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Character Background Immquest

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 Post subject: Character Background Immquest
PostPosted: Wed Jun 16, 2010 5:34 pm 

Joined: Wed May 19, 2010 5:33 pm
Posts: 15
He landed face-first in the mud.

The children laughed. One of the larger bullies, a teenage dwarf already sporting the beginnings of his beard, stomped on a dropped book, titled ‘Introduction to the Quaternary Elemental System’, leaving a footprint prominently on the cover. Another child walked by, carrying a wooden practice sword. Deftly whipping it sideways, it caught the fallen boy across the face, drawing a bloody gash that just missed his right eye. More laughter ensued, until one body spotted an elderly dwarven master approaching. The laughter slowly abated. The master took in the scene with a glance, and looked ready to scold the lot of them, until he saw who the children had been tormenting. With a snort of disgust, the master waved one hand dismissively and went on his way.

The boy Nerolis stood, ignoring the blood and the mud, then stooped to recover the book. He said nothing. He did not even look for the perpetrators. It didn’t matter, for he knew they would go unpunished. Nobody had any respect for a dwarf who forsook the martial arts in favour of the magical.

Not yet, at least…

* * * * * *

In another culture and place, the prodigal genius Nerolis would have garnered great prestige for his skill in magic. Amongst the dwarves, he was ostracized, the more so because of his great talent than if he had been ordinary. In addition to the study of the arcane, Nerolis was drawn to the mundane, as well, and became a scholar of history, of sciences and mathematics. He mastered the tongues of the other races and learned their cultures. From those few in the dwarven community who taught the mage’s art, he absorbed everything they knew and quickly surpassed them all.

The day Nerolis Caldebran reached the age of manhood, he took his meager possessions, already packed, and set off into the world.

* * * * * *

The two towers of Carchost and Narchost were razed to the ground shortly thereafter. No one claimed credit, but whispers amongst the Dark Lord’s forces nervously spoke of a new rising power in Arda, a dwarven mage of whom nobody had heard…

* * * * * *

The high cleric of Bree surveyed the young acolytes of hobbits and men who had come to learn the ways of Iluvatar. His head bobbed up and down comically as he looked up into the tall faces of men and women, then drooped low to peer into the faces of the little hobbits. Down the waiting line of acolytes, he continued like this, looking into each of their faces. He passed a tall man from the Shire, moved his head sideways, and saw nothing. Dipping his head down, he looked at where he expected a hobbit’s face to be, and saw a stout chest instead, distinctly unhobbitlike. Peering halfway, he noted with surprise a dwarven acolyte before him. At first he was tempted to laugh, for the very idea of a dwarf worshipping any but Aule was unheard of, but something in the young man’s expression stopped him. Instead, the high cleric merely nodded once. The dwarf regarded him stoically, and said nothing.

In the lands of Hobbits and Men, Nerolis learned of the divine arts, as he prayed and meditated daily with the clerics, monks, and paladins. He gained a stronger connection to Iluvatar than he had ever felt with Aule and the dwarves, and his eyes were opened to a new sort of magic, a magic of healing and protection, of things that the mages knew nothing. In Bree, Nerolis did not suffer the bullies and fools he had at home, but yet he was not made to feel welcome. Whether it was his dwarven heritage or something about the quiet, cool confidence he exuded, none could say.

Thus, once Nerolis had mastered both magic arcane and magic divine, he left the clerical order without a second thought, as he continued to wander the Lands, ever seeking more power, but also, searching for a purpose…

* * * * * *

Demanding ever more of himself, Nerolis dedicated himself to the eldritch path of the Wizard, the road to pure Power, and sought out people, things and places that might grant him such. He traveled to Rivendell, where he learned the wisdom of the Elven Lords. He explored the deep forests of Fangorn, where the Ents, as old as time, taught him patience and strength. And in Edoras, Nerolis encountered Destiny…

* * * * * *

While all knew of the great mage Nerolis and his rise to glory, only one dared approach him, to recruit him for their cause. Ifirnia, General of the Last Alliance, petitioned Nerolis to join the Alliance, and to pledge his support by ridding the world of Sauron’s dread Commander. With towering elementals of flame and earth, he besieged the Commander’s camp, overrunning all defenses and putting the forces of Evil to rout.

And so began his service for the Last Alliance of Elves and Men…

* * * * * *

The rest of Sauron’s armies quickly fell, as Nerolis lent his strength to his
new Alliance cause. The evils of Mount Doom were quick to perish, and
Cirith Ungol was cleansed of its tainted denizens. Foul fiends of Moria
cringed and cowered and hid in the very bowels of the earth, before being
hunted down one at a time and put to rest. The tide of the battle in Henneth
Annun turned as Nerolis launched a rain of fire and lightning upon the Haradrim. Such deeds earned him fame and fortune, and even the dwarves slowly began to respect him for his heroic deeds.

Fighting for the side of righteousness, Nerolis sought to glorify his deity Iluvatar in further battles, and so submitted himself as a Priest of that order. He purged the land of Shelob’s horrors and defeated countless minions of Evil in Iluvatar’s holy name…

* * * * * *

History does not record much of the deeds of Nerolis at this point in his
career, and they are much shrouded in speculation and uncertainty. It is
known that there was some manner of falling out with his Alliance, and
rumours persist that a particular General had a hand in his departure, but
nothing is certain about the matter. What is certain, however, is that Nerolis
continued to pursue the ways of the Wizard and the Priest, but he did so
unfettered from any ties to alliances, whether Good or Evil. Occasionally,
tales were told of epic duels and titanic struggles that were attributed to
Nerolis. How many were truly his kills no one knows for sure, but no one
knows who else could have made them, either, and so history credits him
with kills of Saruman of Isengard, of the Balrog and of the Kraken, both late
of Moria, and even of the Dark Wizard himself, whose identity was
uncertain, but was a close confidant of Sauron, and maybe even the great
Necromancer himself.

For centuries his tale is one of solitude and mystery, until Nerolis Caldebran
had been presumed dead, and his exploits began to fade into the hazy realm
of myth and legend…

* * * * * *

Somewhere during this period, Nerolis learned the secret of the Ancients
themselves, that of perfecting the physical attributes of his body, for when
he returned from his centuries alone, he was stronger, more vigorous, and
faster than he had been as a youth. Some thought that he had sold himself to
dark Melkor in exchange for perpetual youth, others insisted that Iluvatar
herself had divinely intervened on his behalf. Whatever the cause, the result
was certain; he was more powerful than anyone had ever imagined possible.

The Last Alliance noted Nerolis’ return with trepidation, and wondered if he
would remember his old friends in their time of need…

* * * * * *

Nerolis rejoined the Alliance, and quickly rose in its ranks to that of General. He slew the dragons of Withered Heath, leaving their bleached bones to slowly rot, adding their treasure to his own vast hoard. Dol Guldur was his next target, and the allies of Nerolis warned him against the dangers of that dark citadel, cautioning him of the three Nazgul who dwelt there, and reminding him that none had ever returned from that forsaken place. Confident in his own abilities, Nerolis dismissed their warnings and, exceeding even his own reputation, the trio of Nazgul fell at his hand.

Nerolis Caldebran had cemented his legacy in history forever…

* * * * * *

With the full might of Wizardy and Priestcraft behind him, Nerolis became
Leader of the Last Alliance. His enemies, jealous and fearful, tried to
assassinate him countless times, but he foiled their magic with divine
protections, and even turned it back against his foes, much to their dying surprise. The warriors and assassins they sent after him found that they
could not touch him in physical combat, as their mightiest of blows broke
harmlessly upon skin of stone and wall of force, and they were dispatched
with almost effortless ease by the legend of Arda.

In time, even the ways of Wizardry and Priesthood held nothing more for
Nerolis to learn…

There were rumours in those days of a wise old man, living a hermetic life
somewhere in Withered Heath. Most discounted the story as nothing but
childish rambling, but Nerolis suspected it told truth. With mighty scrying
and soul searching, Nerolis finally managed to seek out and find the wise old
man. From him, he learned the power of Wrath, the greatest of all magical
attacks and spells, and the pinnacle of his erudite career. So armed with this
power, he felt, no force in the universe could stop him.

To Barad-Dur he took this forgotten power, to the Nazgul brothers
Akhorahil and Hoarmurath…

* * * * * *

The battle that raged there lasted for days, and Arda shook and quaked with
the terrible forces unleashed. The sky itself was blotted out as fire and
lightning rained from the sundered sky, and mountains heaved and fell with
such power that even the Gods shied away from the conflict. Finally, on the
thirteenth day, a tremendous explosion wracked the earth to its very
foundations, and the land for miles about was engulfed in flame and ash.
The world thought that Nerolis and the Nazgul brothers had managed to
destroy each other, and they mourned their great Leader’s death, even as
they celebrated the defeat of the last of the Nazgul.

And so it shocked the world when, rising from the devastation like a phoenix
reborn, came Nerolis, swathed in blood and dirt, limping slightly, but
victorious once more…

* * * * * *

The people hailed him as Nerolis Caldebran, Sorcerer. For Sorcerer he truly
was, for none else could have slew Akhorahil and Hoarmurath and survived
to tell the tale. Lauded as an Adept, master of all professions and walks of life, Nerolis continued his quest for knowledge. In time, he mastered even the ways of the Adept, and he strode across the land, a Titan amongst insects, respected by his allies and feared by his enemies.

The tale continues even to this day… He can still be found, a lonely god in a
lonely land, exploring the world, and exploring his own potential… Evil
winces at every footstep, and flees from his very shadow…

The saga of Nerolis Caldebran is far from over…


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 Post subject: Re: Character Background Immquest (Verilee)
PostPosted: Thu Jun 17, 2010 7:40 pm 
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Minas Morgul
2049 of the Third Age

Nimbus the Cruel was a father to Verilee and a fearsome warrior trained in the art of war by the Nazgul. Although his short temper grew his human brethren weary, Nimbus was revered for his undying devotion to Sauron and the servants which Sauron employed. Nimbus held a generous rank within Sauron’s army and was rumored to have carried out many top-secret missions for his master, the Witch-king of Angmar. Tiva was the daughter of two human merchants who tried unsuccessfully to run a magic shop within Minas Morgul. Her history is largely unknown except for that part which she shared with Nimbus.

Verilee was born on the day that the Witch-king cut down the King of Gondor, Earnur II. It has been said that as a child exited Tiva’s womb, the Witch-king entered Minas Morgul and slew Earnur, the last of a long line of noble kings. At that very moment, Morgoth appeared before Tiva and told her of an Unholy Incantation that would one day surely help the newborn but would also surely leave her dead. The only thing more hideous than the foul womb-gore covering the child’s body was the unnatural grin that spread across his face as Morgoth departed.

Tiva had never disclosed to her husband that she was pregnant for fear that her husband would discard her as an unscrupulous woman of lies, knowing full well that his selfishness would not allow for the presence of a child, even one of his own. On one expedition deep within the lair of Shelob, Nimbus and his men came upon a hapless deaf-mute troll. Demanding that the troll give more than just grunts and gestures to their interrogations, the beast scrawled the word ‘Verilee’ onto a nearby rock with his own blood. Nimbus and the others roared with laughter chiding the soon dead troll for not even being able to spell the word ‘Verily’ correctly. Remembering this, Nimbus immediately named the child Verilee. In this way, it would always be remembered that Tiva gave life to a harbinger of lies. Fearing for her life in the early years of the marriage, Tiva did not cross her husband and let Verilee’s name go unchanged.

At the age of 14, Verilee became an apprentice to the art of war in a fruitless attempt to impress his ruthless and bloodthirsty father. Nimbus only became enraged every time he laid eyes on the boy. Tiva, however, encouraged the child to continue his studies with the Nazgul and even taught him some magical battle chants along the way. It wasn’t long before Verilee grew into an able-bodied and sharp-witted warrior. The stronger the boy became, the more his father would lash out at him and his mother, always keeping the both of them in line with the fear and cruelty he could wield so proficiently.

On one moonlit night, Nimbus challenged Verilee to a duel. Tiva was made to watch as Nimbus “slew the foul and beguiling remnants of her womb.” The young warrior was no match for the battle hardened veteran and soon Verilee became incapacitated before the mighty Nimbus. As he raised his sword menacingly at Verilee, Tiva uttered the Unholy Incantation she had learned not two decades before. In an instant, she became a shimmering vision of Morgoth himself, suddenly thrusting her fist deep within the chest of her husband. Tiva’s last gift to her son was the beating heart of his bested father.

In the many years since this great tragedy, Verilee has far surpassed the notoriety of his father and become a Dark Knight. So great were the knights deeds, he was named leader of one of Sauron’s finest alliances, the Eye of Sauron. In his rise to power, Verilee led many perilous expeditions deep within the lair of Shelob. On one rock within that lair it is said exists the following scrawlings: “Verilee,” and in a different blood, “Lord of Falsehoods.”


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 Post subject: Re: Character Background Immquest
PostPosted: Sun Jun 20, 2010 11:45 pm 

Joined: Wed May 12, 2010 5:59 pm
Posts: 10
I remember being an elf. In those days, we were one with the forest. We were named Avari,
The Unwilling, by our brethren, who made the journey to Aman and forsook Middle-Earth.
We scorned them, and they us, but now I believe that Aman would have afforded a better fate.

I remember becoming an orc. Our home was raided by a group of savage elves, and we were
taken to a massive fortress. I was tortured, mutilated, and broken. I forgot everything I had
been, and afterward, all I cared for was killing. The fortress of Angband was my home, though
my memory of it is vague at best. My most vivid memories of that time were for the killing of
elves. Their righteous faces haunt me, but they failed in the end regardless. I was in the
vanguard of our forces in the Dagor Bragollach as we swept through Dorthonion, where countless
elves fell to my blades, including those grand commanders, Angrod and Aegnor. I also clearly
remember the Nirnaeth Arnoediad, where we slaughtered both Men and elves by the thousands.
I watched Gothmog crush the elf-king in a fiery fist, after which we routed them like animals.
It was my black arrow that pierced Huor's eye, and my blade at Hurin's back while we lead him
to Melkor. Most of this I remember in retrospect, as the memory of an orc is fluid.

I remember ambushing Maeglin and killing his guards to take him before Melkor. This, perhaps,
marks the beginning of the end of my life of servitude. I had a minor part in the Fall of Gondolin,
though after the battle, our band became lost in the mountains. Without direction, my fellow orcs
began killing each other for the position of leadership. I took no part in this, but when there were
only a score of us left, I murdered them while they slept during my watch. I no longer felt
compelled to follow Melkor's will; being apart from the main army and considered lost was enough
to attain my freedom. I struck out south, thieving and murdering to provide sustenance for myself
along the way.

I became much less deranged, and used cunning where before, in an orc war-band, I would have
simply rushed in with brute force. The shadowy skills of an assassin came easily to me. I made
my way southeast to a forest, away from any sort of civilization.

Thus Maeglin discovered me skulking around in Nan Elmoth, and remembered me for my part in
his capture. With some difficulty, he subdued me; I believe his dark sense of humor led him to
do this. He dragged me with him, south and east out of Beleriand, and to the sea, into which he
threw me three times a day for what seemed like an eternity. I believed it was simple revenge
and torture, but Maeglin's purpose was ulterior.

I demanded that he slay me in battle rather than kill me so slowly, but he smirked and said, “I
will not kill you. Ulmo may do so if he desires, but I mean for him to cleanse you.”

This prompted me to examine myself. I looked at my hands. My claws were shorter and my
skin was starting to pale. The scars all over my body were beginning to disappear. My tongue
no longer feared my strangely smaller fangs. It is also when I began to remember all that I
had lost, and what I had become.

Eventually Maeglin resorted to simply dragging me behind his boat while he sailed the coast. I
began to very much desire to become an elf again, and no longer required chains. I wanted this
healing, especially as I continued to regain my more advanced mental faculties. I traveled with
Maeglin to a wasteland, where sand covered the earth as far as the eye could see. It was here
that he abandoned me, or perhaps he released me.

He told me, “My work with you is done. I believe that some of your features will not change back
to that of the Eldar. You will always be particularly short for an elf, your fangs cannot recede any
further, and your hair will always be black as night. Your body must have not been sufficiently
altered to prevent a reversal, and perhaps this has only worked as well as it has because you were
of the first elves made into orcs. Further study would reveal this, but I have had enough of
company, and have lost interest in pursuing this research. Return north, for I must be alone.”

I left. I followed a great river north through plains, forests, and snaking ravines. I found a
beautiful forest, the one called Lothlorien, where I stayed for many years while the world caught
up with me. The Silvan elves that dwelt there tolerated my presence because Amroth
commanded it, but they did not understand my condition, and never attempted to. I even followed
Amroth to war with Sauron, earning great fame among the elves as a skilled fighter, but never
their love.

After Amroth and Nimrodel fled Lothlorien for Edhellond, I was further ostracized and even hunted
by those that remained. Many fled for fear of Durin's Bane, but knowing the nature of Balrogs, I
did not fear to remain. I slew many of my Silvan pursuers, and eventually started stalking the
area around Cerin Amroth, killing at will any who dared venture forth. They named me Authdae,
and feared my wrath. My memories were complete then, and while I understood what I was doing,
I fear my mental state will never again be what it was. Killing will always come easy to me, and
vengeance was my goal. I soon realized that I had already paid them back a hundredfold, and was
ashamed. I moved away from the elven dwellings and into Moria. I dwelt there for some time,
killing many creatures that had come out of the shadows since the dwarven exodus, though my
efforts were for naught.

I returned to Lothlorien some years later, and was accosted by a brash elf by the name of Haldir and
his band of defenders. I defeated them, taking great care not to slay them, and so learned that
Galadriel and Celeborn had come to rule the elves of Lothlorien. I freely surrendered myself to the
Silvan elves on the condition that I be brought before Galadriel. I told her my tale, even including
that I had slain her brothers, and she took pity on me, and allowed me to continue to dwell there.
Those that remembered me avoided me, however, and aside from those of Galadriel's and Celeborn's
household, I was never made to feel at home among them. I considered traveling to Mirkwood, but I
expected the same sort of greeting there, and went to Rivendell instead.

My time at Rivendell was short, and it seemed to me that no matter where I went, I would forever be
damned as a disfigured oddity among my people. I also offended several of the elf-lords there, whose
hubris knows no equal. I also dwelt in Mithlond for a time, though it was no better. There is no place
for a professional killer among normal society, it seems, and while my skills as a weapon-smith are
formidable, there is little need for them in established elven cities. I decided to try my hand in the lands
of Men.

I sailed out of Mithlond for Pelargir, and our vessel was attacked and boarded by Corsair pirates. I
slaughtered the boarders with relative ease, and managed to set fire to their sails. I restrained myself
and watched the broken crew limp away. The remainder of the voyage was quite uneventful.

In Pelargir, I was recommended by the elven captain to the local magistrate, who promptly hired me as
a mercenary assassin. The work was not as I had expected, however. I quickly realized that I was
being used to eliminate the political and economic enemies of the governor, for which I murdered him.
I laid low for a while, eventually signing on as muscle at the smugglers' cove, which lead me to the
Corsairs. I became a pirate, primarily preying on supply ships out of Gondor that supported their efforts
against the Haradrim.

During this time, I was contacted by Maeglin, as he had become aware of me through my exploits. He
wished me to take up the cause of the Haradrim. I traveled to Umbar in search of him but only found his
legacy, for he had already departed for Aman. I lent my skill to the Haradrim, who join with Sauron to
defeat their ancient oppressors in Gondor.

I only took part in one major battle for the Haradrim: that of the Crossings of Poros against the joined
forces of Gondor and Rohan. We were defeated, but I slew the sons of the Rohirrim king, and shadowed
the forces of Gondor back to their fair city, inflicting as much injury as I could. I returned to Umbar
having failed, but remained optimistic about the future.

I intend to stem the tide of falsehoods from those who think themselves righteous, and draw on the
strength of Ulmo while I watch them die for gods who care nothing for their valor. This war will not be won
on a battlefield.


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 Post subject: Re: Character Background Immquest
PostPosted: Sun Jun 27, 2010 3:58 pm 

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Always different, always quiet was the way Maurynna was described as a child. Never one to just do as she was told she always questioned why things were the way they were. She was born Hesinlote, a winter flower, to her parents. They were traders who traveled with linen and other fine elven things. She traveled with her parents and their business partners to learn the trade. Why she had to she always questioned. Her heart was not in trading, but where it was she wasn’t sure.

It was on a return trip home that they were attacked by a band of bandits. Hesinlote was put on a horse and told to ride to the a glen far enough away that she wouldn’t get caught, but close for her parent to meet her when the fighting was done. She arrived at the glen and tethered her horse near some sweet grass. Climbing a tree she settled in to wait for her parents, but they never came. It was almost dusk of the next day before she returned to the site of the attack.

Everyone was massacred and most of the supplies and trade items taken. What little was left Hesinlote tried to scavenge but her grief was great. Everyone she loved and cared for had died protecting their living. If she had been stronger and more willingly to help perhaps this carnage wouldn’t of happened.

With a heavy heart she left, vowing to become strong enough that no one she cared for or loved would be harmed again. She traveled for many years hoping to find strength and peace within herself. It was in the gardens of Lothlorien that she learned of her talent for healing, but could only learn so much before it was lost to her. It was as if her unsettled heart was blocking her growth as a healer.

Once again she traveled but this time her heart was turning her to the south. At a small shrine within the desert she learned of Melkor, whom she had always known as Morgoth. At first she recoiled at the idea of learning his way, but it was there that her heart was settled.

Slowly she learned of his path and how his fall was the price he paid for non conformity. It was under the strict tutelage of the temples high priest that her healing finally excelled. And that she gained the strength to protect her loved ones. As she took her vow to Melkor she took a different name, Maurynna. The high priest said it was suit her much better then her elven name.

As a priestess of Melkor Maurynna travels doing his works and deeds. As her faith and strength in her dark god grows as does her connection to him. He whispers in her ear his wishes and she complies. His whispers have taken her to the army of Sauron and currently in the army of Saruman.


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 Post subject: Re: Character Background Immquest
PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2013 6:57 pm 

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Why am I doing this?

Straze knew the answer before he even asked. He decided long ago that he would fight against the forces of Mordor. He quickly realized that to make any real difference he would need powerful allies. So he petitioned the great alliances of Middle-Earth. Eventually, after months with no response, he gave up ever hearing from them and made a new plan. He would create his own alliance. He knew this would cost an exorbitant amount of money and influence so he went to work. He approached a local elder who always seemed to have work that needed done. It stared out small, Straze was tasked to hunt down and kill criminals who either killed civilians, made threats against the crown, or some other crime. Then one day, when he went to see the elder, there was mewlip there accepting a dangerous mission. The elder suggested that Straze could help and the mewlip accepted. The mission went off without a hitch and on the way back to the elder, Straze discovered that he was traveling with a member of the White Council. He offered to put in a recommendation for Straze's petition and Straze accepted. Soon there after Straze was summoned to Rivendell and meeting with the Council leaders.

A task to test my loyalty and skill my dwarven butt! This is a damned suicide mission. How am I supposed to sneak into an orc camp, steal their orders, kill the chief, and make it back to Rivendell. There must two hundred orcs in this camp not to mention the wargs. Why am I cursed with a sense of duty. I should be getting drunk in some tavern groping a wench like a respectable dwarf.

With a sigh, Straze begins his sixth circuit around the camp. By now, he has spent the better part of the night memorizing the layout of the camp. He is confident in his ability to kill but only a fool would engage two hundred orcs in open combat with only two knives. Just as he is considering a new plan, he notices that one of the sentries is asleep. Finally, a bit of luck. Straze stalks up with both knives in hand. He thrusts both blades into the orc's throat and its eye shoot open is silent shock and fear. Blood starts running down over Straze's hands as he slides the orc to the ground. There is only a slight gurgling sound as the orc draws its last breath. Straze can't help but smile. That is the only sound a orc should ever make. The smile quickly turns into a murderous scowl once he notices how much of the orc's blood ended up on his bread. You damned idiot! You know how long it takes to get that stink out of your beard.


Straze removes the blades from the dead orc's throat and wipes them off. He slides one back into its sheath but keeps the other one ready. He begins the painfully slow process of sneaking through the camp. He sneaks up the chiefs tent, if you could even call a giant, nasty rag, propped up by a big stick a tent, almost without effort. Luckily for Straze, orcs are loud, lazy, and not very observant. Just as he is about to slip into the tent he hears a low hissing voice. That ain't no orc. He peeks into tent and sees the biggest, ugliest, orc he has ever seen cowering before what appears to be a man covered in all black. The man seems to be scolding the orc but its voice is a low hiss that Straze can't quite hear. That can't be a.....a Nazgul? What am I supposed to do now? I can't fight a damned nazgul. Maybe I could.... Before he could finish that thought he hears a low growl coming from behind. He turns slowly to see a warg baring its teeth.

Straze stands and with a sigh says "Fantastic."

With terrifying speed the warg jumped right for his throat, but Straze was faster the threw himself on his back, and used his feet to propel the warg through the tent. He thought he heard a started cry from the chief inside but he couldn't be sure. He easily rolled on to his feet as he heard shouts coming from the camp. He looked and saw the warg, the chief, and the nazgul all tangled in the tent. The chief's head, shoulders, and arms were out of the tent clawing at the ground trying to get free. There was a rolled up piece of paper a few inches from chief. Straze decided that the paper must be the orders he is after, so he sprinted for the paper, making sure to plant his knife into the back of the chief's skull on the way. He heard a sickening crunch as felt the blade bust through the skull. I guess there are two sounds that a orc should make. He let himself smile at his own clever remark before he picked up the paper. He picked a random direction and ran as fast as he could.

He was vaguely aware of all of the orcs that he passed but his full attention was on running. He yelped when he felt something clamp down on his arm. Then before he could even register the pain he sailing through the air and landed hard enough for spots to cloud his vision. He fought to draw breath and then he felt the excruciating pain in his right arm. His vision cleared just in time to see that the warg was about to rip out his throat. With practiced ease he drew his other knife and slammed it into the warg's throat. Then with a flash of anger he slid the blade down towards the beast's chest, which dumped, what seemed like buckets of putrid blood, all over him. I will never feel clean again. With that thought he spit, trying to clear the taste of blood from his mouth.

Straze was about to stand when he saw a towering dark figure approaching. It was moving with an eerie stillness that almost made it seem to float. Straze was about to start panicking when he realized he had left one of his blade's in the chief's head and the other was firmly lodged in the warg that was laying beside him. He looked around for something to defend himself with and saw that he almost landed in a camp fire. He blessed his luck twice over and grabbed a medium sized stick from the flaming pile and launched it at the nazgul. He was hoping for a distraction, but to his great surprise the stick lodged itself in the shadowy figure's hood and its robes instantly caught fire. Its screams were so horrifying that they seemed to shake his soul. Hmm who knew nazgul are made of straw and oil? He quickly scrambled to his feet and took off running. Luckily his right hand was still clutching the rolled paper. There was so much confusion with a flaming nazgul running around that Straze easily got away.

Once he was out of sight of the camp Straze closes his eyes and whistles loudly. A black void appears, and a large war horse stomps out of the darkness. He hoppes in the saddle and starts the journey back to Rivendell. Well that didn't go as planned but it better be good enough. Setting a nazgul on fire better be proof enough that I'm loyal. And they better better be able to fix my arm.


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 Post subject: Re: Character Background Immquest
PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2013 10:25 pm 
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“The waiting room was completely quiet except for the thunderous noise of a wizard scolding one of his uruk commanders for some sort of insubordination. I thought for certain this was the first time and perhaps the last a creature of my kind would ever be waiting like I am now. I can smell a deep fire coming from below the tower. On my way into Isengard I saw orcish bodies, which to be honest did not displease me at the time, and trees alike being thrown in that fire. The operation of creating the vast caverns for breeding and mustering was a massive one, but was ill-organized and managed by brutes. This was the sole reason the white wizard had brought me to Isengard – because as disposable and plentiful as orcs and uruk are – they are not suited or knowledgeable about the intricacies of digging below the earth.”

Third Age of the Sun, 2801

I am Kalil, son of Frerin, and I am lost to the royal line of Drurin’s folk. Shortly after I watched my father’s body burned on the funeral pyre after the Battle of Azanulbizar, I left all I knew behind after learning of my father’s betrayal of my mother and set out to find my own life. Throughout my teenage years I lived around Mirrormere – which to be honest I was afraid to leave because it was all I knew. I became quite fond of fishing there, and learned not to fear the water nor the creatures that resided within.


The only people I met were random travelers and orcs, who had a nasty habit of scaring my dinner away, so I developed what seemed to be an innate hatred for the orcish type. The creatures that lived in the lake didn’t nibble when you used the right bait – they would pull you off of your stump by the shore and pull you in. It was for this reason that I learned to hold my breath under water for tens of minutes on end, until I could defeat the beast and drag him back to the surface for dinner. I learned to master skills with the blade by submerging myself completely in water and battling multiple creatures at once. I found a whirlwind-type attack particularly effective. This type of training was a more competitive alternative to sitting and fishing, for when you move at a quarter of your normal speed you often must plan 4 or 5 steps ahead of your opponent to counter their attacks. I quickly found myself moving fluidly and with deadly force on land, and utilizing my ability to use geographical advantages to sneak up on foes and swiftly and quietly relieve them of any spare body parts they didn’t need. My father told me from a young age that his name came from the Old Norse word “frar” which meant swift – so it must have been in my blood.


As I grew older, I found myself tiring of the sun and its incessant heat, so I made my way towards the east gate of Khazad-Dum, where travelers often told me was overrun with orcs. I was not concerned with this fact – for I could slay orcs by the tens before one of their heads hit the ground. I spent years in the mines sleeping with both eyes open, fighting my way to a comfortable place to call home. I finally reached a comfortable hall to call my own, and after many battles with trolls and orcs, it because an understanding that I would come and go as I please without any bother from the nasty creatures. It was not mutual respect that nurtured the understanding – it was their fear of me, and I liked it that way.


One day an orc leader sent a message to me via one of his messengers. The letter read, with the messenger’s dismembered arm still clutching it, that my presence was requested in the land of Isengard. I knew only of the storm growing above the tower from travelers who passed by. My first thought was of my home – I thought for sure that the grimy things wanted it for themselves, but as I took a look around at the cobwebs, lack of mead and fresh bread, and the lack of dwarven women, I decided to honor their request.


I travelled for days to get to Isengard, enjoying as much mead, fresh bread, and as many dwarven women as I could without delaying too long. When I came up to the gates of Isengard I could hear a great muffled sound coming from behind the walls – as if a second tower was being created from the earth. The ground shook as the great gates opened and I walked towards the tower. I was greeted by one of the wizard’s apprentices, and he led me to the waiting room. I remember my thoughts in the waiting room clearly.


As I walked into Saruman’s chamber past a massive uruk chieftain who eyed me cautiously, Saruman’s words were simple:
“Kalil, join the white Hand and watch the world fall to shadow.”
I responded: “Hail, Saruman.”


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 Post subject: Re: Character Background Immquest
PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2013 12:20 am 

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(as per note 10698:
Character: Xos thi/war/cle/ran/mag assassin/x EOS hopeful, but without alliance presently

Hey guys, I'm a newer player here, so I do not yet have an alliance to coerce a backstory with, nor am I even close to adept lol. My character's story parallels what happened with a specific force of Saurman's directly from Lord of the Rings and the defeat of Saurman and abandonment of Orthanc - my character is simply witnessing aftermath, not interfering with Tolkein's story or even being a direct part of it. I'm a huge noob and am not confident I know the game well enough to make a decent backstory, but am willing to give it my best shot....please pardon my lameness hehe )



Pain.. Darkness... Meandering carelessly upon the edge of nothingness.... ... ....

...then a familiar, metallic taste draws Xos back into consciousness. Yet unwilling to move, he licks the dried blood away from his cracked lips and tries to concentrate on assessing the damage despite the angry throbbing of his head wounds. As his senses return, it becomes obvious to him - even in the black of night - how awkward of an angle his arm is bent. Broken? Probably. Dislocated beyond belief? Definitely. An Uruk-hai that admits to weakness or injury? "Not this one." he grunted aloud to the darkness around him. ...

... The branch between his teeth snaps with an accompanied howl of discomfort as his arm is twisted back into place. The recollection of how he arrived in such a state flashes into memory... A boot scuffing against a rock.... The look of scorn upon his face was the only indication Ugluk gave before the merciless attack...but then.....Ugluk ALWAYS has a look of scorn as far as Xos was concerned. "No more warnings" Ugluk grunted as he wrenched Xos' dagger from his hand and forced him to the ground: "You mill not give away our position with your noise now." ...And grabbing the rock that made the offending noise against Xos' boot, he twists his arm into an impossible angle and proceeds to bash him into a possibly permanent nap...

...Despite the earlier onslaught, he knew he must reunite with the Isengardian force regardless of the ruthlessness of Ugluk, as the wrath of Saruman would be even worse should he break rank or disobey orders. His orcish eyesight easily spotted the trail even in the black of night...

....The smell of burning flesh brought Xos to a halt well before he was within sight of the burning bodies. The signs of the surrounding Rohirrim was apparent... "Horse men," Xos grunted with disdain. Even worse was the evidence that not a single uruk-hai survived the attack. Though cunning for an orc, he had never before been without the leadership of Ugluk. No brothers at his side.... No band fighting Uruk-hai... Despite the scenario, Saruman still must be informed... Injured and alone, he knew he would have to rapidly adapt to reach Isengard alive. Discarding his armor and the over-sized boots that inadvertently saved him from the same fate as the others of Ugluk's band, it was decided that stealth would now have to serve him in the absence of brute force....

...His footsteps soundlessly lead him from the forest. In such a short time, he had mastered moving with stealth. He had to. Even the trees around him attacked upon notice... Xos quickly embraced the concept of avoiding being noticed to begin with...but now....now he was free of the forest! ...His primal growl of victory catches short in his throat as he realizes that Isengard has fallen... Orthanc lifelessly standing before him, he wanders across the remains of fallen uruk-hai and finds no survivors for a second time. A guttural howl of excitement accompanies the notion of freedom as he surveys the area... Nothing.. No one... The night his only company, freedom his only solace, and a dagger his only ally...this was the true test of an Uruk-hai...

To hunt man-flesh....not because you were ordered to.... Not because your leaders demand it.... But simply because you can... His lips twisting into a wicked grin, Xos heads into the night with new perspective and agenda.


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 Post subject: Re: Character Background Immquest
PostPosted: Mon Mar 04, 2013 12:23 am 

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Blurred shapes come into focus as Crave slowly opens his battered eyes

It felt like hours had passed since he was last able to see clearly and breath, he knew now he had a broken nose and at least one cracked rib maybe two, they pained him while he gasped for breath

The shapes finally form into two Large Orc guards grunting at each other in their own fool language

He takes the moment of respite given to him to take in his surroundings

He is below the tower, on the dungeon level. In the centre of
the big room where the orc guards stay and guard the prisoners. The braziers
on the walls hold coals that bathe the room in a dim blood-red light.
Exits lead in all cardinal directions.

The two guards stop grunting to each other as one of them notices that Crave is still alive. The biggest of the two, the one Crave now remembers stood and watched in the background as the smaller of the two went to torturing him asking questions he did not understand, advances towards him and releases him from the contraption he was binded to.

This cell is a small, dark, dank box of a room. Virtually none of the
blood red glow leaks into this room through the small barred window in the
heavy iron door. The only exit is through that door.

He just wants to give up, end it all in blissful emptiness, but everytime he closes his eyes to give in to deaths warm embrace a scream is heard of some poor creature going through the same torture as he himself has gone through these past days, weeks, years and he clings on for yet another session of torture

Guttural screams and the whoops of joy come from the Orcs all at once The door creaks open and Crave tries to make himself small against the cold walls of his cell,they are here for him again he is not ready yet he needs more time to recover A small Dunlending woman stands in the doorway she has the warmest face Crave has seen

"Noni! Hurry up we have to get out of here before they come back with more forces"

"I've found one alive Brood, he needs help

The trees surrounding Crave are closed tightly, forming a natural wall.
An aura confined within the room invades his nostrils, pervading his body
and providing a refreshment which he had never before felt. The hammocks
strung about the room tempt him with comfort to further relieve him of his
weariness.

For A moment he is lost believing this to be a figment of his imagination before he succumbs to the illusion and goes to sleep in one of the Hammocks, illusion or not at least its better than that Cell.

And till this day his Loyalty has never wavered


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 Post subject: Re: Character Background Immquest
PostPosted: Tue Mar 12, 2013 7:21 pm 

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Putting the cleaned dishes from the evening’s supper back into a chest, she could hear her sons outside playing with their new wooden swords as they did every night until she called them in. Where did they get those? Perhaps one of the men from the camp thought it a way to keep their minds from their recently fallen father. It did keep them busy, as opposed to allowing idle thoughts and questions of their father’s return. Too old for such foolish dreams of long lost legends rising from the dead, she continued to tidy up the tent as she thought to herself. Those who passed on have passed, and you won’t see him until you have as well. Responsibilities, her children, kept her strong while she mourned. Realizing the wooden swords no longer made any sound, she rushed out through the tent flaps to see what accident had befallen their duel.

The sun was low, its last rays just visible over the horizon. Small campfires would provide light for a few hours yet, but it was clear as noonday why her sons held their swords loosely at their sides. The approaching rider was tall for a Numenorean, and higher still from riding a black steed that stood at least four hands above any war horse from the camp. The rider’s black armor looked light, measured and smithed as if tailored with him in mind. He loosely held the reins in one gauntleted hand, resting it on the saddle’s pommel, his second resting atop of it, for this dark steed did not seem to need any direction. The steed’s size helped it cover quite a bit of ground; its casual walk carrying the Numenorean at a pace nearly matching that of a smaller horse’s trot while allowing an air of serenity to surround its rider.

Her eldest son stared at the longsword sheathed to the saddle, not noticing the cross sword and long-bladed glaive - seemingly smithed from a black steel - that formed an X across his back, just visible over his cloak. The cloak absorbed any light that touched it, concealing his weapons to a small extent. Just your eyes playing tricks on you. It must’ve been that or an illusion that caused shadows to darken around him, as if the light receded away from him, accenting the shallowest of wrinkles to appear as deep as mines. The aged look of the rider’s face could not be described as anything but hardened, without the slightest hint of frailty. Other clues gave away his age as beyond that of most soldiers, including the two silver patches just aside either temple, yet his eyes - ever shifting shades of blue - drew in her stare, not to mention the slight charm that seemed to accompany what might be a grin across his scarless, suddenly softened, face. Abruptly, another shifting blue caught her eye, a wisp floating from a sack at the steed’s side, although it vanished before she could focus on it. Another trick of your mind. You need to be resting, not fancying over every rider that passes through the camp. She let the wisp escape her thoughts.

Having again been enticed by this man’s presence, she realized it had gotten darker since the rider first showed, much too fast considering it had only been a few seconds ago. She put a hand on a shoulder of each son and nudged them into the tent for bed. As they hesitated for just a moment, she risked another glimpse at the strange dark rider, strolling along as if he were in a tower garden without a worry in the world - odd, to say the least, in these troubled times, amongst such a disciplined war camp.

* * *

As he rode away from the young lads, the rider replayed the duel of the wooden sword wielding brothers in his mind. The older brother, still shy of his teenage years, could not have begun training with the brethren yet - not until his seventeenth nameday. His footwork could match some of those that have trained for two years, although that death grip and the rigidness of his arm will need to be mended. It was an odd sport that proved harder to teach as the pupils aged. It had been some time since the rider had taught the art of the blade, and longer still since he had taken a lesson as an apprentice in the arts of death and war. Back when he was known as a ranger for finding the hidden area to build an encampment just past Shelob’s lair, before he learnt more than just defense with a sword. No, the encampment wasn’t found until you were already amongst the brethren. That was before moving to Sauron’s encampment near Barad-dur, this encampment, where the brethren decided to follow you. Odd times, troubled times, if families are staying within Mordor. His mind was filled with too many memories to keep straight, every one of them more accurate than the legends - stories that were surprisingly accurate themselves, although painted in a different light than how he would have them described. One of his hands had moved to the hilt of the longsword at his saddle, a comfortable place; hopefully, the young boy wouldn’t understand that feeling for years to come.

He rode on, out the west end of the encampment, to the new tower. Not quite new. You relocated the brethren there before your departure. How many years has it been? Decades? Generations? It couldn’t have been that long ago. Those memories are still fresh. The tower was just this side of the mountain range splitting the western civilizations from Mordor. He couldn’t see it yet, the ash in the air so thick from Mount Doom, but he knew exactly where it was - able to navigate to it through the swamps of Mordor while blinded. That blind trek through the ash and smoke was long ago. That had been generations ago. Few alive today would remember such times. He rode on, as the night settled and became as dark as his own armor.

* * *

The new tower dwarfed its neighbor, Cirith Ungol, as it had grown home to the most feared army within Mordor. The chefs were busy preparing breakfast for the tower, yet few soldiers popped in to get an early bite - something unexpected had occurred. Clothed in numerous shades of dark red, a servant bustled by to catch up to his master who was already outside the tower foyer. Out of respect and service, he quickly nodded to the clan’s highest ranks, recognizable by their odd attire - accessories of obsidian and silver, amethysts and rubies; suits fashioned from dragons and monstrous snakes. Any one of them could truly belong in their own tale, if only each one spotted didn’t appear more exotic than the prior. Although none of them seemed displeased with his hasty bows, they did not seem excited for the events ahead either. He, on the other hand, was eager to serve his master today, a current Almighty of the tower - an informal title, first created to address the almighty dragon slayer who led the original band of eight in founding this clan, one of whom may be once again joining the clan today.

Nevertheless, there was one person the servant could hardly wait to meet, nearly tripping over his own foot with each step. The one who designed this very tower was coming back: an Almighty of this band during the Dynasty of Old, the Slayer of Souls, the Bond of the Brethren, the Dodger of Death, the Bearer of Darkness, the Complement of Falsehoods... to earn all his titles, he must have been around since the Second Age. Racing out past the guard, the servant streaked through the tower of Cirith Ungol and stopped just a step behind the line of escorts - high officers - separated into two groups by their respective towers. A leader from each tower was a few paces ahead: an orc donning black steel, Shagrat, and the other, an Almighty from his own tower. He made sure he was within earshot in case he was called upon, and so that he could listen in on the greeting.

Drawing near, the Numenorean rider dismounted and walked the final steps before making greetings. The morning rays of sunlight seemed to bend away from him at the last second. Shagrat initially stepped forward to speak, earning a quizzical tilt from the rider’s head. Shagrat quickly withdrew, dropping into a bow lower than any would have expected him able. The dark Numenorean gave an accepting nod, then turned to the Almighty and gave a more respectful nod. One should always bow before an Almighty, even high officers during formalities, unless you outrank; but only the dark lord outranks the Almighty. Instead of accepting with a bow, the Almighty gave a mirrored respectful nod, and the two seemed to grin slightly. Equals? When the Almighty spoke, he dropped formalities, as if speaking to an old friend. “Age has treated you better than the rest of us. You look no older than when I first came to you here at this tower. Have you returned to once again do Sauron’s will?”
“A gift, from your dark lord. Alas, no. That time passed long ago, before the Dynasty of Old. Sauron will have to find other eyes to do his bidding, for he holds authority over me no longer. Have any of my brethren returned?” The Numenorean paused to drink from a dark cyan flask with a dark red top.

Shagrat stiffened as he snarled a butchered mix of the common and black tongues, “You speak lies and treason! And there’s more of you coming back?! There’s no room now, with the legion taking over the barracks within Cirith Ungol! You can’t poss--” Shagrat cut off suddenly, realizing his tone.

The Numenorean smirked, amused! He continued with a pointed calmness to his words, “Stay silent, Captain. I haven’t spoken a falsity since Sauron last spoke one to me, but I do expect company from my two closest brothers, including Verilee, Lord of Falsehoods. I recall him being the first to relieve you of your duties as Captain, and it is a miracle you’ve gotten such a rank back.” Turning back to the Almighty, as is proper, the Numenorean continued, “It seems time for another relocation, but that is your decision to make. I have simply returned for hospitality while I await my brethren, as is my right amongst the Eye until death. When I leave, I will have new aim towards powers rising in the west, ones I shall dismiss from this plane. When I leave, any are welcome to accompany me. Until then, should my own presence coincide with Sauron’s will, then so be it.”

“You can’t simplyeeEE--” Shagrat cut off with a screech. The Numenorean moved so fluidly that it was impossible to tell what had happened until it was over. A cross sword, pulled from the darkness surrounding him, struck down from overhead - a bolt of lightning amidst an umbral cloud before Shagrat. A single drop of blood fell from the tip of the blade. Muffled calls were made from vultures circling overhead as he sheathed his cross sword. Hesitant for only a moment, Shagrat spun to head back towards the tower, blood leaking from a gash in his forehead, down his nose, to the corner of his twisted mouth. His escort of officers gathered themselves quickly and withdrew alongside him.

No one of the clan could get away with that, outside of the Almighty himself, and even that would have brought forth a battle between the two towers. While recovering from the shock of witnessing such events, the servant missed a few words between the two. The Numenorean’s steed had come up as if summoned, despite the lack of any signal, and the Almighty motioned for the servant. “... to his quarters, top floor, just north of Morkano’s.” The top floor? No one save for the highest officers are allowed there, for Morkano’s personal training, and this Numenorean had a room on the same floor?! As if reading the servant’s mind, the Almighty continued. “You are just a formality; he constructed every passage in the tower and knows his own way. For as long as he remains, you are to serve under him.” Every passage? Perhaps he really did design the tower himself. After a deep bow, the servant led the way and hoped to avoid any wrong turns through the unfamiliar floors up top.

* * *

He didn’t enjoy that, using a blade when his words would have been enough. His tongue was once his strongest weapon, but a few cross words would not be enough to settle the orc. Further, there could be no question of authority during this visit, especially from Shagrat and his followers. Shagrat’s rise back to power in Cirith Ungol was a bit of a shock, but it would be nothing compared to the teaching that scar would leave, not only for Shagrat but all of his followers. Good thing he wasn’t fool enough to draw his dagger. There’s no honor to finishing an officer that spends more time looking the part than actually soldiering. It would have been a sad return had there been death before breakfast. The fresh wound would serve its purpose, as the story spread, preventing any defiance while he awaited his brethren.

Having walked nearly the entire staircase alone, tasking the red clothed servant with acquiring breakfast, he realized that this was home. Every stone, every hallway, every torch the same. A tower built to confuse the enemy in a raid, yet simple enough to navigate if you knew the way. If anyone is fool enough to besiege the tower. The relocation would take time, but this tower was never intended to house so many, not even half as many. Another opportunity, if it fit the plan.

He made his way up one of the last staircases of the climb. He would soon be at the rooms of the highest lords within the tower, the floor just below his own. A serving girl stood at the top of the stairs, startled as he passed. She straightened up before attempting a curtsey, well balanced considering the tray of food she was holding. “W-Welcome, my Lord.”

As he nodded in acknowledgement, a slender officer stepped out from the nearest room. What’s an elf doing here? A quick, formulating recognition: black hair, slanted emerald eyes, black robes... the silver stitching is new. A memory of an old, brief conversation from within the meeting hall flowed back to him, the only time he had seen the elf before. A caster, brought in when Padan was Almighty. “Lord Dalamar,” he greeted with a respectful nod, with barely any hesitation as he continued on. The elven mage gave a short bow, just low enough to avoid being disrespectful, but no lower.

“Lord Mangan.”


Last edited by Mangan on Wed Mar 13, 2013 8:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.


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 Post subject: Re: Character Background Immquest
PostPosted: Tue Mar 12, 2013 7:31 pm 

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Empty.

Dalamar glided through the hallways of the Tower of the Eye. Though his steps were soft, even the rustling of his robes seemed to echo loudly through the quiet corridors, at least to his keen elven ears. Ever empty, wheresoever I find myself. His thoughts, he knew, were turning dark today, though he could not pinpoint why. Scowling to himself, he turned the corner. Into another eerily empty corridor.

Narrowing his eyes, he altered direction towards the Tower staircase. This section was all but the highest in the Tower, but the servants at the least were generally underfoot. Even with so many absent, it should not be so…empty.

He paused at the stairs. Noises drifted up from below, typical sounds of busy life but with far more energy than was the norm. The elf stared ahead thoughtfully, weighing the benefits and annoyances of walking down simply to learn what was happening.

“My lord?” A hesitant voice interrupted his thoughts. He turned to find a servant standing behind him and narrowed his eyes. He recognized her. Katalina, an attractive young human and more clever than most of the servants here – which was likely why she was given the honor to serve the higher levels of the Tower. She took a deep breath, and continued. “Is there anything I can get you, my lord? I was told to wait on anyone remaining, though I didn’t think there would be. What with the newcomer and all.”

He tilted his head at that, intrigued. As if drawing courage from his interest she edged closer, eager to gossip as servants tended to be. As I know only too well, he thought with disdain, though still willing to listen to the chatter if it meant avoiding having to ascertain the cause of the commotion himself.

“I don’t know who it is or nothing,” she said conspiratorially, unheeding of his scowl at her words, “but apparently someone unexpected has arrived. No one has been back up who’s gone down, and I’m not allowed to leave…” Her voice trailed off as he turned away, already bored of her ignorance.

A thought occurred to him as he began to leave, and he paused. “Sustenance,” he said softly.

The servant gave a start at his sudden, unexpected voice and looked at him in confusion. “My lord?”

He released an irritated breath. “Food, girl.” He drew the word out as though speaking to a particularly slow child. “Something light, and a bit to drink.”

“Yes, my lord.” She bobbed a curtsey.

“Do make it quick,” he added in an absent tone. “I do not wish to have it brought after,” he waved a dismissive hand towards the lower levels, “whatever is happening below makes its way up here.” He raised an eyebrow at her.

“Ah.” Her eyes lit in what she surely thought was understanding at his request. “Of course, my lord.”

“I will return momentarily. Wait for me here.” He swept away, without even a glance backward to ensure she left at an acceptable speed, and headed towards a nearby room with a view overlooking the courtyard below. He left the door open a hair’s width to better hear any sounds coming from the hallway and made his way to the window.

An overlarge gathering of people stood below, too far to make out much but the sheer number of them. Someone important, then. His slight curiosity sparked into an even smaller hopeful excitement, quickly and ruthlessly quashed. From the distance, he could not determine the newcomer’s identity. A sudden glint from flashing metal leaned in favor of whomever it was being a swordsman. Or woman, I suppose. Anything is possible.

As he mused, the entourage began to file inside. Moments later, he heard the servant return, rushing up the stairs to stop, panting and out of breath, at the floor’s landing. The corner of his mouth curled in wry amusement at the thought of the confused servant standing several close feet away from the room’s door. No doubt debating whether to come after me, disobeying orders. He moved to the door and waited.

Several minutes passed before he finally heard the telltale clanking of the food plate as the servant likely fidgeted into a proper stance. Her stammering voice could be made out just barely through the door, and he allowed himself a small smile before schooling his expression into his typical cool mask. He pulled the door open and strode purposefully towards where he knew the servant was obediently waiting.

As he hoped, he timed his exit just as the newcomer passed the door and took in the man’s appearance with a swift, calculating glance. A hardened yet handsome face, eyes that shifted through several shades of blue, and silvering hair – well aged, for a human. The needlessly large and numerous weapons he ignored, yet the cloak, which seemed to draw light into it – or is it repelling the surrounding light? I should very much like to study its properties more fully – did catch his eye. His thoughts were fleeting, however, as he took all this in and recognized the man in less than a second’s time.

“Lord Dalamar.” The human, to his credit, gave a rather respectful-looking nod, and Dalamar could read no irony in the words.

He gave a slight bow in return - after all, the former Almighty was technically his superior - deep enough to avoid blatant insult but not a fraction of an inch deeper, as they passed each other. “Lord Mangan,” he replied likewise. He continued walking, stopping before the servant.

She glanced nervously from Dalamar towards the retreating figure. “Ah, i-it’s -”

“Clearly,” he said dryly. He took the tray from her and walked away without another word to her, aiming towards the peaceful solitude of the library.

***

Several hours later found him reading by magelight in his modest chambers. Despite the fascinating subject matter, “Light and Darkness: Origins and Magical Properties” was not holding his attention. A sound behind him pulled him once more from the subject matter as Katalina sighed and rolled over in her sleep.

Letting out an irritated breath, he considered waking her and making her leave his room in its usual quiet peace. He knew, however, that she was not the true cause of his lack of concentration nor would he have been as easily irritated had his mood not already been black. Besides, she had proved a useful distraction, more than once tonight, and a wellspring of information - some of which was actually practical.

He stood, pulling his black robe around him. The pale magelight seemed to reflect off the silver runes of protection embroidered along its hems. He fingered the intricate threadwork thoughtfully as he slipped out the door and into the hallway. Well worth the years of research, he mused, perhaps a few more of study and I may ascertain that darkness spell. A black thread, perhaps, to complement the silver...

He meandered through the Tower’s halls, allowing both his feet and mind to drift aimlessly, relying on the warding spells he constantly kept active to warn him of any danger. Only a fool would attack him this deep inside the Tower, but an assassin need not be intelligent for his aim to be true.

“Awaiting his brethren”, or so the servants are saying. He climbed the stairs slowly, fingers trailing along the railing absently. Which brethren, though? And for what purpose would he gather them? The servants all had their own theories, of course, but they could hardly be relied on for accuracy in such matters. He was not even certain this much could be trusted, but Katalina was adamant that her information was good having come from one who had been there himself.

The orbs of magelight that floated along next to him dimmed suddenly, and he blinked in surprise at where his strolling had carried him. A cavernous, empty room stretched around him. Before him loomed a large black throne that seemed to emanate a dark mist which his magic had difficulty penetrating.

He circled the throne, fingertips brushing its black surface - a material neither wood nor metal that he had never come across and had yet been able to identify. Was He called? he wondered. Is He expected? As his thoughts and mind wandered, he instinctively and unintentionally drew upon the Magic that was a constant and seductive presence. Between one breath and the next he blinked, and time seemed to freeze. As his mortal body closed its eyes to darkness for a fraction of a second, his Sight opened elsewhere.

::A Dunlending man walked alone upon a darkened road. In these blackest hours of the night, in this troubled land, such an act would have been considered bold and foolish. This man, however, seemed to have no concern; he strode with the confidence of one who knew he would be the better of any who dared attack him.

He was large even for a Dunlending, a fact only made apparent when one noticed the pair of obviously large swords that looked dwarfed strapped to the man’s back. Smokey mist surrounded him, radiating from his armor...or perhaps the armor itself was made of it. The smoke billowed out to fall about the man’s feet, causing him to appear to walk in a low fog, then dissipated a few steps behind him.

Even suspended mid-step, he appeared to walk purposefully but with no haste. A man who knew his destination and was not concerned with being late, for those he strode towards would clearly wait upon his arrival.::


When Dalamar’s eyes opened once more, it felt an eternity later, but he knew only the span of an eyeblink had truly passed. He found himself beside the throne, gripping one arm’s smooth surface to remain upright, breathing heavily from the powerful Magic he inadvertently cast. It took almost a full minute to regain his composure, and he was grateful that none ever came into this room.

As he straightened, he allowed a small, slow smile. He recognized that road, one close and leading practically to the steps of the Tower itself. Based on the alignment of the stars from the vision, it was this direction the man was walking as well. The hem of his robes trailed the throne’s mist as he swept out of the room to return to his. He would not announce the return for no word was sent, though a subtle hint, perhaps, in the right servant’s ear may cause the proper preparations to be started.

He nodded to himself as he slipped back into his room and his bed. Yes, it is beginning. What, he did not know, but it was clear something was. First the return of Mangan, and now Master Padan. Things were about to get interesting again.


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