Book 6: Act 3 - Breaking of the Fellowship

It is the year 2946 of the Third Age, and the lands east of the Misty Mountains are astir. From the cloud-shrouded peaks above the High Pass to the spider-infested gloom of the forest of Mirkwood, paths long-deserted are trodden once again. Busy merchants carry their wares to new markets, messengers bring tidings from foreign realms, and kings send forth armed men to extend their influence and the rule of law. Some say that a new age of freedom has begun, a time for adventure and great deeds to reclaim glories lost in long centuries of oppression and decline.

But adventures are not really things that people go out and look for. They are dangerous and rarely end well. While it is true that a handful of valiant individuals set out to make their mark on the world, for others it seems that adventure chooses them, as though it is the path they are fated to tread. They are restless warriors, curious scholars and wanderers, always eager to seek what was lost or explore what was forgotten. Ordinary people call them adventurers, and when they return successful, they call them heroes. But if they fail, no one will even remember their names...

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Book 6: Act 3 - Breaking of the Fellowship

Post by Vardaen » Mon Dec 04, 2017 4:25 pm

Image May 21st, 2949, The Third Age, Late Spring

When they had eaten, Aragorn called the Company together. 'The day has come at last,' he said: 'the day of choice which we have long delayed. What shall now become of our Company that has travelled so far...? Shall we turn west with Boromir and go to the wars of Gondor; or turn east to the Fear and Shadow; or shall we break our fellowship and go this way and that as each may choose? Whatever we do must be done soon. We cannot long halt here.' ...

There was a long silence in which no one spoke or moved.

-- The Fellowship of the Ring, LoTR Book 2, Ch 10, The Breaking of the Fellowship

The Fellowship has spent a long while traveling the Old Dwarf Road in Mirkwood in the company of Bofri and his companions. After a hard won fight against Tauler the Great Spider they discovered in an old Mill Fort the Roadwarden Staff. Delighted with this find Bofri suggested a retreat back to civilized lands of the Woodmen so he could see what authority the staff might give him to organize more expeditions. You eventually agreed, and retreated back to the Vale of Anduin. Reaching the open air of the Vale the Fellowship then broke up. Some of you ventured north back to the Easterly Inn to handle matters there. Others ventured south to rejoin Radagast and take council with the Brown Wizard, others returned home or traveled for a time with their companions.

Time marches on, and the spring turns late, and moves toward summer as news of your doing reach the ears of your companions.
Image
I should have started this a while back sorry. So we have ideas on what is what, what some folks are going to do or try. Please post your various actions, we can have the typical narrative RP, long reaching, etc. I would suggest you expect the Fellowship Phase to end by mid to late summer.

Away we go.
"He that breaks a thing to find out what it is has left the path of wisdom." - Gandalf
J.R.R. Tolkien, Council of Elrond, The Fellowship of the Ring

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Book 6: Act 3 - Breaking of the Fellowship

Post by Shurijo » Mon Dec 04, 2017 9:09 pm

At Easterly Inn, Borir makes quick work of repairs in the smith and begins to mend broken tools for the inn. It takes a while before the shadow leaves his spirits, but the dwarf soon replaces the darkness with ale and song. Well, mostly ale and more ale for the dwarf.

Banging away in the smith, he moves away from the forge to take a break and another sip from his tankard as he mends the plowshare used for the inn's gardening. Perched in the smith is a somewhat new comer to the inn. A raven sits and watches Borir sip his ale.

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Book 6: Act 3 - Breaking of the Fellowship

Post by Muskrat » Mon Dec 04, 2017 9:46 pm

Varuthil travels to Radagast's to visit the Brown Wizard and learn what she can from him. As usual, he does not teach her directly, but sets her to work, helping him with his garden and his travels in the nearby wilds. As he does so, he asks her about her observations of the animals they encounter, drawing out her knowledge from her own experience hunting for her companions and speaking with the creatures of the wild. Sometimes Radagast will offer her a more direct lesson, offering bits and pieces of knowledge about the wild creatures, some of it mainly of interest to the scholar, some of it more practical, of aid to the tracker and hunter.
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Radagast also asks Varuthil to sit with him as others come to seek their council of him. He periodically pauses to ask her what she thinks--but his questions seem as much directed as developing Varuthil's own insights into others' thoughts and motives as truly wanting her feedback. Varuthil is well aware the wizard sees more deeply than she does and that her advice is rarely needed--Radagast simply prefers to teach indirectly, seemingly doing little to help his student while actually doing much.
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Among those who come to meet with Radagast are emissaries from King Thranduil's court. One of them is a skilled bow-maker. Hoping to win Radagast's favor by doing a favor for his pupil, the bow maker volunteers to work on Varuthil's bow, altering it to make it more dangerous in battle, so that the arrows loosed from it cut more deeply.
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Book 6: Act 3 - Breaking of the Fellowship

Post by shipwreck » Sun Dec 10, 2017 1:01 am

Upon their return to Woodmen territory Rathar showed little signs of life. He strode with the elegance of his "faerie" heritage into Woodland Hall, nodded grimly to those in his acquaintance, tarried a day. He began his pilgrimage to the Kingstone immediately. He thought to stop by Rhosgobel, and perhaps visit the wizard whose counsel is so wise, but thought better of it when the high hedge of that town reached his view. He strode on.

Many leagues later, alone, and passing through the green meads of the Anduin vale, he thought he saw it; a tall pillar of stone with some shape or other on top. Next day he reached the top of the hill and gently placed his hand atop the skull that mounted the stack of rock. He felt no immediate change, though the grief of his strange brush with death seemed somehow more bearable. Rathar said little, to himself or the birds or the two passersby, and returned without ceremony to the wood. Sitting there, under the terrible, wonderful trees, the memory of the Kingstone in mind, the Wood-goer found his constitution at least somewhat restored.

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Book 6: Act 3 - Breaking of the Fellowship

Post by Blubbo_Baggins » Sun Dec 10, 2017 10:46 pm

Apologies, this is a LONG story. I had several things I wanted to tell, and it just took a really long time to get it all out. I hope you enjoy it, at least.
Finn returned to Rhosgobel with the others, thankful for a few days to rest. He knew the time to return home to Laketown was coming--he needed to meet with his father to discuss business, and to tell him the good news of Ceawin starting a hoped-for settlement in the East of Mirkwood. But for now his duties in the Anduin Vale were not over and so he would remain.

Finn enjoyed watching Radagast's interactions with animals and the strangeness of his ways, contrasted with the simple lives of the Woodmen. In just two or three days he was refreshed, and decided it was time to make his way back to the Easterly Inn to check in on the Brandybucks and his investment.

Tom accompanied Finn North for a short while, a journey they had now taken so many times it had become as familiar, as a comfortable glove. But for once Finn wanted to linger, feeling a strong desire to go slowly, seeing the places and peoples of the Vale that he had never been able to before. Tom was tired of living under the stars, and could only think of the soft beds of the Inn and Agatha Brandybuck's cooking, and so Finn sent him off on the direct path north.

Though he had been always used to hard work growing up in his father's lumber business, living and camping on the road had taken some time for Finn to get used to. By now he hardly thought of it, and loved watching wildlife during the day, crossing paths with strange travelers, and sleeping under the stars at night. The only thing it lacked was the fresh wind coming out over the Lake.

He soon found his path leading him more Westerly, taking him right up to the Anduin river northward. Instead of crossing paths with Woodmen, which was often and inevitable when traveling between Rhosgobel, Woodmen-town, and Woodland Hall, he passed strange folk along the river: men who rode horses but did not match the description of the Rohirrim; travelers with large wagons and even chariots like he'd seen out of the East; houseboats large and small that moved up and down the River. He had heard of these River-folk before, and though he'd had no dealings with them, he thought he understood their love and desire to live surrounded by water.

And so it was that after a few days on the road he came to a place where two such houseboats were docked on the shore, and behind them was a large island in the middle of the Anduin. The river split around the rocky outcropping, whose shores were covered by long grasses, stunted trees, and the presence of many houseboats docked as well. The boats nearest him on the land seemed quiet, the people either inside or off trading or hunting. The island, on the other hand, was a different matter - it was full of activity, a market of some kind.

His curiosity was stirred, and so he continued heading north, closer to the banks across from the island. There he found two men, sitting in small boats and chatting, River-folk who (Finn guessed) ferried people to the island who had come by land. Two copper later, Finn found himself on the island.

Merchants called to visitors, hoping to attract them to ramshackle booths and all manner of wares; one merchant and customer were vividly haggling over a small metal object, the customer's arm high in the air in frustration; dogs ran and barked while children chased them; an old lady cooked meat over an open fire, several sat nearby on small stools cups in hand, talking and drinking and eagerly awaiting the food; Men from all over Wilderland and beyond (and even a few Dwarves) mingled here, talking, trading, and eating.

For a few moments Finn was lost in the liveliness of it all, until his attention was arrested by a young woman with a stern expression on her face, wearing a leather corslet and bearing a sword in her right hand. If it had not been for the severe look in her eyes and the simpleness of her attire, Finn might have believed her to be nobility; for her beauty among the homely River-folk stood out to him as a pearl in a bucket of tar. "But a sword?" he thought. He had heard of shield-maidens out of Rohan before, but this one bore no shield, nor was she of that race, for her hair was dark brown.

She stood near a merchant wearing fine furs and a gold necklace, with a smug expression on his face. Before Finn's stare at her became embarrassing, the well-dressed merchant called out to him. "Care for a game of chance, friend? You seem a brave fellow, the stakes are high, but the rewards are higher!"

Finn shrugged; he didn't care for gambling. Growing up his father had hammered into him the value of hard work, It's the key to success, he could still hear Winaelf say, folk who spend their time and money gambling on a prosperous future spend the very things that could have given that future to them.

"Come now friend," continued the man, the smile on his face like a snake's jaw, "Perhaps you don't like games of dice; that's fine. I have something far better, a challenge you will not be able to resist.”

Nothing the man said about games would interest Finn; but he wanted to know who this woman was, and why she carried a sword as if she was this man's guard, and so he turned toward their table and approached as if interested.

“I am Finn, and your name?” He said, offering his hand to the lady. The woman looked at him skeptically, and raised her sword to show her hand was currently occupied. “I am Dreymis of Esgaroth” replied the merchant, taking Finn's hand in his, answering before his apparent guard could. Finn narrowed his eyes. He knew all the businessfolk of Laketown, and Dreymis was certainly not one of them. But he decided to hold his tongue and not reveal more about himself.

“So you think you are up for a challenge, lad?” said Dreymis; though grey was beginning to show on his head and in his beard, he was certainly not a man of Finn's father's age. “If you aren't going to use my name, then sir will do,” replied Finn, with a bit more sternness than he intended.

“Well then, fine sir,” said Dreymis, the title punctuated through the man's nose, "here's the challenge: choose before you that which is worth the most. If you succeed, you keep it. If you fail, you pay for what you wrongly chose, and go home empty-handed."
Before Finn on a table were six objects:
A plain gold ring;
A a long, leaf-shaped dagger inlaid with serpents of red and gold;
A small, unset beryl, green as the waves of the Sea;
A simple sword of a quality similar to what he'd seen in the forges of Dale;
A wood carving of a horse's head, a red bead set in its eye;
Lastly, a black bag of silver.

There were so many ways the game was rigged, Finn could see, it was nearly impossible to win.
How else could a merchant wear such finery in a backwater market like this island, with dogs on the loose and half-naked children running around, unless that merchant always won? What did “worth the most” mean? And who determined the value? Was it best to pick the object that seemed the most valuable, and risk paying the cost if you were wrong? Or best to pick the thing that seemed cheapest, so that if you lost (a certain outcome), you didn't have to pay so dearly?

“You may lift the objects to examine them, but if they are damaged in any way, you will pay for them, not counting what you pay if you lose,” continued Dreymis, “And you may not look into the bag to count it. It's silver coins, so that is your only point of reference.”

The thin gold ring might have been the cheapest object, perhaps a temptation for those who wanted to get out of the game with minimal loss. Gold was valuable, but Finn could felt that it was very light and delicate; not finely crafted and certainly less than a bag of silver or a finely forged weapon. The beryl, unset as it was, could not have been worth much though he could not tell for sure. That bag of silver was probably supposed to be an aid, and could not have been the most valuable. Finn could never have bought the sword for just the silver, and he'd held its like before so could estimate its worth as somewhere in the middle. Thus the only choices left were the wood carving and the dagger. Finn picked up the latter; it reminded him of the finest blades he had ever seen, made by the Dwarves of Erebor, but it looked far, far older. The game seemed too obvious, but wasn't that was the point, to obscure the obvious? The thing of most worth could as easily be that plain beryl as this dagger, if he only knew the stories behind each.

Lastly Finn picked up the carving of the horsehead, which easily fit into his palm. The horse had a fierce expression, like the steeds of the Rohirrim, its flowing mane subtly carved to appear like flames. The bead for the eye was plain though dark, likely just glass. He turned the horsehead over, and into the back was carved a word in Sindarin:
Image

Finn had learned to speak Sindarin, at least on some level, in his trading with the Elves of the Woodland Realm and it had improved in his time with Irime. He seemed to remember some of Sindarin letters, but as for the meaning of the word, he could not guess. He shrugged again, “I'm not an expert on jewelry, weapons and gems, so I think I shall pass on playing your game.” Then Finn looked up, into the face of the woman standing there, sword still in hand. “The most valuable thing before me are those eyes,” he said, almost without realizing it. The woman breathed in with surprise, and though her face remained stern Finn imagined he saw a little color in her cheeks. Dreymis' eyes briefly widened, but his expression quickly turned smug once again; the change had been hardly noticeable.

Finn kept speaking before the moment could become awkward. “But of course, I'm not going to play this game. Thank you Dreymis; I find myself wanting to go find something to eat. Good luck.” As he turned to go, the merchant grabbed his arm, “That will be five gold for handling my wares. I have to get them polished, you know, and if their condition isn't identical one to another, it influences the game.”
“Ha” Finn laughed. “Five gold? No, I don't think so. But here is something for wasting your time.” Finn dropped a gold coin on the table and continued to leave.

From the corner of his eye he noticed a slight nod from the merchant, and the guard quickly stepped to intercept him, the sword not exactly pointed at him, but near enough. “You will pay,” she said, “Or we will put you before the council of the éafolc. Dreymis brings the council more levies than any other merchant, and has the power to put you in chains. Do not resist.” Finn took a step back as she spoke, looking in the woman's eyes and was surprised to feel in her voice as much resignation as threat. He looked back toward Dreymis. “Fine, Dreymis. I promise to play your game before tonight, and if I lose then, I will pay.” The merchant smiled and nodded, raising his brow and releasing his guard, who stepped back behind him once again.

The rest of the afternoon Finn ate, watched the people of Trader's Isle (for that is what he had learned it was called), played with the dogs, and considered the puzzle before him. As evening began to set in, fires were kindled and folk took out instruments, beginning to play and sing. Soon there was a dance, first of kids, and then the rest joined in, stepping to a dance that was likely traditional and known by all of the éafolc. As much as Finn loved music he could not help drawing near the instrumentalists, taking out his small drum, and reinforcing the simple tune played by the others. He watched as the people danced, laughed, changed partners, mis-stepped, drank, and enjoyed the warmth of the fires that kept away the cold, which seeped up from the evening River.

On the edge of the firelight, on the other side of the fires, Finn caught a glimpse of the woman, looking through the crowds. What was she doing here, with Dreymis nowhere to be seen? He nodded to his fellow musicians, and stood, walking into the edge of the darker part of the camp, considering his next move. He realized that Dreymis had probably sent her to find him and hold him to his promise, before the fires died down for the night and he slipped away. But he realized that he wasn't going to try to escape and that he'd keep his word, even to a scoundrel. First however, he decided, he'd have a moment for fun.

Finn stepped into the light of the fires and dancers again, and began dancing his way through them slowly, toward the woman. Her sword was wisely in its sheath, for in a place with drinking and so many moving bodies, an accident would be far too easy. And so with a mix of hope and desire, spurred by seeking to distract himself from the worry he felt about that game, his dance took him into arm's reach of the woman. With a smooth motion he grabbed her hand, “Would a lady join me?”

For a moment she resisted, as if she had no desire, or was it that she didn't dare? And then she stepped forward, Finn's excitement growing. She came hesitantly, as if the steps were strange to her, like dancing was foreign.
“I can't.”
“Sure you can,” replied Finn with a smile, “The steps are quite easy. I watched and learned them myself just now.”
“No, that's not it. Well, it is, but...” She paused and turned her bare forearm up toward the firelight, showing it to Finn. Where had he seen that tattoo before? Then she loosened her hold on his hands. The moment was over before it had begun. “Oath,” she said, and stepped back into the darkness.

Finn hid his embarrassed feeling by rejoining the dance, but within moments grew tired of it, and decided he would delay no longer. He knew she had spoken to remind him of his promise to Dreymis, and so turning into the darkness of the camp, headed back to the market. Most merchants had closed and left, but a few tents were set up with torches by the entrance, places where drink would flow late into the night. A small table was still in the market circle, lit by a single lantern. Finn could see teeth reflecting the light, and that of a gold chain, and that of a sword. The moment had come. He approached the table.

“Ah, welcome back, fine sir,” said Dreymis. “I knew you'd hold to your word. Now, take one last look here, and choose. Or if you're too much a coward, you can pay me fifty gold, and go home.”
Finn looked again at the table, examining each of the objects slowly, this time even picking up the sword; unfortunately, inspection by lantern light did not help appraisal abilities, and only the dagger seemed to be something from the Old World.
“I do not know the stories of these objects,” he said to Dreymis. “It seems one thread ties them all, though. They are all unused and unenjoyed. As if they are all bound to you, captive to this game.”
Dreymis shuffled, “Do you not know a merchant's life? They are my trade; there is no story; you are stalling.” Finn looked up, directly at Dreymis, his voice full of a confidence that came unexpectedly, a confidence that he could not explain but suddenly filled him,

“A ring that should be on the finger of a man, symbolizing the vows he made to his wife, a bag of money they had from a successful harvest, a sword that failed to protect their household, a gem she'd found on the road to the Sea, dropped by one of the Elves on the last journey West, a dagger from out of the ancient days when Men ruled the seas and mingled with Elves, and like the red and gold snakes brought both wealth and death to the Northmen.”

With each phrase, the surprise on Dreymis' face grew, shock that soon gave way to a glare, cold and dangerous. “And this,” said Finn, lifting the carved horsehead and turning it over to show the writing underneath, “This is a secret so deep you knew you could never lose.” Dreymis' hand went to his belt, his face a scowl.

Finn raised the amulet. “I choose this. An oath.”

At that moment, Dreymis' hand flew from his belt toward Finn, the blade of a knife flickering in the lantern light. Before Finn could react, another blade swung through the air in a blur, severing the hand completely, which fell on the table in a bloody mess, knife still in its grip.
A scream broke through Dreymis' mouth, who fell on the ground. “Run!” said Finn to the woman, who stared at Dreymis, momentarily stunned at what she'd done. Finn grabbed her hand and the two began to run, away from the light of the market and through the camp.

Soon the alarm was raised. Soldiers had quickly found Dreymis, and carrying torches and spears, began the pursuit. “Come,” cried Finn again, who led them toward the shore of the island, nearing a row of houseboats. Between the large boats they found skiffs tied to a hitch in the ground. They were unguarded, and it took just moments for Finn to untie one and push off into the River, paddling as quickly as he could toward the eastern shore.

It was night, and the current was strong. Clouds in the sky allowed some of the moon's light to appear, but not much. “If you can keep an eye out for hazards up river, I'd greatly appreciate it,” said Finn.
“Hah. Well, I will do what I can. But about all I can see is this boat,” her voice replied.
Finn was thankfully used to hard rowing, and taking a moment to look over his shoulder, estimated they were about halfway between the island and the shore. He could now see several torches behind the woman, pursuers who had already entered skiffs of their own, or were watching from shore. He estimated three boats had already pushed off, but they were going in different directions, not knowing exactly what direction the two had taken.

“Why did you do that? I mean . . . thank you,” said Finn.
“He would have killed you.”
“Was he that much of a scoundrel, killing those who chose correctly?”
“No, and yes.” She paused. “Before this, when someone would pick the amulet, they thought that the object itself was the most valuable. Dreymis would simply ask them what made them think it was the most valuable, and none knew; they all said it was some ancient relic, or finely carved, or some other obvious guess.”
“And did never an Elf play, who could read the writing and surmise the answer?”
“Dreymis was careful about who he invited to the game. Most of the time he simply sold the things on the table, setting out the amulet only for the game. But he still couldn't lose, as he had a backup plan.”
“To just stab the one who picked it?”
“No.” She replied. Finn thought she was going to say more, but her pause turned into a long silence, the sound of the oars in the water and Finn's breathing the only things they could hear. Two torches of their pursuers were heading further upriver, one downriver, and one in their direction. That meant trouble, for there would be at least three parties for them to avoid once reaching the eastern shore; one nearby and two whose paths they might cross once they went north.

Finn continued, “You're in his employ, and so he'd instructed you to kill anyone who said the amulet was the most valuable object. Or, to at least take it back.” He could not see her expression, but in the moonlight saw her head was turned sideways, lost in thought.
“I'm not a hired sword for Dreymis. I mean, wasn't a hired sword. But I was ordered to get the amulet back at any cost. Some wisely returned it, others are now dead.”

“Who is this Dreymis?”
“He travels across Wilderland and beyond. He leads a band of outlaws who have taken over Trader's Isle. At one time their camp was in the Wolfswood, but now that's just their outpost. The island was the meeting place and market of the River-folk for generations, but now it belongs to Dreymis, who allows the éafolc to remain so long as they pay the tolls, send their young men to serve his bands, and look away when their young women are claimed as wives.”
“Why haven't they risen up against him?"
“They have no leader and are not a martial people. Some of them were undoubtedly glad for someone to bring power and opportunity; others have imagined that after his arrival brought so much trade, he would go on his way like everyone else. By the time he controlled the island, the éafolc were divided, dependent on his gold, and afraid.”
“You still haven't answered my question,” said Finn. “Why did you attack him? Though don't take my insistence as my not being grateful for saving my life.”
“Do you really not know that already?” she replied with surprise. “If not, then I'll you're not as smart as I believed. Maybe Béma has decided to be kind to me after these ten years.”

The quiet was suddenly broken by the loud sound of the boat sliding forcefully onto the bank. Thankfully the hull had cleared the edge, and their boat had found purchase on the shore.
“Uh. You might think I didn't grow up surrounded by water. Apprentice mistake. Well, here is land, and I'm afraid we can't rest yet.” Reaching to help the woman out of the boat, she stood, ignoring his hand, and began to jog through a small copse of trees that lined the eastern shore.

“It was the oath,” said Finn, turning and quickening his pace to catch up. “It's not just the concept of an oath that's the most valuable. It's a real oath. Like the tattoo on your forearm. You're sworn to Dreymis.”
She didn't replay, starting to turn in a southerly direction.
“Where are we going?” asked Finn.
“I don't know. But I am unfamiliar with the ways and the folk to the north of here, and know the South well.”
“But I am familiar. And I have friends in the North who can help us. Friends who can certainly handle a few soldiers.”
“You don't understand. Dreymis has a whole army of outlaws. Tonight he has sent just these few, but tomorrow will bring many, many more. He will not stop his pursuit. He has invaded the Northern Vales before.” She didn't turn from the path she'd taken, and Finn hoped he could convince her to follow him North before they got far.
Suddenly something clicked in his mind. A band of outlaws from the Wolfswood, invading the Northern Vales.
“Was it Dreymis who led the invasion, or was it actually someone else: Valter the Bloody?”
“You knew him?” She replied, an edge of shock in her voice.
“I was fighting to defend the Vales, when my friend Beorn destroyed his army and killed the man.”
“Beorn is your friend?”
“Well, maybe friend doesn't really apply to anyone who knows Beorn. More like comrade-at-arms? Soldier? Grateful beneficiary? Either way, he will be glad to see us, and to hear about this Dreymis. After all, it sounds as if the man has rebuilt trouble from the remnant of Valter's band. Let's go north,” Finn added, indicating with his head that she should follow.
“OK. North it is.”

The pair continued a steady pace far into the night, until the moon had passed beyond the horizon and it had become too dangerous to continue in the darkness. They found a group of boulders, behind which they could rest, or clamber on for a bit of high ground if they were found. They lit no fire, and did little more than drink from Finn's canteen before lying down in the grass.

“Somehow that horsehead represents your oath. I thought it just represented oaths in general. But now I see it is a specific oath,” said Finn, speaking his thoughts aloud. “In fact, something changed when I claimed it. I didn't even know what I was speaking. The story about each of the objects and how they were tied together… I don't know where that came from.”
“Béma sent it to you; every bit was true. And yes, something did change; in that moment Dreymis was no longer my master, and I was bound to protect you. I must admit I was glad to do it, that which I've desired for ten years. Though I failed even in that for I could not believe I was finally freed of him, and I failed because Dreymis still has one hand with which to wrought evil.”

She paused, then spoke again, each word sounding clearly in the cool night air; “In that moment you became the owner of the amulet, and therefore the owner my family's oath. My oath. My life.”
Finn could hardly breath, considering the implications of what she'd said.
“But, I uh . . . I have no wish to own you, or anyone. I am no slave owner.”
She laughed, “I am no slave. My oath was freely given to serve Béma, and to whomever Béma gives my oath amulet, as a sign of whom he desires me to serve, a man or woman whom Béma himself has chosen as a servant.”
“You must obey the owner of the amulet? Wait, are you saying that Béma wants something from me? His sign in the sky is real, and perhaps the legends of him are based on truth, but what does he want from simple men? He can do what he pleases without our help.”
The lady laughed. “I am Béma's servant, and have done whatever he has asked of me through his servant, my master.”
“And Dreymis was his servant?”
“Béma is strong enough to use even evil men for his purposes. But I cannot say these ten years have not shaken my faith. And yet I cannot break my oath. Béma has no need of men; it is his pleasure to use them. You have also in your blood the faithfulness of the men of the North, the only ones who have not yet broken oath. The Men of Numenor did, and they are gone. The Eldar have, and they fade. Only we Northmen have stood against the long defeat.”

At these words Finn felt a chill up his back. They were the very thing he had written and sung about many times before. “Well, then I shall set you free. For I wish for no slave.”
“You don't get it. I am not a slave. You may give my oath amulet to another, but to set me free from my oath, only Béma can do. And for now, you are its owner, and his servant.”
It almost felt as if she was enjoying this. She was practically his slave, and yet she was telling him that in taking the amulet he had made Béma his master. He was the one who felt uncomfortable and out of control.
“OK. We will talk more on the road tomorrow. Let's sleep.”
By her lack of response, he assumed she agreed.

“By the way,” said Finn. “What's your name?”
Though it was silent, he knew she had turned toward him again.
“Hild,” she said. “And thank you.”
He wasn't sure to what she referred, but as he drifted to sleep, he remembered seeing her eyes for the first time.
Béma is men's word for Oromë
Finn and Hild had to continue on the run from Dreymis' men; they managed to escape but the road was hard. When they entered Beorning lands, the pursuers turned back. After spending several days at Beorn's house, they continued to the Easterly Inn, where they remained (until the end of the Fellowship Phase).
Undertaking: visit market on Trader's Isle: River-charm. You bought a lucky amulet of the éafolc. For the length of the following Adventuring phase, if you are inside the Vales of Anduin you may spend 1 Hope to roll again if you get a Sauron Feat die result.

Increased Athletics due to escape over several days from Dreymis' men
Increase Sword skill due to practicing/learning from Hild while staying at the Easterly Inn

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Book 6: Act 3 - Breaking of the Fellowship

Post by Vardaen » Thu Dec 21, 2017 3:18 pm

Wow such a great post sort of scared the pipeweed out of me to post!
Borir finds himself returned to the Easterly Inn, the Brandybucks there are happy to have him back. There is much talk at the Inn and travelers are passing east to west in good numbers. It seems there is a celebration in the works to the east in Dale, talk of the King of Dale having been married early in the year. Borir, his forge getting good work, is there when dwarves from the Blue Mountains pass through returning home from Erebor give the news. "King Bard married Una of Dorwinion. She had a nice rich dowry with her, and all those diplomatic ties. Not bad looking either, for one of the tall folk." Tom has returned to the Inn as well, and lends a hand and listens to the rumors and tales with a smile, glad to be in a bed for a change.

Varuthil spends her time in Rhosgobel with Radagast, he seem more pre-occupied than normal, and so from time to time she is left to deal with travelers and visitors who have come to speak to the Brown Wizard. Word comes to her that spiders, which seem more riled up of late, have come out of the forest to attack the Woodemen using boats along the Dusky River. River-maidens came to their rescue guiding the men out of the webs. One man reported seeing a gigantic Spider lurking in the shadows, could it be Tauler taking his revenge?

Rathar, wounded both in body and spirit, takes a trip to the Kingstone to refresh his spirit and hope. It is a perfect place for him to do so, and he returns home after renewed with vigor. Along his trip home afterwards he comes along a Woodman farmstead to find rumors of a chicken-thief and a 'Bloody Ghost' that has been stealing food from the fringe communities. One farmer was actually trampled to death by his cows after this 'Bloody Ghost' caused a stampede among them. Back in Woodland Hall Ingomer has placed a bounty on the head of this so called 'Bloody Ghost' for anyone that can put an end to it.

Finn's time is perhaps the most dangerous of the Fellowship, a trip west to trader's isle turns into a mad dash for safety after things turn sour among those with power there. Crossing the Anduin into Beorn's lands they found the pursuers gave way and backed off. With Finn is a new companion a woman by the name of Hild who doesn't talk much, and seem grim and dour, but escaped from the isle things may change now for her. Finn and Hild arrive at Beorn's house in time to join the chieftain of his people on trek he's taking. He is heading to Northern Mirkwood to meet with King Thranduil. Finn accompanies Beorn on the journey north, and the great man even spends a single night at the Easterly Inn telling stories and drinking up a good amount of Dody's ale.

By the end of spring as summer is moving right along some of the company has found themselves once more at the Easterly Inn: Borir, Finn, Tom, and now Hild.

While in the south Rathar is among his people at Woodland Hall and Varuthil is staying with Radagast.

The Brown Wizard has been seen less and less of late there, and when he is about he seems agitated and troubled. He sends a messenger to Varuthil, a sparrow, that alights near the elf, and whispers to her, "Gather your flock, danger is growing."
I think everyone has made any updates or changes to the sheets. If you haven't, or if we are waiting on a roll from me we will sort it on the OOC. A post or two here, meeting back up, is good and I'll get the new chapter started after Christmas
"He that breaks a thing to find out what it is has left the path of wisdom." - Gandalf
J.R.R. Tolkien, Council of Elrond, The Fellowship of the Ring

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Muskrat
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Book 6: Act 3 - Breaking of the Fellowship

Post by Muskrat » Fri Dec 22, 2017 12:05 am

Varuthil pauses a moment to consider the sparrow's words. The she nods and says to the sparrow, "Tell Radagast I will do as he asks--I will set forth to the Easterly Inn to find the others today. He can meet us there or send word to me that we should return here--or go elsewhere."

When the sparrow has flown away, Varuthil deliberately finishes what she is doing, as swiftly as she can, without doing a poor job of it. Then she returns to her quarters and packs her few belongings. She tells the others in Radagast's compound, "The wizard has asked me to set forth and gather my companions--apparently, trouble is once again afoot." With that, she sets out on the road to the Easterly Inn.

Her mind is troubled, wondering if the coming danger is linked to the giant spiders and if their attack on them caused more harm than good. If so, they would have to finish what they started to set things to right.

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Book 6: Act 3 - Breaking of the Fellowship

Post by Vardaen » Fri Dec 22, 2017 4:26 pm

Varuthil wastes no time, and is soon out from Rhosgobel. Her travels bring her through the lands of the Woodmen, where, on her stop for the night, she finds Rathar who seems well on the mend and doing much better.
"He that breaks a thing to find out what it is has left the path of wisdom." - Gandalf
J.R.R. Tolkien, Council of Elrond, The Fellowship of the Ring

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Book 6: Act 3 - Breaking of the Fellowship

Post by Blubbo_Baggins » Fri Dec 22, 2017 5:10 pm

Finn had been honored to be asked by Beorn to accompany the Chieftain to his meeting with Thrainduil. Hild had been amazed to meet the man, and grateful to no longer be working against him. Naturally the two of them did not partake in the counsel of the Chieftains of the Beornings and the Elves, but just to have been invited was reward enough.

After returning to the Inn, to rest, help the Brandybucks where he could, especially in entertaining guests. One evening Tom approached him, and asked if he might stay, helping at the Inn longer, that the Bradybucks appreciated having someone there who could do most anything, from cooking, to cleaning, to repairs, to helping the guests. Finn agreed, adding that Hild wanted to accompany them, and would help the company on their travels. Finn talked it over with Dody, and determined he'd continue to pay Tom, as a way to continue investment in the Inn.

The next afternoon a bird approached and landed on Hild's shoulder, whispering something to her. "What was that?" asked Finn, his browsed raised at what he'd just seen. "It seems this bird was sent by a friendly old man, called the Brown. We are to watch for the arrival of others. I don't know what that meant, but the young thrush seemed to think the message important, having come from the south."

"It means we stay at the Inn, and the rest of our friends will be joining us soon, with a message from Radagast the Brown."

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Book 6: Act 3 - Breaking of the Fellowship

Post by Muskrat » Sat Dec 23, 2017 7:58 pm

Varuthil says to Rathar, "I am glad to see you are on the mend. Are you well enough to travel? I have been staying with Radgast the Brown. He has asked me to gather my companions, because he believes trouble is afoot. I was heading to the Easterly Inn. Are you willing to accompany me?"

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