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Topic ClosedThe Streets of Minas Tirith

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Miah View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Topic: The Streets of Minas Tirith
    Posted: 02 Jun 2009 at 5:14pm
The Streets of Minas Tirith
"For the fashion of Minas Tirith was such that it was built on seven levels, each delved into the hill, and about each was set a wall, and in each wall was a gate. But the gates were not set in a line: the Great Gate in the City Wall was at the east point of the circuit, but the next faced half south, and the third half north, and so to and fro upwards; so that the paved way that climbed towards the Citadel turned first this way and then that across the face of the hill. And each time that it passed the line of the Great Gate it went through an arched tunnel, piercing a vast pier of rock whose huge out thrust bulk divided in two all the circles of the City save the first. For partly in the primeval shaping of the hill, partly by the mighty craft and labour of old, thre sood up from the rear o fthe wide court behind the Gate a towering bastion of stone, its edge sharp as a ship-keel facing east. Up it rose, even to the level of the topmost circle, and there was crowned by a battlement; so that those iin the Citadel might, like mariners in a mountainous ship, look from its peak sheer down upon the Gate seven hundred feet below."
ROTK~Minas Tirith
 


This is an open role play thread where you roleplay your character's daily life in the Gondorian City of Minas Tirith.


Walk the streets of all seven levels , develop your own neighborhood, shop at the many Marketplaces and eat at your favourite restaurants. You create your own scenario. You create your own stories.

Feel free to delve deeper into your past, your present or your latest adventure.



1. Create your own story
(Must be within the realms of Tolkien's world)
2. Invite others to join or go completely solo
3. Give your story a title and location so that readers can see where you are.
4. Keep OOC's whited out and to a minimum.

Star
Enjoy your travels!

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Nov 2009 at 10:02pm
revised...Smile



Some location ideas:
-Pubs/Restaurants
-Marketplace (any level but 1st, 6th and 7th)
-Houses of Healing (6th level)
-Library
-Dungeons
-Public Stables (1st level)


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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Dec 2009 at 8:30pm

The Second Level: the Marketplace

There he was: frustrated tunic, dejected trousers, and all. He stood afore a long road of shops, barters, and peddlers with an innumerable assortment of gewgaws and whatnots. It was heaven! For there was nothing Ardwyr adored more than gewgaws and whatnots. This was not because he had any particular use for them (most of the time he threw them aside into the shady gutters or sold them to silly children for ten times the original price). No, he loved gewgaws and he worshipped whatnots because sometimes, every once in a while, when the moon rose up in the East with a blueberry face, the peddlers would be peddling something of value. That something might appear to be insignificant for the untrained eye, and so it would be sold on the streetcorners for a price that anyone who picks up coins on the street regularly could afford.
Now there is a reason for all my run-on sentences: Ardwyr at this very moment had purchased a little dress from a blindman. The blindman must have thought the dress common velure, but Ardwyr saw that it was velvet, real velvet. Velvet was a true rarety among common men, so Ardwyr was certain he could sell it to a tailor at a bounteous price.
And so he strode along, slipping between haggling buyers and sellers, pushing aside women and children with their baskets of fruits and breads and cheeses (and stuffing a few of those fruits and breads and cheeses into his trousers' pockets). Then at last he came to a wooden cart with piles of clothes and cloths within it. On both its sides were two vertical wooden posts. They attached a canopy of linen above the cart to provide shade for the cart's owner and protection from any object that might fall down from the rooves.
The owner of the cart was a middle-aged fellow-- his hair growing into a thin brown web over a tanned scalp. He had a mustache on his lip that didn't look at all like a mustache. It looked more like a glop of melted chocolate smeared heavily onto his lip and like a snail slipping off, so that the man was forced to thrust out his fat, red lips and wide, square jaw far into the air to keep the chocolate from falling off. Beside the fellow's clownish face, he looked friendly nonetheless. He leaned aside his cart, twiddling his thumbs and clasping his fingers together. The fingers were all red and calloused as if the man spent all his time with needles in his hands. Indeed, he did! For this man was none other than a tailor, Briley Tailor, to be exact.
"Briley!" Ardwyr laughed, spreading out his arms wide, "How are you, you old fat chump, you? I havent seen you since--"
"Since you cheated me of that cloth-of-gold veil and sold it to some confounded elopers for a price so horridly unworthy of the veil's beauty and perfection and excellence that it cannot be said!" screamed the tailor upon seeing the thief. It seemed unnatural for any foul or angry words to come from the tailor's ruddy lips, yet his wrath was so immense that he could not help it. His whole head became as red as his lips as he fumed before the young thief.
"Yes," Ardwyr hummed, "since then...but honestly had you been there with that besotted couple you would've done it, too. Why deliver the veil to one of your customers and receive a small handful's worth for all the work when you can sell it off to an adorable pair that makes peaches and pie ashamed!"
"Oh, you rotten no good snot-nosed illegitamite darned-tootin' bublimbery-head!" cursed Briley with a fist raised to the almighty Valar. Ardwyr bent to the side, holding his side in laughter.
"You ought curse more often, my friend," he said, "you need the practice." Briley scowled and turned his back to the thief and fidgeted with the edges of the cart. He ducked his chin down in a pout. Shifting to the tailor's side, Ardwyr slipped his head beneath the canopy and stooped it down and around until he could look at Briley in the face.
"I brought something," Ardwyr grinned and proffered the velvet dress, "A peaceoffering, I suppose." At first, Briley averted his eyes, trying to avoid Ardwyr's piercing gaze. Then, he saw the dress. He suddenly grasped at it and tore it from the thief's hands. Ardwyr grinned, pulled out an apple from his pocket, and started crunching at the fruit. The tailor examined the cloth and stroked his hand on it this way and that.
"Velvet!" he cried in excitement, "Where'd you get velvet? You stole it didn't you? I can't buy stolen items, it just isn't right-- I've already told you that."
"No, no," Ardwyr contested through a mouthful of fruit, "It isn't stolen; it's a steal! Some blind fool was selling it on the wayside for cheap as dirt. And all I had to do was pick up his beggar's cup and pay 'im with the coins in there! And he fell for it, the old oaf!"
"Well, that's not right, lad. It's just as good as stealin'." The tailor wagged his head low yet still continued stroking, stroking the dress. Ardwyr shrugged and spat out, "There ain't nothing in this whole street that wasn't stolen at one point in time. So, according to your reasons, we oughtn't buy anything at all. We ought all go starve in the ditches."
"No, no. That wouldn't be any good. We can't all starve in ditches," the tailor echoed dreamily. Ardwyr saw that his plan was working. He egged the fellow on, "That's right! And especially not you, havin' to take care of all those little muts of yours. C'mon, now! This little thing could make you a lot of blankets and a lot of hot suppers for a lot of hungry little bellies if you sell it to the right person. And all you have to do is part with just two hundred pieces of gold! That'll be the garnish on your food once your done sellin' the dress yourself. If anything, you're cheatin' me!"
"Two hundred?" the tailor wondered, "I don't have two hundred."
"Nonsense! You're a cautious man! You have to have some money for a rainy day somewhere, right?"
"Right...I suppose I could use that."
"And then cheat some poor old rich man of a thousand pieces himself once your done with it!"
"Right..."
"So?"
"I suppose I can go get the money now." Spoke the tailor, handing over the dress to Ardwyr. But the thief refused, "No, no! You're an honest man! You'll come back and pay me! Keep the dress with you while you get the money--so you can take a good look at it." Briley smiled widely and then dashed down the road.
"Aren't we even now, old fellow?" Ardwyr shouted after him.
"Not quite yet," shouted back the tailor.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Dec 2009 at 10:57pm
The Second Level: the Marketplace, Continued
Ardwyr leaned against the cart, waiting and eating his apple in great chunks and with loud smacks. He watched the people passing by. How various a lot this city was! Young and old, man and woman, they all raced through the marketplace. And they all were in a hurry, as if the chores and labors that were to follow were the most enjoyable thing in the world. It did not make much sense to Ardwyr. Why, he always took his time in the marketplace. He dawdled there for as long as he could manage before being tossed out by nomadic guards.
His entire life, it seemed, consisted of dawdling in the marketplace. Certainly, when he desired a nightout, he'd frequent a pub or inn. When he needed to escape the city, he'd go traipsing through the wilderness like some born-ranger. But otherwise, if he could help it, he always stayed in the marketplace.
Why hurry? he would think. The marketplace is anything but a place to escape from.
And then his reverie stopped with the sound of an icy voice.
"'Ow much is this 'ere shawl 'ere?" the voice squawked. Ardwyr cringed on hearing it. His eyes searched for the source of this demoniacal screech and immediately the rammed into an old woman. Above her waist, her entire was bent over and shriveled. Her skin was veiny and wrinkled like a plucked flower. Her nose poked out awkwardly-- the only distinguishable feature on her face, as everything as withered so much that it was hard to tell between the cheeks and the chin. It seemed that the women knew what she looked like and so tried vastly to cowl herself. Her whole body was covered in a shawl. From the crown of her head to the tip of her toe, Ardwyr could see nothing of the woman except her nose and her two twig hands holding up the shawl (the broach, it seemed, had torn off and left an unhappy snag in the threadwork).
A shrew. Ardwyr thought to himself. Yet he stood still, as if frozen, and said not a word. The shrew grew angry.
"Yuh here me, deaf boy? 'Ow much is this 'ere shawl 'ere?"
"Twenty." Ardwyr found himself saying before he even he could realize it.
"Twenty?!" the shrew sqeaked as would an old medieval door, "Twenty for this ol' piece of patches thrown together? I won' 'ere of it! I'll give ye ten, and not a piece more!"
"Fifteen."
"Thirteen. And thas final!"
At this, Ardwyr reached over into the cart, pulled out the shawl and handed it over to the shrew with an empty palm extended. The shrew pulled out a purse from under her shawl, picked out thirteen pieces of gold and placed them in Ardwyr's hand.
"Nice havin' you, m'lady." Ardwyr beamed as the shrew took the shawl and scurried off. Ardwyr shoved the gold pieces into a pouch on the side of his trousers and lifted up his voice:
"Come one, come all! Come buy yourselves the best cloths and clothes and veils and shawls and whatever else you can name! Haggle it up! We've got a sale, a dirt cheap sale on! Don't miss it! Don't let yourself be cheated by my fellow tailors! Buy! Buy! Buy! Clothes! Clothes! Clothes!"
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Dec 2009 at 9:40pm
Second level Marketplace

Romen
and Ronin, who were actual brothers employed by the City Guard, were on patrol in the second circle marketplace when they harkened to the loud and high pitched cries coming from a street peddler’s cart.

"Come one, come all! Come buy yourselves the best cloths and clothes and veils and shawls and whatever else you can name! Haggle it up! We've got a sale, a dirt cheap sale on! Don't miss it! Don't let yourself be cheated by my fellow tailors! Buy! Buy! Buy! Clothes! Clothes! Clothes!"

They both stopped and looked and then immediately frowned to see it was none other than the loathsome crook they knew well and loved very little. Romen, the older, taller brother drew a heavy sigh at this sight and rolled his eyes. He loathed this thief with the very fiber of his being for everytime they picked him up and threw him in jail he'd be out again and up to no good the very next day!

Ronin, on the other hand, smirked as he pushed aside his dark cloak, revealing a long shiny sword hanging on his hip. “Well, well, look thither, brother,” he said with a nod in Ardwyr’s direction. “Isn’t this interesting eh? Looks like our old friend Ardwyr is back to his old tricks!” he chuckled at the comical nature of the strange creature-like man with his frustrated tunic and dejected trousers. One could not but help but laugh at the mere sight of him. Ronin's eyes sought for the actual owner of the cart but he could not see him and knew right away that Ardwyr was up to something. “Well, no surprise here. I don’t see Briley around.”
 
“Nor do I.” sighed Romen. His mood quickly turned somber for he had hoped to make it to the Inn for his daily fix of mead and bread.
 
“You want me to go and deal with him?” asked Ronin, grinning.
 
Romen regarded his brother with a frown and shook his head, seeing the more serious side of the situation. “Nay brother. You are likely to only make matters worse.” He then adjusted his black and silver tunic and started across the street. “I wish Rane were here…” Rane, of course was their youngest brother who had a reputation of being one of the fastest sprinters in all of the City Guard. If there were a need for him then this was the time. Ronin shrugged his shoulders and followed his brother's lead.

“No worries brother, if he takes to running I have my sling with me.” He patted the weapon he carried on the other side of his belt. Everyone knew he was a good shot whenever he used it but with so many people around his older brother wasn’t sure if it was such a good idea.
 
“Well hopefully you won’t have a need to use it but if you do please be mindful of where you’re aiming that thing.”
 
They soon approached Ardwyr and stopped in front of him, providing him with plenty of shade. Romen crossed his arms and furrowed his brow and regarded Ardwyr with a dour look. “What is going on Ardwyr?”
 
Ronin stood beside his brother with his hand still on the hilt of his sword, ready to pull it out in a hurry if he needed to. He was always ready for a fight and even hoped there would be one so he could turn the no good begger and thief into a pretzel. “Yeah, do tell what you think your selling. This cart doesn’t belong to you. What deceitful lies have you been using this time eh? Where is Briley?”
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Dec 2009 at 11:00pm
First level, leaving the Black Swan Inn and heading to the second level Fallen Soldier

Wounded badly and limping as fast as he could through the narrow alleys, Barad was not aware of the tiny trail of blood that he was leaving behind until he paused to catch his breath. It had been a close call earlier that evening at the Black Swan where he had been fighting with a soldier (Tarindo), who had quite unexpectedly walked in and fouled his and his partner’s plans. Unfortunately his partner was not so lucky and Barad was sure he was dead. He himself narrowly escaped with only a cut wrist and bloodied nose.

He felt the sting of his nose throbbing and of the warmth of his blood running down past his lips. He held his wrist with his other hand and anxiously looked behind him to see if anyone was coming. There was only dark silence. He was relieved but stressed, knowing that without Indis his boss would have many questions and surely would not be too pleased. What the consequence would be for this horrific foul-up Barad shuddered to think. All he knew was that he had to get word back to the others before daylight. He wiped his bloodied nose on his sleeve to rid himself of some of it and then hurried on again.

Through a series of twisting alleys long forgotten by most people Barad managed to find himself at the backdoor of the Fallen Soldier Pub. Few knew of this entrance, save the men he worked with so he felt safe in knowing that no one could have followed him there. He pushed opened the heavy wooden door and walked down a long torch lit corridor until he came to another tall wooden door. He gave the door a shove with his shoulder while at the same time pressing down on the door handle. It was a heavy and sometimes difficult door to get through, but he opened it and walked inside the pub.
 
Standing in the middle of the room surrounded by a counter top stood the barkeep, Tai. He was pouring a round of drinks on a wooden platter when he noticed Barad enter from the back door. “Hey!” he called over to him with a cheerful smile. But his smile soon disappeared when he saw the man’s bloodied face. Tai set the bottle he was pouring down and directed all his attention on Barad “Good grief man! What happened to you?” he gasped.
 
Barad half-limped and staggered over to the bar, exhausted from his long run. Blood continued to pour down his arm from the cut on his wrist. Gasping he reached for one of the glasses of ale and gulped it down. Tai stood back, amazed at first and then took the glass back from him and took another one from off the shelf. As he started to fill it he looked over at Barad with a deeply concerned face. “Barad, are you alright? What happened? Tell me!”
 
Barad only shook his head while at the same time trying to catch his breath. He ran a trembling hand through is thick black hair and then when he finally could speak again he asked, “Not now Tai. Where’s the boss? I gots to speak to him at once!”
 
Tai gave him a grim look and shook his head. He had a growing nasty feeling that nothing good was going to come of this evening. He pointed a thumb over his shoulder and gave a sideways nod of his head. “Backroom.”
 
Barad drew a deep breath and nodded his thanks and then made his way toward the back of the room where he went through another door that was cleverly hidden behind a fake wall. Once through it he followed a passageway until he came to the “backroom”. He paused once before entering, just to get his bearings and decide what he was going to say. How was the boss going to take losing Indis? Probably not very well. He even feared what might be done to him for failing this one simple task. But how was he to know there was going to be a City Guard at the Pub? It couldn’t all be his fault! Surely he had to make his boss see that and plead for forgiveness and the chance to go back and make things right. That is what he hoped for. Drawing another deep breath, Barad opened the door and stepped inside. He still held his wrist but at least he wasn’t bleeding as much.

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Dec 2009 at 6:09am
Second Level: the Marketplace

"Well, well!" exclaimed Ardwyr, with a courteous bow he seemed to use so often when near authorities, "My favorite two people in all the wide world have come to pay me a visit!" All the while, he remained bowing.

"Sire," he tipped his head down toward Romen. Then, turning toward Ronin, he bowed even lower so that it looked as if he were about to tip over. He flourished his hands about and stretched his arms open to exaggerate the bow even more, if that were possible.

"M'lady," he said. He shot back up and gave the two a curious glance, as if he were sizing them up (though that could hardly be so, as Ardwyr knew through experience how well they could disable him and how little he could do to thwart them).

"What you see here is what I call a 'salbargain' becasue it's as if the bargain itself is having a sale," he grinned, ruffling his hands through all the clothes and brandishing items in some strange attempt at bribery, "So what do you say, friends? How 'bout a tunic or two, or a nice little sash for the ladies. And since you so honorably serve us as members of the Guard, shan't I be serving you by halving the prices of all these items?" Every time he picked up and dropped a piece of cloth, it became the worse for wear-- for apparently anything that touched Ardwyr grew immediately weary of his grimy clutch.

"You there, Ronin," the thief continued, being certain not to leave the Guards a moment's second to reiterate their neglected questions, "You're a handsome young man, and I'm sure you're quite the conqueror of ladies' hearts. But how can you ever expect to get anywhere in that drab!" Surprisingly, Ardwyr felt not at all silly when he said that. Ronin was the embodiment of a young lass's dreams; the dark armor with the glittering White Tree on the breast only added mystery, honor, and adventure to his list of impeccable qualities. Even so, Ardwyr persisted. He recalled one evening when he had stolen a newly anointed Guard's armor-- how did the women dote on him! But still, he persisted.

"Why, Ronin, you like you're in mournin' or somethin'!" he wagged his tongue with a frown, but then transforming his face into one of feigned pity, "Oh, but I am sorry! I forgot that your husband has just recently died, hasn't he, m'poor lassy?"
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Dec 2009 at 7:03pm
While all through Ardwyr's mimicking and rambling on like some circus entertainer, Romen and Ronin, unmoved by all of this, began to grow quite weary of his spectacular speech and flamboyant hand gestures. It wasn't enough that he soiled all the clothes on the cart with his grimy hands, but he persisted in his foul attempt at bribery; not to mention mocking Ronin, which (of course) was an offence against the Steward and worthy of a few days in jail.

So it was not long after Ardwyr's last words that the two tall broad-shouldered men exchanged glances with one another and somehow knew what the other was thinking.  Then, before the thief could say...Ack! they both had him by the elbows and lifted him off the ground and began carrying him off. "Lassy indeed little fellow!" laughed Ronin as they walked down the street and nodding courteously at everyone they passed by.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Dec 2009 at 8:57pm
Ardwyr's first reaction was utterly unintelligible. He squiggled like a worm freshly plucked from the ground, but the beaks of these two guards' grasp could not be pried open. So he began to clamor curious curses, which could hardly have been considered curses from their foreign nature yet could still be interpreted as so from their harsh deliverance. Yet after awhile, he seemed to calm a little and having yielded to his fate at the time being, turned from wildness to desperation.

"But, but-" he stammered, tossing his head frantically toward one of the guards and then the other. Soon, however, he at last mustered enough spirits to let his usual train of inane chatter spew forth from his mouth.

"You misunderstand me, sirs!" he howled, "I didn't mean any of those things! You know me! Always jabbering and jabbering! Half I don't understand the meaning of myself-- and the other! well, it's just as good if I said nothing at all, it's such empty air it is!"

The Guards were as unmoved as the foundations of the earth, except perhaps the younger. He seemed to delight in lording over poor, poor Ardwyr. The thief resorted back to squiggling for half a second, as he was conveyed farther through the marketplace and closer to the dungeon. He squirmed just a bit more and then turned to Romen, the wiser of the two, it seemed, and entreated, "You wouldn't leave poor, ol' Briley's cart all alone in the streets like that, would'ya? Why, when he returns to an empty cart and no signs of payment, he'll keel over dead, he will! And who'll watch over his mutts, then? Not you, I don't s'ppose! You're too busy playing the hero and dragging off a reformed man to prison out of plain spite! And I thought you a better man than that, for shame!
"Don't you see? Briley went off for just a little while because his wife took sick. He's givin' her some medicine, you know. And so he asked me to watch over the cart for him. And I thought it would be nice to sell a few things for him, so that he won't have lost some good customers. I wouldn't have kept any of the gold for myself, Valar forbid! unless Briley approved. Honest! I swear it upon-- well, upon the very throne of Gondor! And don't think I'd swear false upon that, lest Isildur himself rise up and cut me in two."
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Dec 2009 at 10:26pm
OOC @ Miah - is this a bit like the old Rammas Echor thread and you don't necessarily have to have it all happening in MT? Reason I'm asking is because I want to bring my Daerun character and his family in here and would like to bring some posts from Dreams over here - it starts in Anorien if that helps?Geek

<Miah edit> I opened a thread for you Jano Wink
 
<Jano reply> LOL Oooo! All to myself? Seriously, thanks Miah BRE is a better fit for those posts Wink
The most valuable of all talents is that of never using two words when one
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Dec 2009 at 11:02pm
NPC Rud
 
He was just enjoying a quiet evening in the back of the Fallen Soldier, surrounded by his ladies and most trusted bodyguards. A tall, broad man he was, completely bald but with a fine tan, dressed in expensive clothing and juwelry. The room was rather dark, with a small table in the middle and a large sofa in the back. Rud held a drink in his hand, a girl on his lap and a smile on his face when someone knocked on the door. Since we trusted Tai would not allow anyone unrelated to this man to come anywhere near this door, one bodyguard opened it. The person he let pass was someone the boss remembered as being recently initiated. Kindly motioning to the female to get off his lap for a moment, he then turned his attention to the severely injured man. So...Barad, was it? Back so soon. I'd offer you a seat but I don't want you soiling my leather furniture you see. He chuckled, everyone else in the room followed suit. So tell me...what reason do you have to come here and ruin the mood?
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Dec 2009 at 8:12pm
Second Circle Marketplace

Having heard Ardwyr's babbling lies so many times before Romen and Ronin paid little heed to his cries and thrashing legs until he mentioned Ol' Brileys cart. Neither of them had thought of that. Suddenly Romen stopped in his tracks, but Ronin continued on until he was jerked backwards, stretching poor poor Ardwyr's scrawny arms far apart.

"Hey!" he cried when he turned to look at his brother. "What gives?"

"Well he does have a point." replied Romen, looking back toward Briley's unattended cart. "We can't just leave it there for people to steal from. You are going to have to stay with it until he gets back."

"Me?" Ronin was taken back a little bit by this suggestion, after all he was a soldier not a merchant. "Why me and not you?" he asked, giving his brother an indignant look.

Romen furrowed his brow, surprised by his younger brother's question. "Because I'm older and I outrank you that's why." he replied, sternly. "Now get back there and watch the cart until Briley returns. I can handle this whelp easily enough."

Ronin frowned but relented knowing there was nothing he could say or do. Out of spite he gave Ardwyr's arm a quick jolt before letting go. "Fine! I'll go watch the stupid cart." he mumbled and then walked back the way he came.

Romen shook his head as he watched his younger brother and then turned his attention back to Ardwyr. "You give me any trouble thief and I'll see to it you spend the next two days in the stocks, and we all know how much you love that little device eh?" He then unclasped a long leather thong from off his belt and bound Ardwyr's wrists together behind his back. Once secure he gave the thief a shove from behind. "Ok, lets get moving! And I'll hear no more of your incessant whining! You actually think I'd buy that bit about Briley trusting you with his cart?"
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Dec 2009 at 8:35pm
Back room of the Fallen Soldier

Upon being let in by one of Rud's bodyguards Barad half walked, half limped in and stood in the middle of the torch lit room. It seemed his boss was enjoying himself that evening, judging by the company that surrounded him. Inwardly Barad saw this as a good sign for the man would most likely be in a good mood. Still, the news he had to deliver was not good and the mood could turn quickly.

Holding his arm in a way so that the blood did not drip very much on the floor Barad gave Rud a respectful nod when he acknowledged his name. "Aye sir." He swallowed hard, hoping it was not heard and then gave a half hearted smile when everyone chuckled at Rud's jest. When asked what his reason was for coming in and ruining the mood he stiffened a little and drew a deep breath through his nose. "Beggin' your pardon sir, sorry for the rude intrusion but Indis and I had a little...uh..well a big problem actually... uh...uh, at th...the...Black Swan sir...you see...we were...well..." He stuttered, stumbling on his words as he spoke them too quickly.

"Well, we got to the Inn see, and we were waiting in the st stables...just like you said, and and...well a lady...uh, well she walked in see, and...well I grabbed her and I had her boss I did, I had her and then someone came. A soldier. A guard I think... I don't know.." He shook his head woefully and looked at the floor trying to recall the events. He was very nervous and seemed to be shaking by now. "... it was dark you know? and well he got Indis with his spear and no wait.. Indis ...I was... Indis is dead sir, or at least I think he is, and well I got away. The soldier, I don't know who he is but I think he fell but ... the lady got away...I, I just got the heck out of there! I thought I'd better come here and tell you. I .. I don't think anyone followed me. I mean, I was careful!" He almost gasped to get his breath and glanced hesitantly at Rud.

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Dec 2009 at 12:26am
Second Level: the Marketplace
 
As Ronin stretched out Ardwyr's arms, the thief yelped like a frightened dog with its tail between its legs. He did this not so much for the pain he experienced (which was very little) but for the dramatic effect. Dramatic effect was a vital quality every thief-no-good-at-thievin' had to master. This was not in order to gain sympathy, as the hubbub more often lost sympathy than gained it, but it was to put one's conquerors off guard. It was a distraction of the senses, per se. It was meant to fill the ears and thoughts of one's opponent with the squabble. Meanwhile, having stalled for time, Ardwyr would then be able to concoct another plan.

The two guards spoke briefly between themselves, all the while Ardwyr mocked them with grimaces and a stuck-out tongue.

"You give me any trouble thief and I'll see to it you spend the next two days in the stocks, and we all know how much you love that little device eh?" threatened Romen. Ardwyr kept silent and made no struggle as his hands were bound behind him. He readjusted his footing and limply proceeded while Romen gruffly shoved him onward.

"Ok, lets get moving!" ordered the guard, "And I'll hear no more of your incessant whining! You actually think I'd buy that bit about Briley trusting you with his cart?"

"Why else would he be gone, yet his cart be present?" Ardwyr questioned. At that point he attempted to turn his shoulder round so that he could face the guard as he spoke, "He wouldn't leave his cart out in the open without any watch over it, would he?"
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Dec 2009 at 8:56pm
Second Level: the Marketplace

As Ardwyr turned around to talk, Romen continued to push him along, knowing that the little trickster would do and say anything to get out of going to the dungeon. He was sure he had heard all his stories before and even now he wasn't buying it. He looked down at the thief. "Listen, Briley would not leave his cart to a no good thief like you. Besides, I'd wager my year's wages that you told him some lie to get him to leave so you could cheat him out of his money!" He shook his head, unmoved and unconvinced by Ardwyr's suggestion.

He was about to give the thief another shove when he caught the sight of his sister, Miah across the street. She was with Levon, the Black Swan Innkeepers son. Romen stopped, pulling on Ardwyr's leather strap, and called across the street to them. The pair walked over, giving a wary eye toward to Ardwyr and then addressed the tall dark-haired guard.

"Ah, big brother, good to see you" Miah gave a small smile. "Going to the dungeons are you?"

"Greetings, Romen" Levon said, tipping his head to the other man.

"Well met, both of you. Aye, I am too."
he regarded Ardwyr with a nod. "Up to his old games again. What else is new eh? And you two?"

"To the Houses of Healing." Miah replied, turning her eyes down. She wasn't prepared to tell her brother what happened the night before at the Inn and now felt somewhat uncomfortable about it. Levon noted her hesitation so continued her answer for her. He explained about the assault she had experienced in the stables and how one crook was dead while the other escaped. "T'was a good fate that a young soldier was at the Inn last night. Perhaps you know him? Tarindo is his name."

By this time Romen had forgotten all about poor Ardwyr and loosened his grip on the leather strap he was holding. His face quickly flushed with worry for his sister and he stepped forward and gave her a long tight hug. "Oh I'm so sorry Miah!" he then stepped back, with his hands on her shoulders and looked at her with great concern while Levon told everything about what happened as he heard it from his father.

Finally Romen turned to Levon and shook his head at his earlier question. "Tarindo you say? Nay, I am not sure I have but I will as soon as I can! Where is he then? still at the Inn?"

"Aye," replied Levon with a nod. "A wain has been sent to carry him to the Houses of Healing. I would not have lady Miah walk there by herself so I am escorting her there." He looked at her and smiled, taking her hand and squeezing it gently.

"Well then," Romen acknowledged with a nod of approval. "I shall not keep you. And thank you Levon! Your good deed shall not go unrewarded, I assure you." He nodded and reached out, shaking Levon's hand. Then, turning to his sister he leaned forward and hugged her again. "I will see you soon, dear. Are you sure you are alright?"

"Aye, I am. I will be fine, really." She glanced up proving to him that her blue eyes still had the same sparkle as they always had. "I have been through worse. Ever am I grateful to the soldier Tarindo. I will see you later, yes?"

"I will be there, as soon as I am finished my business here. You can count on that."
Romen replied, giving a smile of reassurance.

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Dec 2009 at 1:02am

Second Level: the Marketplace

Ardwyr snarled at Romen's disbelief. He swivelled back forward and scuffed his heels along, thinking, wondering, plotting. At the moment, though, he could think of nothing. Romen gripped firmly on Ardwyr's leather bonds, and every slight squiggle was met with a disproportionately rough shove. Ardwyr dug deep into the caverns of his thought. Nothing! Except--perhaps a little prayer to that Lady called Luck would do him some good, perhaps? It could hardly embarrass the already embarrassed thief if he chanted the pleas in his heart.
"M'lady," he thought, "I know I haven't been so fair to you, especially with all those rigged dice 'n' all-- and those double-headed coins...and I s'ppose those four pairs of extra Aces I slipped into the deck. But you know how hard a game that is! And every one else was cheatin', I'm sure of it! And I defy you, lady, to make any judgm-"
But then his eyes chanced upon a young man and a fair young lady. Romen beckoned to them, and they beckoned to Romen.
"Thank you, Lady Luck," muttered Ardwyr beneath his breath through a wry smile, disguised as a grimace. Ardwyr made no noise nor any movement as the guard and the others talked amongst each other. Whatever the topic was, it seemed to concern the fair lady and it seemed more to worry the guard Romen. Ardwyr slowly tugged at his bonds and slipped the leather bonds a little further from Romen's grip with each soft tug. Then the thief shifted himself behind the three. Whenever any of them glanced at him, he turned to ice and shot his face down in feigned shame.
Suddenly, Ardwyr saw a wheeled cart trotting through the road. He waited awhile, and just a little later, he heard his captor speak of some gratitude toward the strange man. As Romen reached out to shake the stranger's hand, Ardwyr tugged himself out of all notice and jumped upon the back of the cart, scurrying under blankets and baskets of bread as quickly as a roach exposed. He stayed on the cart for a time until he came to an alleyway. He leapt out and rolled into the safety of the shadows. Ardwyr sat in silence for a moment, until he saw a boy working at errands running to and fro.
When the boy seemed to have a lag in errands, Ardwyr waved him over.
"Oi, there, lad!" whispered Ardwyr harshly, "you interested in a bag full o'gold?" He beckoned toward the small pouch on the side of his hip, "You can have it all, lad. Just do one thing for me!"
"What's that, sir?" the boy asked.
"Untie my bonds."
The boy did just that. Afterwards, he immediately demanded his payment. Ardwyr laughed cynically and then sprinted onward to nowhere in particular, it seemed. The boy stood in the street shouting after him.
"I've been cheated! I've been cheated!" the boy wailed, "You thief! You liar!"

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Dec 2009 at 2:51pm

It was obvious to Rud that this young accomplice had something to tell that would interest him, by the battered and cut up look he had. But when the man opened his mouth and attempted to speak, it became all to clear aswell that this weighty business was going to have something to do with this one. Perhaps it was even his fault. Rud's expression grew into a frown and his curiosity was peaked.

Rud was a calm man in nature, although that did not mean he was rather forgiving. As Barad's story ended, the leader leaned back into his sofa, his eyes fixed on the young man's with silent frustration. You accuse ME of giving you two these orders? He finally started in response. Do you think of me as the man who would come up with such ludicrous ideas? To lay low in a random barn untill some random person came along and try your luck at kidnapping them? Are you saying I'm dense?! He chose his words carefully, so as not to be misunderstood but could not help his tone rising. You have been accepted into my company and our society, so you too could pick the fruits of our work. Because I thought I saw a glimpse of potential in the two of you. Now I am not without fault, and I seem to have been mistaken. In this matter you have not only failed to show any intelligence, but because of your failure you have possibly exposed all of us to the guards! Indis is dead, as he deserves...and so will you be.
The bald man snapped his fingers and two of his bodyguards handled the man outside, where he too would be robbed of life. I'm sorry ladies, but I'm afraid I have business to handle now and must leave you be tonight. Go to bed. Rud waited as they left, then turned to his last bodyguard. Send someone to wake Deniro...
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Dec 2009 at 5:28pm
Second Level: The Marketplace

No one noticed Ardwyr's crafty escape until Romen realized that he was no longer holding onto the leather strap. A look of surprise appeared on his face as he spun around only to see what he already knew; the thief was gone. "Why that no good piece of work!" he spat angrily.

Miah and Levon stood with gaping mouths, feeling a little sheepish for not noticing either and promptly began searching the crowd with their eyes. "Oh dear!" Miah cried worriedly. "Brother, you better go after him!"

"Shall I go find another guard?" Levon quickly offered.

"Nay...nay...tis alright."
Romen replied, shaking his head solemnly. He too was scanning the marketplace but knew that the crook was too crafty to be seen. "He could be anywhere by now." he sighed and then turned back to Miah and Levon. A small smile crept onto his face as he tipped his head to them. "However, I shall let you two go on your way then. I will try to find him, someone may have seen him." He glanced over to his sister. "Be well sister and I shall see you later! Farewell!" Romen then turned away quickly and started his search, stopping and talking to as many merchants and passersby as he could.

With few leads to go by save one old woman's report of seeing a poorly clad man jump out of a cart, which she thought strange, Romen soon found himself near an alleyway where he heard the cries of a young boy. He quickened his steps toward him and asked, "Who cheat you son? who?!"

"A scrawny little fellow with binds on his hands! He told me if I untied him he'd give me a bag full of gold!" wailed the boy.

Romen rolled his eyes, but knew right away it was the one he sought. With a pat on the boy's shoulder to calm him down he crouched down to his level and looked him straight in the eyes. "Now look here. Don't ever do that again. Men that look like beggars with leather straps bound on their wrists do not
have bags of gold, ok? You were deceived! I hope you have learned your lesson and there had better not be a repeat of this mistake. You hear me? Now which way did he go?"

The boy stopped his crying and cast his eyes downward knowing that he had done wrong. He nodded and mumbled a faint apology and then stuck out his arm pointing in the direction he saw Ardwyr laughing and running. Romen cast his eyes in that direction and gave the boy a quick pat on his shoulder before drawing himself up and sprinting off in that direction.

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Dec 2009 at 9:27pm

Second Level: the Marketplace

Galloping down another busy street in sprawling steps, Ardwyr thought himself quite free! This was why when he heard his name called out and then heard the voice call out again, saying "I have your money!" he found himself immediately drawn toward the speaker. And who was the source of those irresistable words? None other than Briley the Tailor!

The middle-aged fellow stooped over his precious velvet lain out on one arm and swooped his other arm in the air with a swollen leather bag in his hand.

"Well, well," Ardwyr lit up as he approached the tailor, his eyes hooked upon the bag and watching its every movement, "it's good to see you're so quick to pay your dues. You're landlord must love you!" Briley chuckled, strapping the bag onto his belt.

"In fact, he does," he asserted, "but not if I give you a whole two hundred! Some of that lot belongs to him, you know. That's why I only brought one hundred."

After glancing over his shoulder and shifting his eyes about suspiciously, Ardwyr turned to Briley with a nonchalant shrug, "That's fine enough. Come on, then; I'll have it and begone." He reached out his hand toward the bag, but Briley to stepped back.

"No haggling?" the tailor grilled, "No whines? No chides? No curses? Why, that's not like you at all! What're you up to fellow? What'd you get into while I was gone?" Ardwyr forced himself to giggle and with a nervous whipe of his nose and an uncertain look over his shoulder, he retorted, "Nothing! Nothing!"

"But you just looked over your shoulder, laddy. Are the guards at you again?"

"I most certainly did not look over anything or at anything beside you, my good friend!" Ardwyr frowned, "And you want to know why? You have my money! And I'd like to have it now. I really haven't any time for haggling at the moment."

"Why not?"

"Well," Ardwyr heaved a sigh and assumed a sullen seeming, "if you must know, I heard my sister was sick--as sick as that poor wife of yours!"

"My wife isn't sick."

"Oh..." Ardwyr remembered that he had merely told the guards that Briley's wife was ill in order to deceive them, "right."

"I didn't even know you had a sister!" Briley exclaimed in disbelief.

"Sure, I do! Why not?" Ardwyr responded, "her name's....uh....Ruh...Ro---men? Yes, Romen! That's her name! And she's sore sick, too. So if you could please give me the money that I might be on my way."

"Romen?" Briley persisted, "Ain't that a man's name?"

"Indeed! But if you told her that, she'd be quite offended, she would!" Ardwyr leaned over and tapped his nose as he whispered, "You see, our mother was a bit tipsy when my sister was born." Briley nodded his head wisely. He allowed Ardwyr to whisper on about his mother's drunken escapades and his sister's disease called 'chickenohpia,' which convinced her that she was in fact a cock, so that at the early hours of the morning she crowed loudly to the dismay of all the neighbors. All the while, Ardwyr let his hand slink beside Briley's hip and untie the bag from the tailor's belt .

"Well, it was nice seein' you, chap!" Ardwyr suddenly broke off and pushed himself away from Briley, slipping the bag into the pouch on his own belt, "Hope to do business with you again sometime!" And so he started away from the tailor and made his way down the street in a youthfully swift pace.

"Strange, strange man," Briley muttered to himself in a daze, watching Ardwyr walk toward the crowd. He realized how quickly their encounter had passed, as if a whirlwind of words just vomited out of both of them and then, as quick as they came, were gone again.

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Dec 2009 at 6:59pm
Fallen Soldier- Secret back room meeting place

Deniro was resting comfortably in his private quarters just taking life easy; something he always did when he wasn’t working. Those few who associated with him thought him a very dangerous and cruel man with blood as cold as the icy waters of the Anduin in the wintertime. But he rather saw himself as a man born to instinct when survival meant keeping your head as much as keeping your dignity. Having grown up on the darker side of the city streets he knew what it meant to survive…at any cost. Painful experiences early on taught him that there were no friends or acquaintances that could ever truly be trusted. Therefore he grew up quick and he grew up mean.
 
Thievery was something that he got very good at, at an early age. Once he learned the valuable lessons of getting caught and spending time in the dungeons he vowed he would never return again. His success led to more dangerous activities and so he became entrusted to an even more dangerous man than himself. That man was Rud.
 
Deniro could discern deceit in a man’s face from across the room and knew what truths lie within their hearts. He was cautious and clever, stalking his prey like a lion in wait for that perfect opportunity, and when he struck he struck hard and fast so that his opponent never knew what hit him. That’s how he worked, and he preferred to work alone. Too many people meant too many possibilities for things to go awry, and that was something he could never afford or tolerate.
 
Upon hearing a knock at the door he rose from his high-backed leather chair and instinctively picked up a dagger from off his desk. Tucking it in his belt within easy reach he walked over to the door and opened it part way. A wedge beneath the door by his foot prevented it from moving any further in the event he was faced with an unwelcome visitor.
 
He peered around the door and looking through the crack saw that it was only one of Rud’s guards. One could never be too careful. "The hour is late. What do you want?” He said lowly, eyeing the other man closely.
 
“Boss sends for you” the other man quickly replied.
 
Deniro nodded and closed the door, pausing briefly to wonder before walking back to his desk. He slicked back his greasy black hair and fitted himself with an extra boot dagger and another sharp blade for his belt. When he was dressed and ready he promptly made for the back room of the shady establishment. The Fallen Soldier was not his only place of residence in the city but he dwelt there occasionally when there was work to be done.
 
Down a long lantern lit passageway that few knew of his booted footsteps echoed, carrying him to  the door to the secret meeting room.  With only a nod to the door warden he was promptly let in. Deniro straightened his tunic and proceeded to where Rud was waiting and stood before him. He gave the man a respectful nod of his head and then waited to hear what was needed of him at that late hour.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Dec 2009 at 8:06pm
Second Level Streets

It seemed to Romen that he had been looking for the wily little thief longer than he should have. He could hear his stomach protesting loudly for missing out on that tasty bread and mead down at the marketplace. If only the day had not been ruined by running into that foul man. Oh how he cursed him! Worst of all, he began wondering how he was going to explain all of this to his little brother! Lie? No, that was not his way. He just had to find that crook!

With few options left but the few small leads he’d been given he continued to hurry on his way until he came to the second circle gates. Should he try the third level? He wondered. No, he decided he would need assistance and so he left word with the gate warden that if another guard came by to begin searching the third level. Romen turned and started back the way he came, purposely making for the marketplace again.
 
After a time, with no luck in sight, he began to think that he’d never find Ardwyr that day. That is until he saw Briley, the cart owner, standing on the street with a piece of cloth draped over his arm. At once Romen went to him, hoping the man would have some news to give, if not answer why he had left his cart in trust with a thief!
 
“Ho! Briley there, is it?” Romen said as he approached. He quickly glanced at the velvet on his arm and then regarded the man with a questioning look. “For long I have been looking for you old man. I have to wonder if you have lost all sense or perhaps the sun has fried what brain lies beneath that old cap of yours. You can thank me that you still have a cart to go to in the marketplace. Why did you leave it unattended? And is it true that you entrusted a thief to mind it for you? Well?” Romen asked giving a rather annoyed look. Any disrespect would not be tolerated and he couldn’t wait to hear what clever scheme old Ardwyr set him up on this time!
 
Meanwhile at Briley’s cart….
 
“Don’t touch that I told you!” barked Ronin to yet another curious market shopper.
 
“But I want to buy it!” retorted the old lady. “How can I buy it if I can’t even look at it?!” she raised her cane up, infuriated by Ronin’s persistence.
 
“For the hundredth time, I told you when Briley gets back you can look at it then! Now go on and quit pestering me and shop elsewhere! Come back later!"
 
“I don’t want to come back later!” she argued, stamping her cane down hard on the road.
 
“How much for this purple shawl?” another lady asked, holding it up off the cart. Ronin spun around only to be met by a rather large lady in shades of brilliant hues of pink and yellow.
 
“Is the sale on until the market closes today?” asked an older man drawing near to the cart and perusing the clothes on the other side. “Oh! I could really go for this pair of trousers!” he lifted them up and held them up in front of him, measuring the width of the leg with his own.
 
“Yeah?” Nodded the lady in pink and yellow. “Will the sale last for the rest of the day?”
 
By this time Ronin was constantly telling people to put things down and wait but it seemed a futile effort. One mention of a sale and people flocked to the cart like gulls at a picnic on the beach! He gritted his teeth and looked anxiously overtop people’s heads for any sign of Briley or his brother. Oh how he loathed his brother right now!
 
Meanwhile out on the street….
 
Sitting against one of the white stone buildings was an old man with white hair and dirty old clothes. Why, it was the old drunkerd Tom from the Fallen Soldier! As usual he was completely inebriated but not so much that he could recall the face and dejected trousers of a good friend! “Mary! Mary!” he called out to Ardwyr as he passed by. Tom struggled to get up but only managed to make it to his knees. Reaching out with his hand and swaying to and fro he beckoned to the thief, whom he had affectionately named Mary. Why, he could not rightly remember but he was sure it was his friend. “Mary! Where ye goingssss to?! Here! Help me up!”
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Dec 2009 at 9:57pm

Second Level: the Streets

When Briley was constrained by the guard, immediately he felt his heart sink. So close a time between speaking to Ardwyr and being questioned by a guard, did not intimate happy things. The guard beckoned at Briley and guessed at his name; Briley nodded faintly. His lips were tied in a knotted pucker; he wondered to himself what this stranger could want. But was he a stranger? His face's youthful gravity and honesty glinted in Briley's eye in a familiar manner. Perhaps, he had seen the lad patrolling the streets before; he could not know, however, for his was a memory that came into the world as a stillborn-- gone as quick as it came.

For long I have been looking for you old man. I have to wonder if you have lost all sense or perhaps the sun has fried what brain lies beneath that old cap of yours. You can thank me that you still have a cart to go to in the marketplace. Why did you leave it unattended? And is it true that you entrusted a thief to mind it for you? Well?” the guard interrogated. All the while, Briley's eyes widened more and more, until it seemed his eyes were about to pop out.

"I--" he stammered, nonplussed. Standing awhile and studying the earth beneath his feet, he gathered his thoughts and forced himself to speak, "I completely forgot about my cart! I was just so excited. Ardwyr had gotten me a full dress of velvet, and I only had to pay one hundred for it. But I didn't have the coins on me," then the words began to flow out of his mouth in one long string, "so he ushered me off to my home and so I got the money and I was comin' back to the cart, you know, to pay the lad but then I ran into him just a bit down the road behind me and paid him there but I had promised him two hundred and only brought one hundred but he still thought it was perfectly fine and went along his way rather swiftly and suspiciously-- he had to attend to his ill sister, Romen, you know, though I'd never heard of her myself, I'm sure she's awful pretty and sweet and it would've been terrible of me to hold him back and question him about her, though now that I think about it he seemed rather false in it all; oh, Sir Guard, what has that no-good thief been up to while I was gone, is my cart alright, oh but I should go look myself! Good-bye then and thank you!" He bent over, hands on knees, to catch his breath for one moment and then quickly darted off toward his cart.

Ardwyr halted in his steps. A sound cut through his ears like the knife of some userer to whom he owed a gambling debt, and with that sound all thoughts of guards and escape-artistry flew from his thougts.
"Mary! Mary! Mary! Where ye goingssss to?! Here! Help me up!"
Ardwyr twirled around looking for a face at his same level. There was no one who seemed at all concerned with him. Then his eyes dropped down and found to their delight the old carcass of an even older and even more amiable bum! Tom was unsuccessfully pulling himself up to his feet and beckoning toward the thief.
"Well, me old and hopeless father!" Ardwyr exclaimed with delight as he hopped over to Tom's side and lifted the fellow onto his feet. He let the man lean on his shoulder and gave the fellow three snappy but merry slaps on the cheek.
"What do you think of goin' over to the Soldier with me, old man?" Ardwyr piped, "I've got one hundred and eleven coins on me, freshly caught out of the river; the hooks in their lips aren't even out yet, they're so fresh! I'm just itchin' to go and waste it all in drink and food and women and cards! And I couldn't think of any partner more fit for the job than ye! Are y'up to it, pappy? It's on the house, at no cost to you!" Regardless of Tom's opinions, Ardwyr dragged him down the road.
"And while you're thinking it over," Ardwyr continued, "can you tell me where the pub is! I always seem to find it on accident, and never can remember which level it is on."

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Dec 2009 at 5:22pm
Back Alley of the Fallen Soldier

The night was deathly quiet as City detective, Vorongil, followed the tiny trail of blood as far as he could. It ended at a narrow passageway that met the road from between tall buildings. The way was dark and seemed to forebode any from entering. Not even the light of the moon shone there for the high stonewalls cast shadows so grim that no man could see. But Vorongil was not afraid and with his torch bravely ventured forth.

Few signs were all he needed to be sure he had chosen wisely; a bloodied hand print on the wall, a garbage can tipped over and most importantly, a bloodstained dagger lying close by. Crouching down in front of the weapon Vorongil examined it with the flickering light from his hand held torch. Upon closer inspection he deemed the blood still fresh and noted that the handle bore the same mark as the one he’d seen earlier inside Indis’s cloak. With care he picked it up and wrapped it in cloth before putting it into a leather pouch he carried across his shoulder. He then inspected the bloodied handprint on the wall and measured it, recording all his findings with a piece of coal and paper. Once collected he held his torch aloft and peered further down the passageway as far as the light allowed. He knew he was hot on the man’s trail and turning back now was not even an option so he continued on silently and swiftly carried by the soft-soled boots he wore.

He could not know what lay beyond and how the street would twist and turn with more alleys joining. However, he did know that the man was injured and every now and then a clue was left behind leading him further and further into the worst neighborhood he ever knew of. At one point the passageway he was following came to a small open courtyard that was lit by one lone lantern. Here he looked all around, searching and inspecting every wall and hidden doorway. Then at last he found what he had been looking for, a handprint on the doorknob of an old tall wooden door. He tried to open it but it was locked from the inside so he stepped back and looked up.
 
It was a tenement house, or so he thought. The windows seemed vaguely familiar to him and he wondered if he had ventured into the area of the ill forgotten Fallen Soldier. Vorongil wrinkled his brow trying to recall if the pub was still operational for he remembered how it had been shut down for a few years for all the crime that occurred there. New owners might have bought it and started anew but he highly doubted anyone would want to build a business in that part of the neighbourhood.

He gazed back at the door feeling quite sure that the crook (Barad) had gone through it. A creeping feeling told him that something amiss was going on inside so he decided to wait until someone came out. A quick look around revealed a few good hiding spots, so he chose the best one that allowed him clear view of the door and sat and waited…all night if he had to.

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Jan 2010 at 8:19pm

While his guard was away to get Deniro, Rud plotted and scemed in his mind, thinking of the best way to go about dealing with the government. His time of killing people singlehanded had long passed. When he had been young he had done alot of it for someone much like him now. Back then, a swift kill and escape were vital to the succes of a task... but to his pleasure his position now allowed for more painfull and lenghthier deaths to deal. Rud could not afford this to go on though, nor could anyone connected to him. The soldier and the healer would all have to die before the day after tomorrow and there was only one man capable of that.

Finally that man came in. Ahhh welcome, dear friend. Rud exclaimed raising his gaze and motioning the man to sit down. Would you like anything to drink Deniro? He put a bottle of wine on the table. Alright... let's get to business. There's been an unfortunate incident at the Black Swan Inn tonight, not an hour ago. Basically, two people saw another two young men, not unrelated to myself I admit, attempt to kidnap a person. A woman, the one they tried to kidnap. I do not know her name, but she is a healer and apparently has black hair. One is a soldier who, being such a brave protector, stopped the men from reaching their objective. He is wounded in his leg. It is vital that they do not live to see the day after tomorrow and I want YOU to take care of it. Any questions?
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 May 2010 at 5:04pm
The Gates of Minas Tirith and onward

   It had been years since he gazed upon the white city, since he set foot within the walls of the grandest city of Gondor. That sweet smell of freshly cooked breads from one of the bakeries already made its way down to his nose from a higher level in the city. The sound of the citizens at work doing their everyday profession met the Rangers ears like song sung by a bard. Blacksmiths hammering horseshoes in, weavers weaving up new materials for the latest fashions, soldiers going through drills in the training squares, and even the pubs customers beginning their daily drinking games.

The Ranger received many looks as he passed through the busy crowds making his way towards the next level of the city. He shrugged at the countless eyes that were set upon his arrival knowing it was likely because he was a foreigner to this city.

Continuing his quick pace he made his way through the crowds with ease slipping through pockets making it easier to walk towards the next set of gates. Soon he found himself looking upon the guards stationed at the gates for the second level of the city.

A thundering Halt! was heard amongst the crowd as one of the guards stopped the ranger asking him for his business and name. Your name stranger, I need to know so I can determine whether you will be granted access to pass and go further up the city. We do not need trouble here, it is a peaceful city, we wish to keep it this way. The ranger nodded knowing completely why they were stopping him, he knew it was their job and they just were trying to keep the criminals and spies from getting in further to cause chaos.

Pulling his hood down from his head revealing his shoulder length hair, he looked up at the guard that stopped him and smiled. His blue eyes shot through the man like a warm fire, his calm and reassuring voice soon changed the guards opinion of the ranger as soon as he spoke his name.

Eridor...my name is Eridor, of the Dunedain Rangers.

 

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Jun 2010 at 6:24am

On a building somewhere above level one.

Perched on a window ledge high above the cobbled stone street, the red-haired elfen watched silently as a group of drunken men pass far below her. Their voices, slurred and short drifted up to her and she peeled back her lips, revealing sharp white teeth and snarled in disgust. For the last hour, those men have hunted her down like a wild animal. If she was found by them, their deep hate for her kind will either get her killed or captured for slavery. Considering she wanted to keep not only her life but her freedom as well, she was just going to have to make it hard for them.

As the voices faded and they had finally disappeared around the corner, she stood up slowly, faced the window and jumped for the concrete gutter that hanged above her head. Once she had a firm hold on the gutter, she lifted herself up onto the slanted roof. With her feet braced on the gutter to keep her balance, she sat down on the slanted roof and checked the wounds to see if any were threatening. Satisfied that she wasn’t going to die from blood loss, she fell back with a loud sigh and stared up at the cloudy sky above her. “Gods….blind their eyes so they do not see me..” She whispered. Hopefully, they will soon loose interest in her and find some other poor creature to torture.

 

Outside the Inn, Level one

 “If you don’t find that elf, I’ll make sure you will see the god’s sooner then you planned!” The men shrunk back visibly from the overly large man who stood in front of them. His once handsome face, tight with rage, was scarred and disfigured from years of fighting. “How could you lose a woman?!” He yelled, the sound of his gravel voice brought fear to their very souls and they quivered in a heap together. None of these weak minded men had any desire to die today. “Eh..we seem to have lost her si..” One of them didn’t even get to finish the sentence, his limp dead body now food for the scavengers of this land. Their master growled softly and his black eyes were furious as he wiped his blood-soaked blade against his deer-skin leggings. “I..dont care..if you have lost her…” He whispered coldly, his eyes peering at each and everyone of them.“..I want her alive. So I suggest you find her now” With that said, they quickly scrambled back into the streets in search of the elusive elfin that their master wanted so badly. If they returned empty handed, they were all certain they would join their dead friend that was now rotting in the streets of Minis Tirith.

When they had disappeared, he turned to the hooded man in the shadows and smiled, the look on his face was neither pleasant nor warm.Xavier…you know what to do” The assassin lowered his head in understanding, his features hidden from view and silently melted into the shadows.

 The leader felt the cold touch of fear drag down his spine but only for a brief moment; luckily the assassin wasn’t after him. Sheathing his sword, he looked up at the rooftop where the elf took refuge and said. “Our Master has waited a long time for you little elf.”

 

Now On the roof top near the second level gate.

“Why do you run elf?” The hooded man asked in a voice that was barely distinguishable against the cold breeze that whipped around her.  With nimble grace, she scrambled up the roof to get away from the man who appeared beside her. “Stop!” He said, the soft tone of his voice was laced with cold death and the elleth careened to a halt, her violet eyes wide and huge as she balanced on the spine of the roof and looked down at the sheer drop to the street below. To the assassin’s well trained eyes, she looked to be frozen in fear but he didn’t know that fear made this elf very dangerous. With a look at the man that indicated that she wouldn’t obey his command, she leaped into the air and fell to the street below. Not caring that the drop would most likely break every bone in her body but she wasn’t as stupid as he thought.

Pirouetting in mid-air, she grabbed the windows ledge which was situated just meters from the stone street and slammed into the building. With the pain receding from the impact, she let go of the ledge and dropped to the street below. She barely had time to regain her balance when the drunken yells of surprise came just a few hundred feet behind her. Without a backwards glance, she danced side-ways, escaping the grasp of one of the men and entered the street on the second level. After a few minutes, she had lost them again but she didn’t slow down her pace. She must find somewhere to hide.

As she darted around the corner of a building, she slammed into a solid wall of flesh and fell to the cold cobbled street beneath her. “..ouch…” Her violet eyes unfocused and blurry didn’t make out the familiar figure before her and so, as she scrambled to her feet with a painful gasp, she shot past him and went down one of the many alleys. A few minutes later, the group of men passed the stranger (Eridor) but only a few gave him scant attention as they scanned the shadows for the elf. When they couldn’t find her, they headed in the direction of the third level and soon disappeared from view.

The assassin watched the men leave from the rooftop above them and shook his head in disbelief. What idiots. His silver eyes studied the ranger in the streets below but finding him no threatening, he dismissed him. For the night at least, he would let the elf rest and heal her wounds. On the morrow, he will fight her weapon to weapon, skill to skill, student to mentor. “Until tomorrow…Valwynne...” With one last glance at the alley she hid in, he turned in the opposite direction and headed back to his master with the news.

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Jun 2010 at 5:15pm
Minas Tirith-Second level

The day was peaceful, busy but peaceful for traveling through Minas Tirith. Having just passed the gates for the second level, Eridor made his way deeper into the marketplace where merchants were about selling the seasons new goods. He smiled feeling good to be back in the greatest city of gondor that still stands. Moments later though his thoughts were interrupted by a sudden force crashing into the back of him. He turned to look down to see who or what had hit him. It was a woman, a most familiar woman at that too. *Miriel?* Eridor thought to himself, but before he could get a quick look at the woman she was gone in a rush. Shaking his head slowly in a shrug he figured it was just another lookalike found in one of the largest cities of Middle Earth.

Another Sudden contact of another shoulder quickly crashed against Eridor's shoulder from behind as he walked the streets. He was sent forward losing his balance but he regained himself before he fell to the ground. "Watch where you are going!" He shouted at the men as they ran by, shaking his head remembering how rude people were on busy days in the white city which he had been absent from for so long. Continuing his travels through the second level heading for the third, Eridor made stops here and there checking out the merchant stalls to see what new goods they had available.

"I'll take one of those please."
"That will be two coins sir."
The man patiently waited for Eridor to pay for the bun but he was so deep in thought he payed no attention to the man. *Cuts...bruises...hair...height...Miriel!* His thoughts ran through the evidence over and over before he suddenly realized he had made a terrible mistake. With a burst of agility he slammed two coins on the table without even taking the bun before he turned running back through the marketplace following where the men and woman last went.

"Miriel!" He shouted out knowing it was most likely useless since the crowds were so noisy at this time of day. None the less he continued to shout her name jogging through the streets and alleyways searching for her. Coming up along a short and dark alleyway Eridor caught sight of some men running through it pointing at the rooftop once or twice. Just in front of the ranger was a man alone, standing still facing the road and he was conveniently directing people away from the alleyway. *Oh what do you know...he is dressed like a Gondorian guard...either he is an imposter or this man needs to find a new profession.* Eridor thought as he made his way to the man.

"Good day sir, you cannot go in here unfortunately, it's closed off due to a petty criminal gang causing damage. The workers will be along shortly to fix all the damage and there is a crew off guards searching for the last few members."
The guard explained to Eridor but before he could ask him to leave and return later the ranger had his knife out and pushed the man back against a wall hidden away from the busy street. "Shutup! who are you looking for?!" He shouted at the man. Nothing, the man was silent, it seemed he had some courage and wasn't easily swayed to give out his friends and what their plans were. "Who are you chasing?!" He asked again this time bringing his blade up to the mans throat where he pressed hard drawing a bit of blood. "Don't make me ask again..." Eridor finally whispered to man.

His jaw dropped as he started to quiver in fear. "Please don't kill me, please...I'm just the lookout man. All I know is they are chasing some elf...for someone or something...I really don't know I swear. I was supposed to stay here to ensure she doesn't leave this area and to keep anyone else out." The man finished and begun to burst into tears curling up into a ball as Eridor let go of him. Sighing the ranger kicked the man hard enough to get him to move but light enough that it wouldn't hurt him. "Go on, get out of here! Don't you dare come back with more either!" He finished before turning to head down the alleyway, now with his sword drawn and at the ready.

"I'm coming Miriel." 
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Jun 2010 at 6:00pm
The white cobbled street was a blessing in disguise. The cold stones were soothing to touch and the hard surface was strangely comforting. Every muscle in her body screamed at her as she lay hidden behind some empty barrels that a stall keeper must have left. A patter of feet came from the shadows and she moved her head slightly, studying the darkness around her in interest. The sound was too small to be a threat but it was better to be safe then sorry. After all she had no desire to die in an alleyway.
 
A rat, bigger then most, paused in front of her. His little chest moved rapidly with the strenuous exercise of his daily foraging and his beady red eyes studied her with interest. It wasn’t every day that he see’s something this large lying in his territory. With a flick of his ears, he decided that she wasn’t a threat and scurried back off into the shadows. The strange site was all but forgotten.
 
Miriel however continued to stare in the direction the rat disappeared into. For one so small, he was nearly unnoticeable and that fact made her extremely jealous. Suddenly, a loud scuffle ahead of her and a rising of voices snapped her out of it. She quickly pressed her body against the cold stone wall and made herself as small and unnoticeable as the very rat himself.
The shadows of the alleyway and the barrels she hid behind, kept prying eyes away. Despite the busy atmosphere in the streets around her, no one seemed to notice her hiding place and she was very thankful for that. Closing her eyes, she focused her attention on her breathing and slowed it down until barely a sound escaped from her lips. This trick had saved her plenty of times in the past and was helpful when one was wounded. Under normal circumstances, the wounds alone would have her heart beat rapidly rising. Thus her breathing would be more labored and heavy. The sound alone would give her away to any trained tracker but thankfully, the idiots chasing her weren’t as skilled as that. However, the man on the roof was. She hoped that her little stunt would have kept him off her trail for the night at least. She needed to heal and rest if she was to escape from this city tomorrow without being captured.
As she slowly drifting off in a restless sleep, she heard a thunder of loud footsteps coming in her direction. Her heart thundered in her chest, warning her of danger but when it stopped, she slowly calmed down. It was then; that she heard a familiar voice and her name was being called. ‘Eridor’ She thought and automatically reached her arm out into what little light the alleyway allowed. “Here...i’m here” She called, her voice rattling in her chest like a man on his death bed. He would have to find her before the others did and take her somewhere safe for she was too exhausted and wounded to move. Plus, the overwhelming desire to sleep wasn’t a very good sign either. Her vision was dimming and her eyelids grew heavy. She wasn’t going to stay awake for very long. “quick...eridor...” She whispered and just as someone’s feet came in view, she slipped into a mini unconscious state. Despite the danger, her body took over her unwilling mind. She needed to rest.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Jun 2010 at 6:51pm
Proceeding more slowly through the alleyway now that he entered a dangerous area the ranger kept himself calm and quiet save for when he yelled Miriel's name out every few moments. He had not seen anyone yet and he wasn't sure if it was good news or bad news. He knew it could have meant they already had done their dirty work and left, perhaps they weren't around, or the worst of all preparing an ambush for him. The alley was dark and quiet despite the stonework was various types of white stone, limiting the vision of any person as they passed through. The streets were fairly clean save for the debris and supplies left outside the numerous houses and stores along the way. *Who the hell lives down here?* He thought to himself shaking his head knowing he could never imagine of owning a home in the shady alley. Before he could further his thoughts on the place he caught the sound of something...a very weak noise...and then silence. Scanning the area as he stepped slower and slower till he stopped to glance around and listen for the noise again. "Nothing...Miriel, where are you?!" He whispered looking up at the roof tops only to see a swallow perched on the end of a water drain.

After a few minutes of silence he went to push ahead deeper into the alleyway before a sudden thudd of a door slamming open up ahead. Throwing himself against a wall he crouched down sheathing his sword and drawing out his bow. He could hear voices of men but none were recognizable to him from earlier, especially the one commanding voice over all others. "You better find her you filth!" Was the last thing Eridor heard before his attention was put elsewhere.

A small figure in the shadows, motionless next to the calm breathing. "Miriel." He whispered, a small smile of relief came to his face as he checked her vital signs. "Well your alive...Miriel, Miriel? Can you hear me?" No answer, no movement. She was either unconscious due to her wounds or perhaps under the influence of a potion he thought. "I've got to get you out of here." He sighed as he leaned out towards the center of the alley to look for any sign of the men. Returning his attention to the dormant elf he put his bow over his head and on his back before slipping an arm behind her back. Next he edged his other hand under her legs so he had a strong hold on her. Slowly he lifted her up pulling her up to his chest where he held her close for protection and comfort. "Alright lets go."

Moving as quick as his legs could carry the two out of there, Eridor pushed up a small set of steps heading back towards the marketplace. Reaching the top of the stairs pain pierced the back of his right shoulder pushing him to a knee as he held onto Miriel for dear life. Wincing at the pain that the arrow gave whilst stuck in the back of his shoulder, he pushed himself upright and rounded the corner. "Seems as though we have not lost them just yet." He whispered to her not knowing if she would hear him. His shoulder now throbbed of aching and sharp pinching feelings as he worked his muscles to hold Miriel and himself up.  He knew if he didn't find somewhere to lay low for awhile the group of men would quickly catch up and likely kill him and do what they wished with Miriel. He didn't plan on letting that happen and so he continued through the alleyways in search of lair to take up residence for awhile.

Coming around another corner Eridor saw a building on the left, it was abandoned alright and seemed well enough for the two of them to hide in. Kicking the door open lightly, he squeezed through the doorway and set Miriel down on the floor. Not a moment later he turned and closed the door with haste and leaned against it watching out one of the windows, praying that they would not be found. "You lost them you idiots!" A voice boomed as footsteps could be heard running by the place for a few seconds. Sighing in relief he went over to Miriel to see to her wounds.

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Jun 2010 at 2:38pm
Drip, drip, drip...

Water fell from the damp window ledge and hit the ground beside her head.  The constant, hollow sound awoke her from her restless slumber and she slowly opened her eyes. The ceiling above her had seen better days; the wooden frames were rotten and loose but somehow managed to keep the ceiling from falling on top of her. It was a miracle and the fact she was still alive.

With her vision still blurry and unfocused, she shifted her gaze from the ceiling to the shadow to her right. His movements were awkward and tense, not fluid and graceful like the hooded man who had been following her for the past week. She expected the stranger was guarding something and in pain, perhaps he was wounded? She lifted one of her hands and rubbed her eyes in an attempt to clear her vision and once she was satisfied, she glanced once more at the stranger.  It didn’t really make much of a difference because his back was turned to her. However, a rather nasty looking arrow was sticking out of his back and she grimaced. Did she do that to him?

Shifting her body upwards, she balanced on her elbows and gazed at him in worry. How was she going to tend to his wounds if she was wounded herself? The throbbing pain returned now that her mind had became focused on it and she sighed, her eyes dropping to the blood stained white shirt that hanged loosely on her body and watched as the fabric drank in the hot, dark puddle. The quick attempt to bandage the deep cut had obviously failed but considering she leaped from a roof, it didn’t surprise her. The impact alone would have re-opened any wound that had recently begun to heal.

The patter of footsteps outside the building made her tense and the sudden action caused pain to shoot up her spine and slam into her head. Now with an aching body and a pounding headache, she wondered if the day could get any worse?  The man turned the moment the voice and footsteps faded, his body was still tense but his movements were relaxed, if only slightly. When he stepped into what little light the building allowed, her expression turned from curiosity to what one would call dumbfounded.
  “Eridor! ..what are you doing here?!” She demanded, her mouth still hanging open and her eyes wide with disbelief.

Of course the day could get worse!

Was it to much to ask for a complete stranger to be her rescuer then the man she cared about? It isn’t that she minded it but she would rather he didn’t see her in this state. Hell, she was bleeding everywhere and not to mention she now has to explain why those men were chasing her. She fell back onto the bed rather ungracefully and made a snorting sound in the back of her throat, her eyes squeezing shut in an attempt to make him disappear. It never works mind you but it could happen just this once. When the silence became too much, she sighed and simply said. “ I didn’t mean to sound rude, i just never wanted you to see me like this”

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