The Siege

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Post by Lancebloke Wed Sep 10, 2014 6:01 pm

The thundering thump of approaching hooves seemed to echo the thoughts of the dark, brooding clouds that had covered the sky for weeks. Every day the air tasted a little more stale, even the salty taste of the great ocean had failed to hold it back. The men if the South had brought their own scent, dust and sweat mixed with oils that they brushed in to their dark, twisted hair.

The sound of the hooves grew louder. The southern men did not like to use horses but some had been riding the path north to get word to their masters away at war in the north. The very fact locals were out at the time of night could be punished by a slow, painful death.

'Keep low, they are rounding the corner,' came the smooth,  elf like voice of Eldorion. He had travelled from the far north west with a small group of rangers to help take back the city of Pelargir when the time came.

'I can't see who it is,' came the reply, this time from a female voice.

'Amarie, get back, ' said Eldorion, pulling her back in to the undergrowth.

As her head disappeared from view, 3 horses melted out of the darkness.

'Petty!'

Amarie jumped out of the bush, catching her arm in a tangle of brambles,  the prickles tearing her skin. Petty's horse reared, startled. The sounded of gravel being scooped and thrown came from behind as the other riders brought their steeds to an abrupt stop.

'I nearly killed you!'

'I'm sorry,' she replied sheepishly. 'You have all been gone so long.'

Eldorion appeared from the thicket.

'One of these days you will learn to control yourself,' he said. 'Either that or you will get us all killed.'

Petty smiled.

'We have to get back to the inn,' he said, his tone and expression urgent. 'Is everyone there?'

'They should be,' said Amarie. 'We left them an hour or so ago when word came in of riders heading to the city.'

'Good,' said Petty. 'I have some important news to bring. The day is upon us, the siege of the city will end tomorrow.'

'The Steward has sent troops? But what of Osgiliath and the northern roads to the White City?'

'No relief is coming from the capital. It comes from the mountains.'

'The mountains?' asked Amarie, confused. There is no army in the mountains.'

'Come,' said Petty 'I have no time to explain twice. Meet me at Figgy's Inn in one hour. And make sure everyone is there.'

He said no more as his heels dug in to the grey coat of his horse. Dust swirled in the dark sky as the horses disolved back in to the twilight.

'Come,' said Eldorion, his eyes betraying his curiosity.  'We must make haste.'
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Post by azriel Wed Sep 10, 2014 6:21 pm

bounce

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Post by Eldorion Wed Sep 10, 2014 8:23 pm

I'm very curious to see how this plays out, particularly with regards to the setting. Is it actually in Middle-earth? I can't wait to see. Very Happy
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Post by David H Wed Sep 10, 2014 8:55 pm

Lancebloke wrote:

He said no more as his heels dug in to the grey coat of his horse.



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Post by Mrs Figg Wed Sep 10, 2014 10:05 pm

cheers ooooh exciting stuff!!!!! :carrot:
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Post by Orwell Wed Sep 10, 2014 10:57 pm

Mysterious business, indeed! Shocked {{{ cheers }}}

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Post by Bluebottle Thu Sep 11, 2014 2:55 pm

Oooh, looks promising Lance. Nod

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Post by Pettytyrant101 Fri Sep 12, 2014 2:16 pm

Good stuff Lance, more please.

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Post by Lancebloke Fri Sep 12, 2014 6:10 pm

'You lot again,' said Figgy as the large wooden door slammed behind her. 'You need to find somewhere else to talk about your secrets.'

Petty looked at her face, illuminated by the several flickering candles attached to ornate iron holders on the wall. The common room at the inn was old with low ceilings held up by thick beams. Business had always been strong off the back of rumours that kings had once dined at the worn wooden tables that still remained long after.

'You are as much a part of this as the rest of us Figgy,' he said.

'Not if anyone comes knocking I ain't,' she replied with a huff,  heading for the tray of tankards that waited on the bar.

Petty looked round the faces at the table.

'I am glad we found you all,' he said as Figgy put the ales in the middle of the table and disappeared from the room. 'Tonight I will need the help of every single one of you.'

The sound of ruffling clothes filled the void his words left as the group shuffled themselves around. They all knew what this meant, some were excited,  others anxious. All of them wanted to hear more.

'Word came to us that a party of warriors left the mountain pass last night. You all know none that have entered the caves have ever returned... until now.'

'Men of the mountain,' exclaimed one of the youngest in the group. 'Why do you bring us the news wrapped as a blessing, they are cursed.'

'These were no men of the mountain Nora,' replied Petty before taking a mouth full of the cold, dark ale in front of him. 'These were men, rangers of the north, and 2 elves.'

'Rangers and a pair of elves,' said David, a farmer from outside of the city walls. 'What good can they do against the hordes of corsairs and haradrim that occupy the city?'

'They say that all of their enemies have so far fled in terror,' Petty answered. 'That a great sea of fear follows in the parties wake, fear that is driving our enemies even unto the points of their on swords.'

'Then what about us?' said Eldorion, his face silhouetted by Amaries shadow. 'Will we not also flee before them?'

'We cannot,' came a new voice from next to Petty. 'We must strike from within the city when the terror falls. We must not let them hold the walls of Pelargir or return to their fleets at the docks.'

'Who is this one,' asked Amarie, batting her eyelids much to Eldorions annoyance.

'I am Blue and this is my sister, Azriel. We are from the new city of Dale but pledged of swords to Petty to repay a debt.'

Eldorion and David both looked at them suspiciously.

'If it were not for me, these two would have been quartered by orcs who raided their hunting party. I vouch for their loyalty to me.'

David seemed satisfied with the answer, Eldorion was still to be convinced.

'I am not sure we all our hope and likely of lives on a band of rangers,' said David. 'What if they do not try and enter the city? And what will so few do even if the reach us?'

'You have to try,' said Figgy who had returned. She placed an old, framed drawing down in front of them. 'This is a picture of Narmacil the second, the 30th King of Gondor.' She pointed to a table in the middle of the room. 'That is the table he is sitting at.'

The room was silent as she removed the picture and placed another in front of them.

'Castamir the usurper when he took the city, over there, she said pointing to another table in the room. 'This is the city of the kings fleets, once the most renowned in this middle earth. This is the city the the kings of gondor defended for thousands of years and then the stewards after them. We cannot let this city fall without a fight even if this hope proves false. We must fight for the darkness will not stop at this. If we do not fight, we die anyway.'
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Post by azriel Fri Sep 12, 2014 8:51 pm

Ooooooo, blimey Shocked I like this build up, a restrained command of words.Im looking forward to the next part.

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Post by Mrs Figg Fri Sep 12, 2014 10:25 pm

cheers bounce whoo hooo! skullduggery and derring do. I like it. cheers
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Post by Orwell Sat Sep 13, 2014 3:56 am

A welll constructed tale with the tension building nicely.... in Forumshire! Shocked Well, bound to happen sooner or later, I s'pose. Very Happy

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Post by Forest Shepherd Sun Sep 14, 2014 6:26 am

I object to that! Many of our favourite tales came with some good strong tension to them. The Game of Thrones reimagining was a pillar of dramatic ratcheting!

Oh...
"well-constructed"...
Well who needs that anyway.

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Post by Amarië Sun Sep 14, 2014 6:03 pm

I'm liking this! Very Happy

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Post by Mrs Figg Fri Sep 19, 2014 11:03 pm

moar bounce
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Post by Orwell Sun Sep 21, 2014 12:19 am

Apparently Lance prefers socializing on trains nowadays. Rolling Eyes

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Post by Lancebloke Sun Sep 21, 2014 8:57 am

I will do another on monday.
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Post by Eldorion Mon Sep 22, 2014 2:56 am

Can't wait! Nod
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Post by Lancebloke Mon Sep 22, 2014 6:31 pm

It had been months since the White City had sent any relief. All of the borders of Gondor were on fire now. Pelargir and its surrounding farms and villages had always been a source of strength when called upon, but it was cut off.

Armour clattered as Blue and Eldorion sifted through the various, mismatched pieces that the old garrison had hidden away when the corsairs struck. The attack had been swift. The city defenders that escaped had planned to sneak back in to the city with fresh forces but they had never returned. Husbandless women and fatherless children carried on, still believing their men would return.

'I found fifty arrows and three quivers,' said Amarie happily as she returned from another part of the dark cellar. She turned up her nose. 'Has that smell gotten worse? '

'No,' replied Blue, fractionally before Eldorion could find the word. 'Just disturbed for the first time in months.'

'As are the rats,' said Petty, his arms outstretched and an array of swords laying across them. Azriel followed him in, similarly arrayed with knives of various design.

'Do we have everything we need?' asked Blue as he inspected the weapons being laid on the table.

'Everything except a firm plan,' replied Petty. 'Eldorion, you know the set up here better than anyone. Where can we strike hardest?'

'Here,' said Azriel as she pulled a scroll from under her arm. 'I found this.'

The city appeared on the table before there as she spread the yellow, stained paper out. The city appeared as a large triangle spanning the centre Anduin as the delta opened in to the Great Sea. The thick harbour walls and quays stretched along all three sides. The settlement also spread on each side of the river which had been crossed by the many small and large ferries, of which only a few still sailed at night.

'We are here, ' said Eldorion, pointing to one of the clusters across the river from the city proper. 'There are two ferries that still operate at night and for the right price.'

'We can cover any price,' said Azriel as she dropped a large bag of gold coins on the table.'

'I suggest old Ringo,' Eldorion continued. 'He is crazy enough to travel with us and he has a thing for Figgy.'

'Not that he would admit it,' giggled Amarie.

'He can drop us at the Royal West quay. It used to harbour the kings flagship but the corsairs are all moored in the river to the east.'

'What about the city walls?' asked Blue.

'Those corsairs aren't too useful when it comes to tasks like security or patrols. We will find plenty of ways in.'

Petty remained silent, his foot up on a stool, arms crossed.

'Ok, so where do we hit them?' asked Azriel.

'They seem to spend most of their time in a handful of taverns along the East docks. I would say never less than a hundred are there at any one time.'

'Then that is where we will strike,' Blue said triumphantly as he could already see the Southron blood on his dagger.

'That would be suicide,' said Eldorion. 'They may be drunk but a hundred against a handful. We would barely last a few minutes.'

'We would last longer than a few minutes,' fumed Azriel, her eyes full of fire. 'I will make each of them pay for what their friends in the north did to us.'

'Azriel,' said Petty with a heavy sigh. 'Eldorion is right.'

'Then what does he suggest?' said Blue through gritted teeth.

Eldorion hesitated as he looked at the map.

'Here,' he said pointing to a small outcropping at the north end of the island. 'This is where we should attack.'

'What is this?' asked Petty.

'This is a watchtower that overlooks both sides of the river. It will be lightly guarded but will give us a view over most of their fleet and their storehouses.'

'We don't care about storehouses,' snarled Azriel, her fist curled in to a tight knot.

'Maybe not, but if we want these friends of yours to get in to the city and do whatever it is they are going to do, a few, well placed fire arrows will have half of their gear in flames. We can then hit them from the East while they are in a panic and your friends can come in from the West.'

Petty smiled and grabbed a sword.

'Azriel, find some cloth and oil. Let's make them burn.'
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Post by Eldorion Mon Sep 22, 2014 6:53 pm

Not much to say other than that I appreciate consistent quality in fics and I'm curious to see who Azriel's friends are. study Thanks for posting this, Lance!
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Post by Forest Shepherd Mon Sep 22, 2014 8:16 pm

Yep thanks for the update Lance. Smile

I must say, everyone is angry in the story. It seems to be their defining characteristic!
Well, on a second reading I take that back, Amarie is more like herself and Azriel is the angry one.
I'm going to reread the whole thing when you post the next section; apparently I've lost track of the character development since it began. Fan fiction about Middle-earth is quite enjoyable when it describes an area that is not touched in the actual books.

I mean I know this is all voluntary and for fun, but my main criticism would be that you need to add more detail to the characters. It doesn't matter how good the actual plot is that you are developing with the attack on Pelargir if the characters don't click.
Anyway, thanks again!

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Post by Lancebloke Mon Sep 22, 2014 9:01 pm

Fair criticism Forest. I do this on the brief train journey (45 mins packed in like sardines) so only really get time to keep the story going sometimes otherwise I would spend more time on characters. You probably wont see much more than an idea play out for this one... especially as I do it on my phone and hard to edit it.

Thanks for the comments though!
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Post by Forest Shepherd Mon Sep 22, 2014 9:31 pm

Sure thing, here to help, ELE and all that. Razz
Happy train journeys.

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Post by azriel Mon Sep 22, 2014 9:41 pm

I wish to thankyou Lance for my gutsy character.Embarassed she may be a bit reactionary & she may get killed at any moment but, Thumbs Up I like this story Very Happy I like the Middle Earth feel, I like that the characters ( with our given names) are mature & can make decisions, Ive loved all the funny Tales written here, Ive been in stitches over them ! but, its nice to have just one serious Tale Very Happy

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Post by Eldorion Tue Sep 23, 2014 3:32 am

I too enjoy the more serious tales, especially since that what my own writing tends to gravitate towards, whether I try it or not.  I hope that there will be deeper glimpses of character in between action beats, but it's still very early (though I don't know how long Lance is planning to make this). Good old fashioned action/thriller writing has a place too. I've always been jealous of good action writing. Very Happy
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