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Tearna Quickfoot
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re: The Lonely Mountain Band Goes to Forochel!

At Ales & Tales on Christmas Day at Forochel

Seemed a perfect time to share an adventure from many years ago!!

Tearna rubbed her hands together as she sat on her war pony, Lil’Bit. Pulling her fur cloak around her tighter, she shifted in the saddle. Large flakes of snow pelted her face, sticking to hair and eyelashes. She shook her head trying to dislodge as much as possible.

This was Forochel. Land of ice and snow and long nights. On clear moonless nights, the sky was gloriously alive with moving colors. Tearna found the play of lights mesmerizing and had spent many wonderful nights snuggled under furs with Tam, watching the colors shift across the night sky while they talked about their day.

But Tam was in Oatbarton attending to business and they were not here to sightsee. The Lonely Mountain Band had come in response to reports of what folks were calling “Roving Threats” because, well… because they were dangerous and they moved around. The kin had been commissioned to ferret out a brutal guaradan chieftain known as Krevchal.

Twenty kin members had responded to the call. The main group stuck to the roads, while a few scouts spread out searching the white landscape for Guaradan chief. Tearna had just finished shaking snow out of her face when the sounds of the summoning horn pierced through the howling wind. The group took off in a northerly direction and the hobbit minstrel followed. It was a fast and furious gallop across the frozen whiteness, not made any easier by the heavy snow. The pack of war ponies weaved around the bushes and snow mounds, rather like a flock of birds sometimes swoop through the air as one mass.

As they neared the location of the horn, the group slowed down. The white blanket of snow parted to reveal a large Gauradan dressed like a wolf accompanied by a pack of large wolves. Riders veered off to the left and right, circled around and dismounted to await orders. Guardians, champs and captains moved to the front of the group, while minstrels and hunters positioned themselves further back to provide support where needed.

After checking that everyone was accounted for, Byrcha raised her fist in the air. On the other side of the group, Lhinn did the same. Almost as one voice, the two yelled, “Never Alone!” and the guardians ran forward to engage the enemy. The captains followed, throwing down banners that gave a soft glow of encouraging light.

Guardian Amalynna taunted the chief until he was enraged, eyes almost red with hatred. Guardian Bavelbella screamed at the wolves, focusing their attention on her and pulling them away from the chief. Pelind, Byrcha, Aedon and Craicwyth ran into the fray, chopping and hacking and shouting encouragement to the team.

It was quite a cacophony of sounds. Screams of fury were mixed with the sounds of drums, harps, flutes and bagpipes, filling the air as the minstrels worked their magic. Carica, Sonca and Corulin sang songs of support and encouragement to comrades. Tearna, Calycanthus and Hollyberye dealt deadly blows of light and songs of despair to their enemies. Mixed in with the minstrels, hunters loosed arrows on their foes. Lhinn, Kiralyn and Godwineson focused on Krevchal, while Sullo and Amberflower and helped take out the wolves. The smaller wolves went down quickly, but the alpha was strong. Craicwyth and Pelind sliced at the thick skinned beast while arrows rained down, some finding their mark, some not.

Suddenly, the chief reared back and dealt Amalynna a vicious hard blow. Blood began to flow from a ragged tear in the guardian’s armor. Carica played a strong song of encouragement to the wounded guardian and the bleeding appeared to slow, but only for a second. She shouted to Corulin to join her efforts and the two raced through notes and arpeggios to bolster the wounded guardian’s courage. But the bleeding seemed to be getting worse. Amalynna needed time to recover her strength.

“Bavelbella,” Brycha shouted. “Hand off that ball of fluff to Pelind and Craic. We need you here!”

With a nod, the guardian backed up while Pelind and Craicwyth pulled the weakening wolf away. Bavebella ran to the guaradan chief and screamed for his attention. As he turned to face her, she spit in his face and poked at him with her sword. Amalynna pulled well back from the battle. Sonca ran forward to the tank, yanking bandages from her bag to try and staunch the bleeding.

Craicwyth threw down a fresh standard of war as Pelind launched a feral strike followed closely by a merciful strike. With a pitiful howl, the alpha wolf went down. A cheer erupted from Pelind, Craicwyth and the hunters, accompanied by an ear splitting howl of anger from the Gauradan chief.

All attention now on the chief, he began to weaken more quickly. Enraged, he roared and took a wild swing. It connected with Byrcha who went flying across the landscape and landed with a thunk on the snowy ground, unmoving. Hollyberye, who was nearby, ran to the burglar’s side, checking for wounds.

With a roar of defiance, Aedon activated the Oathbreaker’s shame and all of LMB raced to do as much damage as possible. The giant Gauradan chief weakened under the onslaught of slashing blades, fiery arrows and beams of light. He began to back up, looking for an opening to flee. But he was surrounded now and there was no escape. With a desperate howl, he swung his arms wide again, catching Craicwyth in the chest and tossing him backwards into a large soft pile of snow. The captain shook his head, regaining his breath, but was back on his feet headed back to the battle when Godwineson landed the final blow; a penetrating shot followed by a merciful shot to the head. Looking around as if confused, the large guaradan stumbled forward and with a grunt, fell on his face. Dead.

Cheers went up all around with cries of “Never alone!” Those without wounds began to see to those who’d had to bear the brunt of the brutality. Amalynna was still a bit weak from blood loss, but able to move about, with just a small wince of pain. Cuts and bruises patched up, most were ready to head out.

Except Byrcha. Hollyberye could find no visible serious wounds, no broken bones. But the kin leader did not respond to touch or sound. Concern etched the elf’s face as Aedon and Calycanthus drew near.

“I don’t know what else to do,” the dark haired elf shook her head. Aedon knelt beside the still figure and released a cry of vengeance. There was no visible change in the burglar. Hollyberye shook her head.

“I already tried enlivening grace. Nothing,” she sighed softly.

“Well, we’ll find someone, somewhere who can revive her,” Aedon replied, his tone quiet but very serious as he reached down and gently lifted the hobbit burglar from the ground. Something fell from Byrcha,landing with a soft thud in the snow, creating a small crater. The burglar shook her head, as if waking from a deep sleep, and looked up at the captain, holding her in his arms like a small child.

“Huh? What…? she slurred, looking around her to see the eyes of all looking at her with concern.
“Why are you carrying me?” Byrcha blushed a bit, then stiffened.

“Put me down!” she demanded. Aedon set her on her feet with a soft chuckle, then knelt to collect whatever had dropped into the snow.

“And why are you all standing around? What happened to…” and she stopped noticing the dead guaradan chief. “Oh… dead already is it?” Byrcha arranged her clothing and reached to straighten her hat, which wasn’t there.

“Yes,” said Aedon standing up with what looked like a ring with a large red stone in his hand. “But he threw you across to here and we couldn’t wake you.”

“We tried everything,” Hollyberye added. “How did you wake up?”

Byrcha shrugged, “I don’t know. I just woke up… looking at Aedon’s face that was way too close!”

The captain chuckled as he held out the ring. “It appears this was in your clothing or something. I’m guessing it had something to do with keeping you asleep, though I don’t know how. Holly?” he asked as he handed the ring to the elven minstrel.

“Not like anything I’ve ever seen before,” she turned it over in her bare hands and collapsed to the ground, the ring clutched in her hand.

“Mystery solved,” Byrcha laughed. “Someone take it from her so we can go home!”

Aedon retrieved the stone, offering a hand to the elf, who looked around as if puzzled why she was on the ground.

“Goodness,” she mused as she got to her feet. “Powerful… whatever. I think perhaps Master Elrond would take an interest is this.” Aedon stretched out his hand with the ring to the elf, a glint of mischief in his eyes.

“Nooo,” Hollyberye chuckled. “You hang onto it for now, Aedon. Let’s go home!”

With agreement all around, the teams grouped up with hunters who sped them home in no time.

And what about the mysterious red stoned ring, you ask? Well… that will be another story for another time!

Part-time treasure hunter, playwright/director wannabe and head over heels in love with her handsome husband, Tamoro.

Other active games: ESO (Tearna, T'nar, Tealan, etc.)
Aedon Durreah

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re: The Lonely Mountain Band Goes to Forochel!

Excellent and fun story Tearna!

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