had been a part of, and she doubted it would be the last. The haunted faces, the grief of those that remained, though elves had an eternity of time, for some it took more than time to heal. She wandered about, seeking for some way to aid, but most of all for her friends. She spotted them, she whom she considered a sister in all but blood and the fallen champion. The elf maiden knelt over her beloved, holding his hand as he slept a fitful but hopefully healing sleep. Ramield watched from afar. She knew she herself could not bring him back, not from the terrible monstrosities he had seen and felt. If anyone could, it would be his constant keeper, the hand in his and the voice that called him home…
That still calls him home


“Hold on, you will get through this” Ramield whispered reassuringly as she cleaned Ulfban’s shoulder wound. It looked like it would take some time to fully repair, and the elf wondered how the girl’s slight form could even function so, as emaciated as she was and with such an injury. Yet, the spirit within her had driven her on, past the limits of what her body might have normally been able to sustain.
Arohir came over, bandages in hand. “I still don’t see why we shouldn’t just finish this now,” he half grumbled. His face was dark as he stared at Ulfban’s face, the image of the terror they had been following. At first, his expression was dour, but a moment later, a hint of perplexity showed. He offered the wound cloth to the elf, but Ramield shook her head.
“You must do this.”
“I’m sure you’re more than capa-”
“Arohir.” The huntress’s voice was firm. Arohir stook there a while, perhaps debating whether to simply drop the bandages on the ground at her feet, but he reluctantly bend down to render aid. They both flinched as their charge uttered something in a foul tongue, their tensions easing as she drifted into other, more favorable languages. Arohir released his hold on his sword, letting it slide down an inch back into its sheath with a slow hiss. It was not lost on Ramield, who waited tensely until he picked up the bandages again. Satisfied, she turned to go to Landion still at the entrance, his fingers curling in his steed’s mane. Together, they surveyed the sickened land and spoke in hushed sindarin.
“Do you hear it?” he asked.
“Indeed, the howling of wargs has become as easy to recognize as the blaring of the trumpets of war.”
“They are enraged. Their mother is gone and perhaps something else drives them to a frenzy.” He shifted from side to side.
“You should be careful then, and stay downwind if you can; it would put us in a difficult position if you returned with a pack on your heels.” Landion looked at her, trying to catch her meaning. Ramield nodded to his steed, giving him a knowing look. “I can see it; you must be out there, not standing and waiting. I only hope you will be cautious as you do so, and bring back some useful information.”
Landion released a breath in relief, a shadow of a grin on his face. “You say that as one familiar with command.” Ramield half smiled. “Perhaps,” came her reply, “though it is not something to be envied.” Landion chuckled hollowly as he mounted his horse. “Many would disagree with you on that, those who seek command.”
“And I would call them fools.”
Landion bowed his head to her as he rode away toward the hunt.
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#13025034 Jan 29, 2017 at 06:58 PM · Edited 10 months ago
Knight
49 Posts
As time crept on in the mud cave Ulfban grew stronger; not her body so much as her spirit. She gradually became self-aware, a state that had become foreign to her recently. Slowly, tentatively, she probed her own unconsciousness. Here, right here was a memory, faint, smoky. Was it true, her memory? There was her father, the familiar blend in his pipe; and her mother, stirring a pot over the fire. Like steam from the pot, the memory faded quietly away.
Over there, another. This memory she knew to be true, and it brought her shame. She was arguing with her mother, still young and hot headed. Someone called the Bree Town guards and she had drawn her knives. Her mother stepped in, Ulfban stormed off.
Yet again, like a perfume on the wind, another memory. She peered through the branches of a tree from a low rise above a ruined town. There were people living there, a large campsite. As many people lived in tents as in the ruined homes about them. As the memory drifted slowly away like fallen leaves she recalled, faintly, a face. A woman lived there who had known her father. But like a morning fog she could not grasp the face as it faded from her.
She probed about in the darkness, looking for more. She knew there was a memory she needed, but she could not find it and she grew desperate. Terrified of losing the memory she could not recall. As she searched, like a blind fish in the great vastness of the ocean, her body moved about. Slowly, ever so slowly, it was regaining its own strength.
Gradually her murmurings ceased and one language came to dominate. As her fevered mind searched for the memory she could not recall it shaped everything about her. Faintly her lips murmured in Sindarin. “Where are you sister? I cannot find you.” Her body moved slowly, painfully, as though it were searching through a forest, head craning to look around a tree, legs crouching to see beneath a bush…
Up ahead there was a light, instinctively she moved towards it. Like a deep dwelling beast she surfaced, but the light hurt her eyes and she closed them once more, sinking down into comfortable depths. There was a pressure somewhere on her body. The dull throbbing that she had taken to be her heartbeat slowly subsided and was replaced by… nothing, no pain, no fatigue, no ache.
Her lips moved of their own volition, still the beast would not surface, but her body knew better. The faintest whisper of Sindarin, “We will get through this.” Ulfban’s head lolled to the side as her mind beast searched the depths for her forgotten memory.
Ancient mysteries she recalled, things she had read in her journeys. She had spent days in the library of Lin Gilliath, certain that there may be some hint of her father, who had lived only just across the lake. But the Eldar weren’t so quick to share their secrets.
She moved on, to the icy bay. The people there had begrudgingly given her a skin boat. Who were they to stop her suicide? they said. After dragging it for days across the ice she came to open water. There she put in and paddled about for a year, searching the shoreline for any sign of life. All she had found were ruins, ancient beyond memory. And great beasts of the oceans, giant fish that surfaced with a great bellowing and steaming, only to slip quietly beneath the waves again. There was an urge, overpowering but for the longing for her lost memory, to continue paddling, follow the islands far out to the west until they disappeared altogether, then to keep paddling until she found Aman. But she knew that could never happen. Cold as death the mists enveloped her and the memory wafted away.
Another one, over there, dappled and shaded. A golden green light filtered down onto her as she looked about herself in wonder. A vast forest, a sea of green with no apparent end, stretched all about her. Marching into the distance were the brown and silver boles of trees. Fascinated she reached out to feel the silvery grey bark of a tree she did not recognize, and recoiled in horror. The bark where her hand had touched the tree sloughed off to reveal a rotting black wood beneath.
Everywhere she looked the trees began to whip about, stripping off their own bark and flaying each other open to their rotten hearts. She knew where she was now, the screeching that echoed weirdly about the forest confirmed it, Mirkwood. Her heart shivered in her chest as Ulfban cowered under a bush. This was a not a memory she wanted to relive.
Gently, her withered breast began to heave as waves of fear rippled through her tired body. Sudden tears sprang up from a forgotten well and rolled quietly down her parched cheeks as her whole body shook as in the throes of a seizure. Her papery thin lips whispered fearfully in Sindarin, beseeching the woman it knew was there “save me, save me Ramield. It comes for me, it is coming.” Her mind beast though cowered in fear and refused to acknowledge its surroundings.
She ran in fear. Ulfban had never known such fear before. There were great wargs, spiders vast and bloated, goblins and orcs aplenty, but she feared none of these. For living things could die but the already dead… the already dead could not be vanquished so easily. And the forest of southern Mirkwood was swarming with them. In moments she was lost, a dizzying nightmare of blighted trees and cold, invisible, winds moaning about her.
There, up ahead, a structure, she could hide there, hide from the dead. “No!” Something screamed at her. “Not in there.” But it was a memory, not a dream, and she could not alter the past. Finally, eyes wide and breath hard with fear she found her way to the bottom of the tower and there, among the rocks, a small cave, she could hide there. Diving into the cave she finally calmed down a little, her breath came easier and her body cooled as the sweat dried off her.
Back in the cave her body finally broke its shuddering but began to thrash about. “No, No! Don’t Go!” it screamed in Sindarin. Opening wide, its eyes rolled back into its skull. It tore her bandage, so carefully placed. It cut itself on rocks and scraped its head against the floor. Half sitting up it inhaled sharply and hissed long and evil before collapsing, catatonic once again.
Ulfban woke in the darkness. There was a sound, a whimpering coming from the back of the cave. Cautiously, curiously, she investigated it. The cave closed down to a tiny crack, the sound was coming through the crack. Shimmying on her tummy Ulfban crawled through it, and found herself in a dungeon.
Months she spent there, lost in the darkness. Stalked by wraiths the dungeon was a terrifying and despairing place. On occasion the darkest of shadows would descend into the depths and even the most brutal of Orcs and Trolls would cower in fear. Nazgul. In her time there Ulfban became finely tuned to their evil, she could sense them long before they descended into the dungeons and she learned that the best way to avoid them was to feign death. To slow her heartbeat and breathing to a deathlike trance and shut down her mind. If she was dead they would ignore her.
Then, one day, one looked at her, it saw her and she was powerless to avoid the red pricks of light in its cowl. Her heart stopped, the blood in her veins froze solid as the very joy of life itself was sucked from her. It spoke to her, directly to her mind. A thin high hiss was all anyone else heard. But Ulfban knew its words. That was where she learned the black speech. It was just corrupted elven, easy to pick up. But she lived in fear of the language from that day forth…
Finally she came awake again, this time behind bars. They had found her at last. IT, had found her. Long months she spent in the dungeons of Dol Guldur, starved, wretched. Mostly she was ignored. The Ringwraith had seen her mind and knew she was no danger. Better not to leave her wandering about though. Her only defense was to shut down entirely, to wall off everything and be a corpse on the floor. She didn’t ask what it was they shoved through the door on rare occasion. She ate it and was glad she didn’t know what it was.
Finally, one day, there was a mistake. A new guard mistook her for dead and left her cell door open for the cook’s slaves to gather her up. She escaped. Swiftly and silently she ran through the dungeon, always going down, down, further and further down. In the end she knew how. Somehow her memory had run the twisted paths ahead of her and she found the little crack again. Squirming through it she came at last to the little cave where she had originally sheltered. There were her belongings, right where she had left them. She couldn’t fit through wearing her knives and pack. And a good thing too or she would have lost everything of her father then.
Back in the real her body curled up and cried silent, pathetic tears. It whispered in Sindarin again. “Please don’t go sister. Please, please don’t go.”
Slowly the blackness took her and the memory faded…
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#13062229 Feb 13, 2017 at 06:08 PM
25 Posts
Abhorrent. It was the only way she knew to describe the stench. Death, decay, rot. That’s all Malenhad was. The foul reek of the bubbling pools filling the air and unescapable, a greenish haze filling the land. This was where Allabeth found herself, riding hard along the Western edge of the lake Duvuinen. Her ancient spear Draugritha rests beneath her arm, ready to be used in an instant.
The howls behind her draw ever closer. She doesn’t need to look back for she knows what she will see. The swiftest of the wargs were chasing her down. Or rather, some of the swiftest. Those who were truly the swiftest in this great pack had long since been dispatched, leaving a trail of bodies and blood for the rest of the wargs to follow. As the next pack of wargs approaches from behind, Allabeth sips from her small flask of miruvor before readying her weaponry. She had long since run out of javelins, and she had dared not return to collect them again. A spear would have to do.
The leading beast is so close she can almost smell it over the stench of the bog. A whispered word to Limlhinn and the light-footed made a sharp turn, picking up speed in an instant. Hunkering behind her shield, and with a cry of “O Elbereth! Gilthoniel!” Draugritha is buried into the chest of her foe, knocking it back into its successor. This second warg is taken by surprise, and is soon trampled beneath Limlhinn, a pained yelp escaping its hideous mouth.
Knocking aside another warg with her shield she pulls back her spear, reaching over to end its hate-fuelled existence. A couple more wargs attack, she buries her spear into one’s throat, her shield up to deflect the oncoming blow from the other. But then nothing. No collision, not savage no more snarling or vicious attacks. She looks down, and arrow sprouts from the dark beast’s neck. Elven of make. She looks to the south, seeing no more wargs for a moment she turns back to the north. There on the hill sits another of the Eldar atop a horse.
“Ai Meldis!” He calls to her, waving her over. His bow remains ready, and his eyes scan their surroundings. Allabeth rides over, looking the male elf over.
“We must ride!” She orders sternly in Sindarin, ignoring whatever questions he may have. “You must ride for you are already in the trap!” With that she takes off, Limlhinn carrying her swiftly north. Landion follows hard, catching up with her to try and ask questions. “The beasts have us pinned to the lake. They are to the south and to the east. Our hope is North.” Allabeth’s tone is rough, as though unaccustomed to speaking with another. “You are here for the wargs yes?”
“Just the spirit that brought them here.” Came the reply, “We have a camp to the North, we are treating the woman who fell under the spirits curse there. You should help us for we have need of aid.”
“It would be foolish to stay. We need to get them out.” Allabeth states before falling silent, urging Limlhinn on with soft word in her ear. Landion continues to press the other elf for answers. Who was she, why was she here, how did she get here, how long she had been here, where she was from. Though it was clear to him of her Noldorin lineage, it only made him more curious to find her here. The ride was interrupted by more warg attacks, though to two Eldar fought them off, the range of Landions bow greatly helping.
Eventually, they saw the cave in the distance. It was easy to spot, despite the early morning sun rising to the East above the Misty Mountains as the fire from the cave lit up the bleak surroundings. A small puff of life in the otherwise dead and barren land.
Riding up to the cave, Allabeth elegantly drops to the ground, Limlhinn waiting patiently by the door. Marching into the cave with Landion following hurriedly to keep up, she takes in the scene quickly. Once more in Sindarin, she gives a sharp command. “You need to get out now. An army of wargs is on its way as we speak.”
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#13073023 Feb 18, 2017 at 03:13 AM
High Nine of...
53 Posts
Her whispered name then a cry for help brought Ramield back to the cave. Ulfban thrashed on the floor of the cave, the two rangers at her side trying to hold her in place. The elf hugged the frail girl to herself, rocking her and whispering soothing words as a mother with her child who had been having a bad dream. Though the convulsions ceased, Ramield kept cradling her, nodding to Gaellant and Arohir, the latter of whom stood up with an exasperated sigh.
“So what, you gonna carry her in your arms the whole way back, and with those dogs at our heels?”
“Arohir-” Gaellant started to interject, but was cut off by Ramield.
“You know that is not what I intend.” She said, turning the body over in her arms, allowing Gaellant opportunity to repair the damage to the bandages. “If you must vent your clearly boiling frustration and fear, put it to use and do so in another manner.”
Arohir bristled at the remark. He glanced down at Ulfban, shaking his head. “So much like….I’ll go see that we’re ready for a speedy flight from this thrice cursed land. If we-” His words cut off and he spun around, drawing his sword with a single fluid motion to face the cave mouth. The sound of hooves drew ever closer then came to a sudden halt as the third elf to join their party slipped from her saddle with the ease of water flowing over a shallow drop.
“You need to get out now. An army of wargs is on its way as we speak.”
“I am well aware, hiril” Ramield replied in their tongue, rising to her feet and inclining her head to the stranger. The added aid was a blessing, but the presence and tone of this woman all the more emphasized the urgency of their situation. “Landion?” she called to the entrance. He had already begun to approach behind the newcomer. “They are nigh, and their numbers formidable. Even the splinter packs are more than enough to contend with.”
Ramield nodded, satisfied with his report. She turned to the others. “Arohir, the fire. Gaellant, help me with Ulfban.” She glanced back at the third elf as she went to help carry Ulfban. “And you, how long have we? Is it possible for us to at least get across the Malenhad before they are upon us?”
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#13102820 Mar 03, 2017 at 05:29 AM · Edited 9 months ago
Knight
49 Posts
Ulf Mutter raged and fumed as she flew back north. She could move so much faster, but she would not leave the pack. She had made that mistake before; she wouldn’t do it again. There were howls from below. Someone had caught the scent of the one who had made rings of death from her children. Let them hunt, she thought. Soon they would all die anyway, the storm of fang and fur would sweep out of the north, covering Middle Earth in fear and blood.
Far off in the east the sun dared to peek above the horizon. Ulf Mutter howled in a rage. How dare he show his face in this land? In the real, her rage manifested as a rumbling thunder without lightening. Spreading her wrath she wafted clouds far and away, seeking to blot out the sun as he rose. Alas, she had not enough will to do that. But her thin clouds did smear his bright light into a murky haze on the horizon.
She was furious, the pack was slow. It could only move as fast as its flesh would allow. The spirit flew so much faster, saw so much further, wielded so much more power. Why was she so desperate to fuse with flesh; she wondered? Why was the mortal clay that lay dying in the little mud cave so precious to her?
Lust, she thought. It could feel things she could not as a spirit. She lusted after the cravings of the flesh. She lusted after the worship of her children. She lusted after the fear of men. It had taken her nearly an age to find a suitable host and she refused to allow it to slip away from her. She lusted after life.
Focusing her rage Ulf Mutter looked far and away, down on the little cave. Her fleshy host was stronger than before. The bitch had surely given her some magic salve to invigorate her. How she hated Golug! Everywhere throughout Middle Earth they stalked and murdered her children. Everywhere they plotted against her…
Ulfban could feel it, her wrath. It was akin to other dark spirits, all fear and rage. Her mind beast recoiled in horror and her body moaned in fear. It was difficult but she mastered her fear, and probed about. There was a new Golug no, a new Eldar woman here. Where had she come from? She was talking with Ramield. The Dunedain were readying horses, one of them didn’t trust her.
She finally found her memory, dancing in a golden forest with a beautiful dark haired youth, a youth who was hundreds of years older than her. And while that memory brought her renewed vigor, hope, and strength, there was another secret buried in that memory that she needed now. She had met many of the Galadhrim that summer and been witness to many of what other people called magic. She had learned secrets that were once common knowledge. Right now she needed one that she had never been able to work out.
Her mind was fully awake now, conscious of the little cave, the newcomer, the nervous energy. But her body remained asleep. It needed its strength and that meant rest. A blonde framed face giggled at her, surrounded by silver trees. “You need to relax,” it said to her. “Humans always work too hard at it.”
Focusing her mind Ulfban slowly began to relax. It was not an easy task considering the circumstances, but her weariness of spirit helped. Finally she tried, Ramield. Ramield, hear me. Nothing, perhaps Ramield was too distracted to hear.
Once more she calmed herself, focusing on her thin breath, slowing her pulse and falling into a deathlike trance. One she had learned while in… no, no she wouldn’t think of it. Suddenly, like a parting mist her mind cleared. Empty and open it frolicked for a moment in its freedom. Then, from far away, it felt a malevolent gaze and was harshly reminded of its purpose. Once more Ulfban focused on her friend.

Ramield, sister, hear me…
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