Well, here's the first chapter of Book 2 as it were. When I get this whole thing finished, then I'll call it a book. So, enjoy. Oh, and as a sidenote, like the first, the action will take a while to buid up, since I have to set several different storylines. So, this'll take a while.
Desolate landscape spreads out in all directions. The air is rank with the stench of the dead and foul creatures. Ahead is the Dark Land, Despondos, behind leads towards the Free Lands. Orko Baggins often ponders to himself why he's still here. Samwise Gamgee, on the other hand, wonders why they appear to not be getting any closer to their destination.
"I feel like we've been goin' round in circles," Sam says.
"I think you're right," Orko replies. "But who knows, Sam? This might be our lucky day."
The two Trollans shrug and proceed down the otherwise rocky formations. If they had legs and feet, they'd complain about the tough rocks and hard climb down. Little did they know that something had been following them for a few days.
After a few hours of skulking about the never-ending rocks, Orko and Sam decided to take a break. Sam breaks out a few pieces of the Elvish bread they brought with them since leaving the Fellowship. He breaks off two pieces and throws one to Orko.
"Y'know, I'm not much of a fan of foreign food, but this Elvish stuff ain't bad," Sam comments. "It's light and does everything Strider says it does: keeps ya full for a whole day."
"I'd like to know how," Orko says after swalling his piece of lembas bread. "It's probably why the Elves are so tall and thin."
"Yeah, I bet you're right, but how did that Sorceress lady get a pair of wings?"
They look at each other and shrug. Thunder rumbles over head shortly before the two Shirelings are doused in a cold shower.
"I hope the others are having better luck than we are," Orko and Sam mutter.
Terry and Zippin now found themselves charging through another field, shackled around the necks of thier Hordu-kai captors. Zippin still couldn't believe that for a creature with legs, these Horduks could cover great distance at great speed and never have to rest. The general of this group, who goes by Leech, was the only one not wearing a helmet.
Suddenly, the Hordu-kai stops. After three days, non-stop, the Hordu-kai stop to have a breather. They break out some moldy bread and strange draught from their packs, hidden in the thick armor.
"Maybe we shouldn't have left the Shire," Terry whispers to Zippin.
"Yeah, maybe," quietly replies Zippin.
After a satisfying ten-second break, the Hordu-kai prepare to move out. Before they take one step forward, a troop of normal Horde Troopers, covered from head to toe in their armor, step out from behind a rock formation. Not even their eyes can be seen through the gritty helmets.
"You're late," says one of the Troops to Leech. "Our master grows impatient. He wants the Shire-rats now."
"I take no orders from Horde scum!" Leech shouts.
Effortlessly, he yanks off the chest armor of the Trooper. His skin starts to blister and burn once exposed to the sunlight.
The Hordu-kai general looks at the remainder of the Horde Troop. "You losers better not slow us down."
The troop stands at attenton and march in step with the Hordu-kai, who have stomped the burning Trooper flat.
After another series of endless fields flying past, the Hordu-kai come to an immediate halt. Several of them sniff at the air, leaving the normal Horde Troops puzzled.
"What do you smell?" Leech asks one of the sniffing Horduks.
"Man-flesh!" it answers.
Last edited by DrkMgcn399; April 17, 2004 at 06:36pm.
Adam, son of Randor, raises his head from a flat rock imbedded into the ground. He stands and says over his shoulder:
"Their pace has quickened. They must have picked up on our scent." He runs down the hill from which he stands. Shortly, thereafter, Bow of the Woodland Realm comes charging behind the Ranger.
"C'mon, Ram-Man, we're gaining on them!" the Elf says to the Dwarf behind him who's having trouble trying to keep up.
"Three days with no rest, no food, and only goin' by what scant rocks can tell," complains Ram-Man. "Aye, 'tis be a great adventure."
These three members of the Fellowship run on, hoping to somehow catch their prey. Adam's beard had grown in a little more and he tore off the sleeves to his shirt, since his arms had gained more muscle since obtaining Fisto's heavy Eternium gauntlets, and his hair had started to come in nice and thick. Bow's spiky hair increased by half an inch, and his leg muscles have become thicker. Ram-Man has lost a great deal of weight since the hunt began, and has a more muscular build instead of the average, rotund form characterized by the Dwarves.
Bow dashes up a hill and gazes out into the distance.
"Bow, what do your Elf-eyes see?" Adam asks.
"The Horduks are turning east," responds the Elf. "They're taking the Trollans to Isengard!"
"They think they have the Ring," Ram-Man states. "As soon as they find out..."
"Let's hope that doesn't happen," Adam says through gritted teeth. "What else do you see?"
Bow's eyes scan the surrounding areas, his gaze takes in every single detail. "I see riders, though I'm not sure from where. They're making their way to a dark river. That's all I can see."
"Our paths may not cross, but we have more pressing matters to attend to," the Ranger says. "They have about a day's head start on us, so let's move!"
A small troop of riders, from the kingdom of Bright Moon, come upon a battlefield near a small river. The Brighthirrim, as are the people of this kingdom are somtimes called, ride an interesting type of steed: big jungle cats that range from tigers to lions. Captain Eldowyn scans through the bodies and his heart sinks when he sees a particular body among the fallen forms of the mutant Horde Troops scattered about.
"Prince Eldread!" he calls out to the fallen form of a young man. Eldowyn dismounts from his lion steed and runs to the body. Had he met Adam before he'd notice a startingly similarity, except that Eldread has dark brown hair. "He's still alive!" he shouts to his fellow riders.
"Sir, bad news," says one of the riders. He holds up a helmet belonging to one of the strange Horde Troops. It has a black taloned hand etched into it. "The Black Hand of Skeletor."
Last edited by DrkMgcn399; April 17, 2004 at 04:33pm.
Captain Eldowyn and his riders head for Edoras, the capital of the kingdom of Bright Moon. Prince Eldread had been placed upon Eldowyn's lion steed, his body shakes and bobs from the beast's massive form slamming into the ground. The steeds launch into the village area around the hill upon sits the main hall of the Brighthirrim's monarchy. Eldowyn dismounts his lion and hands the body of the Prince to another rider. He marches up the hill, carrying with him the helmet they recovered. The captain bursts into the hall.
"King Eldor," calls out Eldowyn, "I bring you grave news from the battlefield. You're son, Prince Eldread, has been severely injured in battle between his forces and the strange Horde Troops that are starting to rampage through the Lands of Men."
Ahead of Eldowyn sits Bright Moon's king, Eldor. Over the last few months, the King has become more decrepit and more haggard, as if his life-force has been draining from him. Sitting at the King's side is his trusted advisor, a strange snake/Man hybrid from parts unknown, Kobra Kahn.
"Why do you bring sssuch ill newsss to an already troubled mind?" Kahn asks Eldowyn. "Can't you sssee your dear King hasssn't the time to deal with sssuch insssignificant mattersss sssuch as thisss?"
"These Troops bear the Black Hand!" spits Eldowyn. He throws the helmet before Kahn and the King. "It would appear that Skeletor the Black is no longer our ally."
"It would appear that you're uncle had indeed prepared for thisss problem," Kahn says, standing. He snaps his clawed fingers twice and two burly guards that could be mistaken for Hordu-kai grab Eldowyn by his arms.
They force him to his knees. Kahn approaches him with a devious smile across his reptilian face. He pulls out a small parchment from one of the oversized sleeves of his animal skin robe. He unrolls the parchment and recites from it.
"'Should my trusted nephew, Captain Eldowyn of the Royal Guard, accuse Skeletor the Black of breaking our alliance, he shall be banished forthwith from my kingdom along with those loyal to him. Signed, King Eldor, son of Elangle'. Take him away!"
The guards drag away Eldowyn, kicking and yelling. The muscular minions effortlessly hurl the former captain out of the hall. Kobra Kahn smiles malevolently as his gaze falls on a woman who has just entered.
"I'm sorry, Mistress Glimmer, that you had to see your dear brother be thrown out like that," Kahn says to the young woman.
Her long, violet locks trail down her back, and her elegant purple and blue dress. Glimmer's blue-green eyes lock with Kahn's emotionally devoid pupils. She looks away and exits the hall.
The Hordu-kai and Horde Troop finally stop for the night. Terry and Zippin were glad for there is only so much relentless running they could take. The Hordu-kai looked like they could run on for another 12 hours without sweating while the Horde Troops looked ready to keel over and die. With the threat of the sun gone, they take off their excess armor and hurl it to the ground.
"We ain't goin' no further 'til we have a breather!" shouts one of the Horde Troops, designated as Mantenna by the Elvish-script brand on his shoulder.
Leech growls in frustration. "Sissies. Get a fire goin'!" he shouts to the Horduks carrying the Trollans. Carelessly, they drop the two and tear down a tree without tools and begin to hack and break it with their bare hands.
"I think we may be out of a job," says another Horde Troop, Tuvar.
Shortly thereafter, the broken tree is turned into firewood. The minions of Hordak and Skeletor pull out what food they have, and are a little dissapointed.
"We ain't had nothin' but moldy bread for three stinkin' days!" shouts one of the Horduks.
"Yeah, why can't we have some meat?!" agrees Tuvar. "How about them?" he points to Terry and Zippin. "They look mighty tasty for Shire-rats."
Leech grabs Tuvar by the neck. "They go to Lord Skeletor alive and unspoiled. They carry with them an Elvish weapon of some sort."
"They think we have the Ring," Zippin whispers to Terry.
"Shut up, you idiot. As soon as they find out we don't, we're dead!" Terry half shouts to his friend.
"How about their arms?" quzzically says Mantenna. "They don't need those do they?" His insectoid head comes above the Trollans' hats, his vile tounge licks his lips.
Leech growls again and raises his cleaver-sword. Mantenna's head quickly becomes dislocated from his shoulders. Green blood gushes and oozes from the neck.
"Looks like meat's back on the menu, boys!" Leech roars. The remainder of the group devour Mantenna's raw, uncooked body.
After the feasting of the Horde Troop is done, a sharp spear impales one of the Horduks through the chest. Massive jungle cats break through the camp with riders. Terry and Zippin don't recognize the riders and try to get out of the insuing onslaught. One of the riders, a Man on a lion, whips out his sword and takes off Leech's head.
"Riders of Bright Moon! Attack!" shouts the lion rider.
Their great beasts roar as Terry and Zippin rush into the nearby forest. A black Horde Trooper with white strips, and strange cannisters attached to his back, follows them.
Last edited by DrkMgcn399; April 19, 2004 at 07:40pm.
The air inside the forest the Trollans find themselves feels stuffy. They don't know whether it's due to the thick, huge trees or if the trees themselves made sure to suck out every particle of air in their domain to asphyxiate any who enter. Whatever the reason was, they didn't have time to ponder it.
Using the Elvish daggers recieved from the Whispering Woods Elves, Terry and Zippin cut their hands free. They stash the daggers and throw the ratty old rope to the ground. Strange moaning fills the air.
"What is that?" Zippin asks.
"It's the trees," Terry explains, to which Zippin watches him with a quizzical expression. "Remember the Old Forest on the shores of Buckland? They always said that there was something in the water that made the trees grow tall and come alive." The moaning intensifies.
"I think we should get out of here."
A horrid stench fills the thick air. The Trollans look back to see a Horde Trooper had followed them. Its black fur and white stripes makes it look like a Man-sized skunk. Putrid clouds form around this creature. With fangs bared, it charges.
Terry and Zippin rush out of the charging skunk's way and zig zag around the trees. The feral Horde Troop, with Hordu-kai-esque strength, plows tree after tree. Terry and Zippin hurry up a particular moss-covered tree, leaving the skunk to claw at the base.
"Mmmm...that hurts..." comes a low, rumbling voice. Terry and Zippin look at each other then at the tree itself.
Evergreen eyes open out of the tree, followed by a face made of moss. The moss comes off the tree forming a strange, plant-like body. The newly formed head looks down at the Horde skunk at its feet. The skunk makes a quick dash but not quick enough. The legs of this plant creature effortlessly crush the Horde Trooper and its putrid stench cloud aura dissipates. The plant creature then turns its attention to the legless creatures at its neck. It grabs them.
"What strange Hordes you must be," the moss creature says.
"Where not of the Horde," Terry says to the creature. "We're Trollans!"
"Never heard of a Trollan before," the creature respounds. "Sounds like Horde mischeif to me! They come with fire! They come with axes! Hacking, breaking, burning, biting!" rants the creature, smashing the ground with its tremoundous legs.
"But we're with the Horde!" Zippin pleads. "We're from the Shire!" The creature stops stomping. "What kind of tree are you?"
"Tree? I am no tree! I am an Ent! Mossman some call me, yet I don't know why."
"An Ent?" repeats Terry. "A tree-hearder."
"Maybe you are not with the Horde, but there is one who can decide for me...the Dark Wizard," Mossman says, walking through the forest.
The Trollans stare at each other and say, "Skeletor." Suddenly, they are thrown down, in front of a figure in black wielding an elegantly made staff.
Rain continues to pound the Emyn Muil upon which Sam and Orko find themselves. They've taken refuge under one of the rocky overhangs with their Elvish cloaks over their heads. The wide brims of their hats would have been enough to prevent them from getting wet, but Trollan hats weren't meant to be used in the rain and they didn't want to take any chances.
A gangrel creature above crawls along the rocky overhang. Its ratty tail whips about, in anticipation.
"Nasty theives," it says to itself. "They stole it from us and now we wants it!" The creature's dull blue eyes scan every nook and cranny in the rock face, until it sees its objective. "Nasty, stinky Trollanses! We wants the Precious!" The creature jumps down from the rock and into the hard ground below. "Ow."
The Elvish cloaks open up and Sam and Orko charge at the intruder. For a creature as small as they are, it charges. Sam brandishes his small dagger but is easily knocked away. The creature knocks Sam to the ground, just as Orko brandishes Sting. Orko raises his sword above the strange creature's head.
"Let him go...Loo-Kee," commands the Trollan, "or else this sword gets shoved into the back of your skull."
Loo-Kee gets off Sam very slowly and faces the other Trollan.
"Precious!" he screams and goes for Orko. Thinking quickly, Orko whips out his gift from the Sorceress: the Light of Elendil. The vial explodes in a flash of light, quickly blinding Loo-Kee. "Aaah! Nasty light hurts us!"
"What do we do with him?" Sam asks.
"Get your rope; we're gonna need it," Orko answers.
Last edited by DrkMgcn399; April 20, 2004 at 08:34pm.
Dawn quickly comes with two Trollans dragging a strange creature on an Elvish rope. Loo-Kee screams and shouts, not from being dragged, but, as he says, from the rope.
"Evil Elves make twisted rope!" shouts Loo-Kee. "It burns us! Aaah!" The loud screaming emitted by the creature echoes throughout the rock valley.
"Ev'ry Horde Trooper in Desponds is gonna hear this and those freaks we saw at the river are gonna be down our throat!" Sam says to Orko.
"No, no, not nasty Hordeses," says a quiet Loo-Kee. "Hordeses treat us very bad. Hit us, strangle us, tie us to racks to be beaten by nasty Wraiths!"
"Can you lead us out of here, to the Black Gate?" Orko asks.
"Yes, we swears on...the Precious."
"I'm going to let you go now, but if you do anything that makes me distrust you, we'll use this rope to tie to a rock and make enough noise that Hordak himself will come down to destroy you," Orko threatens. He takes the rope off Loo-Kee's neck, where a strange brand of Elvish appears where the rope once was.
"Now, follow me." Loo-Kee crawls away, looking over his shoulder every now and then.
"I hope you know what you're doin', Mr. Orko," Sam says.
"Yeah, me too."
Sunrise comes to kingdom of Bright Moon. The Ranger, Elf, and Dwarf carried on through the night, their bodies running on fumes.
"A red sun rises," Bow says. "Blood was spilt this night."
"Let's hope not Trollan blood," Adam says.
The remainder of the Fellowship stop at a high ridge. Adam looks over the land below with a sense of hope and pride.
"The kingdom of Bright Moon, lands of the cat-masters," he says more to himself.
A thunderous series of impacts come straight for them. They hide behind a nearby rock as several riders on the backs of huge jungle cats fly by. After the riders pass, Adam comes out from behind the rock.
"Riders of Bright Moon, what news from the Mark?" he calls out. The cat riders stop, look back at Adam and charge at him. The riders then form a circle around the Ranger, Elf, and Dwarf.
"What business does a Man, Elf and Dwarf have in the Riddermark?" asks the head rider. "Speak quickly."
"Give me your name, cat-master, and I shall give you mine," Ram-Man says, leaning on his axe.
The rider dismounts and unsheathes his sword. "I would have your head, Dwarf, if but it stood a little further from the ground."
An arrow is suddenly aimed in his face. "You would die before your stroke fell," Bow threatens. Adam steps between the two. Bow puts his weapon away, as does the rider, who looks at the Ranger with a perplexed expression.
"I am Adam, son of Randor. This is Ram-Man, son of Dekker and Bow of the Woodland Realm. We are friends of your King."
"King Eldor knows not his friends from his enemies," says the rider. "Not even his own kin." He takes off his helmet, instantly being recognized by Adam.
"Captain Eldowyn, it has been a while. What has happened to your King?"
"He has been plagued by a strange leech craft, that's all I know. What brings you here?"
"Two of our number have been captured by a herd of Hordu-kai, and we've been tracking them for the past three days."
"We found you're Horduks and burned them, as is our custom."
"Did you see two Trollans with them?" Ram-Man asks. Eldowyn looks at him with a perplexed expression.
"Small creatures with big hats that somehow can float above the ground," Adam explains.
"We saw no such thing," Eldowyn says with a heavy heart. "We left no survivors and their corpses are left over there, the pyre still going. Look for your friends, but do not trust to hope." He gets back on his lion. "Maybe we can help you three out." He whistles and a single horse comes to him. "This horse may be more of your Elf's speed than one of our cats."
"Got a spare cat I can use?" Adam asks.
"Sure, if ya can tame it," Eldowyn cautions. He points to a massive panther in the back of the group with no rider.
Adam approaches the panther. It hisses at him and growls at him. The cat leaps at the Ranger, who easily dodges the charge. The cat runs at him.
"Stop!" sternly commands the Ranger. The panther suddenly stops. "Sit!" The cat sits down like an obedient dog. "Up!" The panther rises up and Adam mounts it. "Oh, yeah, this'll work."
"May these steeds bring you better fortune than their previous masters," Eldowyn advises. "One final caution: they say that the Black Wizard is about, moving through these lands, disguised as...a Hobbit!"
The Ranger, Elf, and Dwarf look at each other.
"What the hell is a Hobbit?" Adam asks.
"Jeff knows. Tell 'em, Jeff." Eldowyn looks at a rider on a cougar with a series of arrows jutting out of his chest. "Oh, right. Jeff's dead. Well, my friends, me and my party must depart for we have been banished by my uncle's twisted advisor. Riders of Bright Moon, we ride!"
The riders depart, their beasts massive paws slamming into the ground with the noise of thunder.
Last edited by DrkMgcn399; April 25, 2004 at 08:56pm.
Shortly after the departure of the riders of Bright Moon, Adam, Bow and Ram-Man mount up and head for the smoking Hordu-kai pyre. Adam and the panter are the first ones there, followed by Bow and Ram-Man on the horse. Twenty-odd carcasses are piled up and set on fire, along with a decapitated amphibian head on a pyke. They jump off their steeds and survey the battlefield.
"This is a grim scene, indeed," Ram-Man says.
Adam approaches the burning pyre. He digs through it, looking for any sign of the Trollans. The Ranger's hands stop searching and pull out a small piece of Elvish cloth.
"That was one of the cloaks the Whispering Woods Elves gave us," Bow says. "It looks recently burnt."
Adam throws the cloth to the ground. He spots a discarded Horduk helmet, and gives it a solid kick, a loud cracking sound follows after. Adam screams in a mix of anguish and torment, realizing the crack was the sound of two of his toes breaking.
"Are you all right?" Bow asks, wearily.
"Blue lembas," Adam replies, racked with pain.
Understanding his friend's request, Bow pulls out a lembas cake that's smaller in size and has a blue color to it. He breaks off a small chunk and throws it to Adam, who grabs it and instantly eats it down. The Ranger rises to his feet with a slight hitch, but is otherwise fine.
"All this way for nothin'!" Ram-Man shouts to the sky. "We've failed them, and the other two as well."
The Ranger's gaze falls on the ground. His eyes follow a strange disruption in the shallow grass. "Maybe not. They got out of the way of the battle, and were being followed by something." At this point, Adam began following the disruption with Bow and Ram-Man trying to keep up. "As the battle raged on, they ducked into this forest."
"The Evergreen Forest," Ram-Man half-whispers. "What madness drove them in there?"
"We're about to find out, methinks," Bow says.
With a collective sigh, the remainder of the Fellowship dive into the Evergreen Forest. The dense trees make it hard for two of them to navigate. Bow effortlessly walks through the myriad of branches and roots without a drop in speed. They make it to a clearing, with some odd results. Strange tracks appear around them, heavy and big. In one of the footprints lies the body of a crushed Horde Troop, its armor broken and dug into the wearer's flesh.
Strange noises permeate through the air, noises that only Bow can decipher. The branches sway back and fourth, as if agitated.
"This forest is old...and angry," Bow says to his companions. "The trees are talking to each other."
"That was an Elvish practice, correct?" Adam asks.
"Yes, the Elves began it. We gave the trees a special, nutrient-filled water and began to talk them until the Ents came about and our job was done. They do have a few interesting tidbits to offer us though."
"Like what," Ram-Man buts in, "the consistency of squirrel droppings in this neck of the woods?"
The strange sounds come again, sounding like a mix of Elvish and Dwarvish.
"No," Bow answers the Dwarf. "'The Black Wizard is coming'."
"Skeletor," Adam concludes. "We must act quickly. He cannot speak or he shall put a spell on us."
A strange light comes from behind the three, not sunlight or moonlight, but dark, and yet welcoming. Bow readies an arrow and turns. His projectile flies at the source of the strange light, a figure with a dark glow. The arrow flies by the figure. One of Ram-Man's throwing axes is next. It hurls through the air and explodes into a small pile of melted shards. Adam unsheathes his sword and charges. He leaps high into the air and brings down his weapon on the figure in light. The blade collides with another weapon, and Adam feels his body being racked with strange energies. The energy assault continues for five more seconds and the Ranger is thrown into the other two.
The figure stands thusly over them, waiting for anymore surprises. Pleased that they wish to show no more hostility, the mysterious one begins to speak. "You are on the trail of two young Trollans, I believe."
"What do you know of them?" Adam asks.
"Oh, they passed this way, the night before, and met someone they did not expect," answers the glowing figure.
"Who are you?"
"As you wish, Adam, son of Randor and Marlena, and brother to Adora." The light surrounding the figure gives way. Standing there now is a man dressed in black cloaks and robes. In his hand is an intricately crafted staff with a strange amulet imbedded at the top. Equally black hair and goatee frame his face.
The Elf, Ranger, and Dwarf instanly recognize the one standing before them.
"Forgive me," Bow says, bowing. "I thought you were Skeletor."
"Rise up, Bow of the Woodland Realm," answers the figure in black. "In a way I am Skeletor...if he was still known as Keldor the Wise."
"But...you fell," says Adam. "We all saw it."
"Yes, through Hell and water. From the lowest dungeon to the highest peak, I furiously battled the Shokoti of Morgoth. Finally, after taking as much as I could stand, I smoted its ruins among the mountain. I died shortly after, but my task has not yet been completed and thus I was sent back to you now, at the turn of the tide."
"Marzo," Adam declares, placing one hand on the Wizard's shoulder.
"Marzo?" repeats the Wizard. "Yes, that's what they used to call me, 'Marzo the Red'. I am Marzo the Black."
Last edited by DrkMgcn399; September 9, 2004 at 06:08pm.
The group of four travel back through the Evergreen Forest. The dense air seems to have lessened, but it still kept Ram-Man ready for action.
"One stage of your journey is now complete," Marzo says, "and now another begins." They break out into the open field of the Riddermark. "And our faith is in the hand of single Trollan."
"Orko didn't go alone," Adam says. "Sam went with him."
"Did he now? Good."
Terry and Zippin were starting to enjoy the Ent ride. Perched on the two shoulders of the massive Moss Man gave them an incredible vantage point of the forest that they would have missed otherwise.
"So, how long have you and Marzo been friends?" Zippin asks the Ent.
"We've been friends for so long I can't remember," replies Moss Man. "I wish it could be said of Skeletor. He used to walk through my woods but now he doesn't. Now he has his mind set on things metal, wheels, and machines. Smoke comes from Isengard these days, like never before."
Skeletor the Black rushes through his machinery factory below his beloved tower. He knocks some of the lowly Horde Troops out of his way with his glowing Havoc Staff, sometimes with a "Out of my way, you fool." He stops when he sees the progress of weapons before his eyeless sockets. His gaze falls on a wall of dirt that gives way to a muscled Hordu-kai.
Skeletor had put the Troopers on a regimen to pile the dead carcasses they find, be it Elf, Dwarf, Man, or even Horde, and subject them to the mutation process that takes place within the earth.
"My army will soon be ready to tear apart the Brighthirrim, and soon, Eternos will fall," Skeletor cackles.
The Black Wizard leaves the machine works for a breath of fresh air. He is followed by two Horde Troops, one with a green color scheme in his armor and one with a massive mechanical arm. Skeletor overlooks the entire area, a slint glint in his sockets.
"Tri-Klops, I want them armed and ready to move out within two weeks," Skeletor says to the green Trooper, whose headgear rotates in acknowledgemnet. The Wizard looks to the other. "Trap-Jaw, stoke the furnaces night and day."
"Uh...there's a problem," fearfully responds Trap-Jaw. "We don't have enough fuel for the fires."
Skeletor's perpetual scowl looms into the half-machine Trooper's eyes. His eye sockets burn with red fire, then leviate. His gaze falls on the surrounding forest.
"The Evergreen Forest lies right on our doorstep...rip it apart," he orders.
Last edited by DrkMgcn399; May 1, 2004 at 02:17pm.
The high noon sun above bears down on the Elf, Wizard, Ranger, and Dwarf. Despite being clad in black darker than night in this heat, Marzo shows no signs of sweating or any persperation. With his lips pursed, Marzo whisltes a tune of some kind.
Adam looks at the Wizard, vaguely recognizing the tune. Seconds later, the whinny of a horse penetrates the air. Adam's eyes open wide and he turns to the direction of the sound. The Elf and Dwarf follow suit.
"I'd know that neigh anywhere," Adam says.
A white horse clad in Elf-made armor races across the field. With it continuing to advance, they can make out a pair of wings and a horn coming from the steed.
"That's one of the Pegacorns, lest my eyes are cheated by some spell," Bow says.
The winged unicorn stops right at Marzo and looks over at Adam. Marzo's hand courses through the steeds flowing, orange mane.
"Swift Wind, the lord of all horses," explains Marzo. "When not in the service of your sister, Master Ranger, he would find his way to me."
"I know," Adam replies. "Adora was the only who could get him to fly while carrying her. Interesting creatures they are. Winged horses that only fly with no burden."
"Now we ride." Marzo pulls out a red cloak from under the saddle of the winged horse, similar in version to the ones he used to wear. He loosely fastens it around his black robes, mainly to conceal the black.
"Ride? To where?" Ram-Man asks.
"To Bright Moon, Master Dwarf," Marzo explains, mounting the winged steed. "The King is not well and I sense Skeletor's involvement with this."
Glimmer wanders around the nearly deserted Hall of the Brighthirrim. Most of the troops who usually populate the hall had been sent on assignment and are only to be brought back by word of the King, which will seem like false hope. Her violet locks wave about in the cold wind that now blows through the kingdom. She spies an open door and quietly enters. She looks around to find the wounded Prince Eldread still on his bed, but not moving now.
She examines him. No heart beat, no pulse, no breathing. She sees a green liquid on his neck. Glimmer uneasily shifts his neck to see two puncture wounds and some melted skin around his jugular vein. She gasps and recoils.
"Oh, dear, he must have passed some time in the night," comes a hissing voice.
Glimmer turns to see Kobra Kahn, with an insincere smirk. The snake creature approaches the Lady of Bright Moon, a strange glint in his eyes.
"You killed him," accuses Glimmer.
"Maybe," responds Kahn, licking away some red crust on his lips and fangs. "But then again, you probably think I did a lot of things around here, such as the banishment of your brother and the state your old King is in. Who knows what you have to the darkness that continues to encirlce you?"
"You work for Skeletor, don't you?" Glimmer asks rhetorically.
Kahn answers with a devious smile. "And when his forces gather, the Brighthirrim will be crushed, save for me...and my queen."
Glimmer's eyes open wide, not in shock but disgust.
"What makes you think I'll marry you?"
"Who said anything about marriage? Once I seize the throne of Bright Moon, I'll be the King, and according to the ancient laws of this land, I can name my queen to be anybody."
Fed up with Kahn's proclomatoins, Glimmer storms out.
"She will be mine, oh, yes. She will be mine."
Glimmer runs into the throne room, her face red and flushed. She slows her pace down as she stands before the haggard King Eldor. She kneels at his side.
"My Lord, I bring you ill news," she says in a low whisper. "Your son has died." No reaction comes from Eldor. "Will you not go to him?"
"I'm afraid he's on his last days, m'lady," comes the voice of one of the few remaining guards. "Strange, that in the prime of his life he's aged fifty years. I've seen Elves older than him and they don't look that bad."
Glimmer stands and exits the hall, tears in her aquamarine eyes. She stands at the perch of the hill that leads down into the small village below. She looks over and sees a strange sight. Two horses, one apparantly with wings, and a panther approach. The wingless horse carries two passengers. She looks to the one riding the panther, his blue eyes glare in the high sun.
Adam's eyes lock with the fair maiden standing at the Hall of Bright Moon. He blinks and she is gone. Well, this should be fun, the Ranger thinks to himself.
The group lead their steeds into the capital city of the Brighthirrim, dubbed Edoras by the Elves during the days of the Alliance. The Wizard, Dwarf, and Elf dismount the horses, who immediately make for the small horse stable at the top of the hill on the left of the hall. The Ranger jumps from the panther, and it takes for the larger cat stable, on the Brighthirrim hall's right.
"I remember the last time I was here," Adam says wistfully. "It was far greener, than this."
"Times change, son of Randor," Marzo says. They approach the hall, the doors flanked on both sides by two guards who would like to see more action lately. The guards bar the way.
"I'm afraid we cannot allow you and your party pass so heavily armed before the King, Marzo Redhem," says one of the guards, a shaggy man with a stout build.
Marzo looks straight ahead without wavering and hands to the guard his enchanted sword. "It's all right," he says to the others.
Adam and Bow easily hand over their bows, but Bow takes longer to depart with his Elf blades and arrows. Adam detaches his swords and connects the scabbards together before cautiously handing them over.
"You scracth 'em, you will beg for death," Adam half-whispers to the other guard, who's knees begin shaking.
Ram-Man easily hands over his throwing axes and his two big hatchets. With a heavy heart, he hands over his dual-blade axe with the three Sorceress hairs tied to it. After stowing the assortment of weapons, the stout guard holds out his hand, pointing to Marzo's staff.
"Surely, you would not deprive an old man of his walking stick, would you?" the Wizard pleads. The two guards shrug and open the doors.
"What are you up to?" Adam asks Marzo in Ice-elf Elvish.
"Just wait and see," Marzo responds, in Whispering Woods Elvish.
The Ranger, Elf, Wizard, and Dwarf enter the hall, an eerie silence all around. Ahead of them sits the haggard King Eldor upon his regal throne, and next to him, his advisor, Kobra Kahn.
"My Lord, Marzo the Red is coming," Kahn whispers to Eldor. The King mutters in acknowledgement and wearily looks towards the approaching party. Guards file into the hall.
"The courtesy of your hall has been lessened of late, Eldor King," proclaims Marzo.
The King's head rises slightly. "And why should I welcome you here, Marzo Crimsonstorm?" asks Eldor.
Somewhat shocked at the King's words, Kahn stands. "That isss a good question, My Lord. Late isss the hour this conjurer choossesss to appear. Lathessspell I name him. Ill newsss isss an ill guesst." At this point, Kahn is face to face with Marzo.
"Keep your forked tongue behind you teeth, or I shall rip it out," shouts the agitated Wizard. He brandishes his staff.
Kahn retracts in fear. "You idiotsss! I told you to take the Wizard'sss ssstaff!" Marzo's weapon collides with Kahn's face, sending him in Ram-Man's direction.
The Dwarf slams his muscled arms into the snake's stomach. Kahn crashes to the ground and has Ram-Man's heavy boot stomped on his chest.
"I'd stay still, if I were you," threatens the Dwarf.
The guards swarm Adam and Bow. They quickly disarm and drop the opposition as Marzo makes his way for King Eldor. His staff glows faintly.
"Eldor, son of Elengel, I shall release you from this that has imprisoned your mind," declares Marzo. He opens his hand and thrusts it before the King. Nothing happens.
"You have no power here, Marzo the Red," says the King.
"That's a lie." Dark flames envelop the Wizard's red cloak, revealing black robes. "I shall draw you, Skeletor, as poison is drawn from a wound." He raises his staff once more and dark energy erupts from it, enveloping Eldor. The King writhes in agony.
"If I go, Eldor dies," says the voice of Skeletor the Black from the bowels of Eldor's being.
"You did not kill me and you shall not kill him!" proclaims Marzo. Eldor leaps from his throne to tackle the Black Wizard. With sharp reflexes, Marzo strikes his staff against the attacking king, and he collapses to his throne.
Out of view from everyone else, Glimmer rushes into the main hall. She runs to Eldor's side, tears in her eyes.
"My lord?" she asks with a heavy heart.
Eldor's gray hair changes color, to a more deep set brown and becomes shorter. His weak frame becomes well muscled and the aged lines on his face disappear.
"I know your face," Eldor says to Glimmer, his youthfullness returned. "Dark are my dreams as of late." His gaze falls on the Wizard in black before him. "Marzo?"
"Breath the free air again, my friend," Marzo says.
"My hands...feel weak," Eldor mutters, opening and closing his fists.
"Perhaps your hands would remember their old strength should they hold your sword again," Adam says, stepping forward.
He kicks at a pillar on his left, and it opens up, revealing a scabbard with a sword. The Ranger grabs the weapon and presents before Eldor. The King takes the weapon and quickly unsheathes it. Eldor's gaze falls on Kobra Kahn.
"Master Dwarf, if you would be so kind as to let that miserable cur to stand," Eldor orders in a kind tone.
The doors to the Hall of Bright Moon are thrusted open by the guards standing outside. Two seconds later, Kahn goes tumbling down the stairs with a few gashes on his legs and arms.
"Please, m'lord, everything I did was for you," pleads Kahn, cowering in fear.
"You would have had me crawl on all fours like a beast!" shouts the advancing Eldor, his sharp sword in hand. He raises it and prepares to strike with it.
Adam's hands grab Eldor's arms before he can make the fatal blow. "No, my lord! Enough blood as been spilled by his hands and he doesn't deserve to die."
With the distraction of the other Man, Kahn's hood opens up and he spits two streams of acid at Eldor. The Ranger's sword narrowly comes in and protects the King's face. Blue fire of Elvish runes ignite on the sword, instantly frying off the acid.
"Okay, screw it," the Ranger says, raising his sword.
Kahn lets out a high-pitched scream right before Adam's sword smashes into the rock they stand on. Kahn rushes out of the capital, and makes his way to Isengard. When he gets out of site, the townspeople rejoice.
"All hail Eldor King!" they shout.
Eldor takes his sword and sheathes it. "Where is Eldread? Where is my son?"
Last edited by DrkMgcn399; May 3, 2004 at 10:10pm.
A funeral procession march is quickly held for the fallen Prince Eldread. His body is carried out in a coffin by four stout men. The gathered townsfolk see a shocking resemblance between the attending Ranger and their former prince, except with blonde hair and a beard that's starting to come in full. Glimmer is on hand, singing a funeral dirge in an ancient Brighthirrim dialect. The stout men lower Eldread's coffin into his final resting place, a tomb at the base of the hill upon which Edoras stands. Glimmer's song ends when the tomb is sealed shut.
Hours pass and King Eldor still stands at the entrance to the tomb. The only ones beside him that are left are Marzo and Adam. Adam sighs and begins reciting in Elvish:
"A benevolent King he would have been. Goodbye, Eldread son of Eldor, godson of Adam."
The Ranger turns around and heads for the Hall of Bright Moon. Eldor picks up a flower that has started to grow.
"Symbelmine," Eldor wistfully says. "It grows on the tombs of my forefathers and now on my son's." He turns to face Marzo. "No parent should have to bury their child."
"His death was not your fault, my friend," comforts the Wizard.
"It might as well have been." Eldor throws the flower down and heads for his hall.
An ill wind blows through the air. A small pony carrying two children, a boy and a little girl, appear from the horizon. The boy falls from the pony with a heavy thud.
Inside the main hall, the boy and girl are seated at the grand table. They are given food and clothing with a worried Glimmer hovering over them.
"They say that a strange army had arrived and wiped out their village," she explains to Eldor. "Burning everything in their path."
"Where is Mama?" the girl asks, flustered. Glimmer tries her best to calm her down.
"This is but a taste of Skeletor's evil," Marzo says to the worried King upon his throne. "We should ride out and meet this threat head on."
"No," answers Eldor. "I know what it is you ask of me, but I will not risk open war."
The sword of Adora resonates through the hall. Adam places the slender blade against the pillar he is leaning against and faces the King.
"Open war is upon you...whether you would risk it or not," the Ranger says with conviction.
"The last time I checked, it was Eldor who was King of Bright Moon, not Adam," Eldor replies with equal conviction.
"Then what shall you do?" Bow asks.
"By order of the King, we are to leave for the stronghold of Grayskull's Keep!" announces one of the returned soldiers. "Leave behind your treasures and bring only that which you need!"
The Wizard, Ranger, Dwarf and Elf walk by him and the evacuating people.
"Grayskull's Keep!" Ram-Man says with disgust. "They flee to the mountains when they should stay and fight!"
"He is only doing what he believes to best for his people, Master Dwarf," Adam says.
The group arrives in the horse stable. Marzo makes way for the winged horse in the back. He jumps the gate and mounts Swift Wind.
"53 lives of Men I have walked and now I have no time," Marzo says wistfully. "Adam, the Brighthirrim must survive this ordeal. You can look to my coming at dawn on the fifth day. Look to the east and I shall arrive."
"You sure on that?" Adam asks.
"A Wizard is never late, nor is he early. He arrives precisley when he means to." With that, Swift Wind jumps the gate and rushes past Bow and Ram-Man.
Last edited by DrkMgcn399; May 4, 2004 at 05:04pm.
Orko and Sam, along with the odd creature Loo-Kee, continue their journey through the desolate landscape of the Emyn Muil. The upside being that they were no longer going around in circles. The bad news being, Loo-Kee's constant muttering was starting to get to them.
"Stupid Trollanses!" mutters the creature. "We should take Precious back...kill them! Kill them both!"
"No, they say they do not nice things to us," utters another voice from Loo-Kee, more subdued and quieter.
"Shut up, you miserable wretch!" the first shouts to the second. All at once, Loo-Kee dashes ahead and dives behind a rock, hissing and growling.
"What was that all about?" Sam asks Orko, who simply shrugs his shoulders.
"Come on, Trollanses," says Loo-Kee's friendly voice (Loo-Kee A). "We need to keep going."
"Maybe we should have let the others come with us," Orko mutters to Sam.
Hours swiftly pass and the odd trio come to a break in the jagged rock around them. The trio make a run for the gap, to suddenly stop short of a steep cliff.
"Don't wanna be doin' any repeaters this trip," Sam says, remembering the time when they ran into their first Snakgul.
Strange chanting comes across the ground. Sam, Orko, and Loo-Kee duck down. The chanting is interspersed with loud, metallic thudding. Strange Men, of about Strider's height and build, flood the area in single file. They wear odd armor, none the like they've seen before. The trio direct their gaze to the destination of the strange Men, the Black Gate of Despondos. It was once constructed to prevent Hordak's forces from spreading out in days of old. With the enslavement of the Caligars, the Horde could now open the gates.
"Who are they?" Sam asks no one in particular.
"Wicked Men from the East," Loo-Kee answers with fear. "The One who crafted Precious is calling them to him."
Loud rumbling hits the sensitive ears of the Trollans, along with grinding steel and axles. Caligars, bigger than the one their Fellowship encountered in Moria, move the giant gears that open the gate into two sections.
"Master said to lead him to the gate," Loo-Kee says, gazing at Orko.
"I did," replies the Ring-bearer.
"Then, what are we waitin' for? Let's go!" Sam races down the cliff, quickly followed by Orko.
Due to the uneven surface on which they race, the Trollans lose their balance and tumble down the rest of the rocky cliff. They plow into the light rock below and sink below it. The observing Easterlings shrug it off as nothing and continue into Despondos.
After the "Wicked Men" have left, Orko and Sam climb out of the rock and stealthily follow after them. Loo-Kee dives out of the rock and pulls them down.
"We musn't take the Precious to him," warns the mongrel creature. "He will do terrible things with it. There is another way to get in."
"Why didn't you tell us this sooner?" Sam yells.
"Master didn't ask. Master only said to take us to the Black Gate. Don't worry, I know of another way, much easier."
Suspicious of his motives, the Trollans let Loo-Kee lead them away from Hordak's territory for the time being. Hours pass, and the trio decide to rest under trees in the supposed neutral territory between the Elves, Men, Dwarves and Horde.
Orko is plagued with a strange dream. In it, he is the same as he's ever been except for the bright, crimson cloak he wears and a gold pendant around his neck with an "O" on it. He looks to his left to see a different version of Adam; clean shaven, less muscular, and certainly dressed differently than his Ranger cloth. He pulls out his sword, the same as the one he always wields, and utters something, quickly followed by lightning from the sky which envelops Adam. The lightning passes and in its place is a heavily muscular man with a larger version of the Ranger's sword.
Orko wakes up soon after and mutters, "Maybe another life." He drifts back to sleep.
Away from the sleeping Trollans, Loo-Kee began engaging in a conversation with himself.
"They're thieves! They're thieves! They're filthy little thieves! Where is it? Where is it? They stole it from us, our precious. Curse them! We hates them! it's ours it is, and we wants it! We wants it, we needs it. Must have the precious. They stole it from us. Sneaky little Trollanses. Wicked, tricksy, false!" Loo-Kee B declares.
"No, not Master," coerces Loo-Kee A.
"Yes, Precious. First they cheat you, hurt you, lie."
"Master's my friend."
"You don't have any friends! Nobody likes you."
"I'm not listening. I'm not listening!" Loo-Kee A puts his hands over his ears.
"You're a liar and thief."
"Go away," whimpers Loo-Kee A.
"'Go away'?!" mocks Loo-Kee B. He laughs at his other personality, who cries.
"I hate you. I hate you."
"Where would you be without me? Kee! Kee! I saved us! We survived because of me!"
"Not anymore," Loo-Kee A says with conviction.
"What did you say?"
"Master looks after us now, we don't need you anymore. Leave now and never come back!"
"Leave now and never come back!" screams Loo-Kee A. The second Loo-Kee roars in frustration and is suddenly quiet. "We did it! We told him to go away, and he did, Precious!"
"Yes, Loo-Kee, you did it," comes the venomous voice of Hordak inside the creature's head.
A terrible stink fills the air. Orko and Sam find themselves in a bog at just after dawn. The way through was made difficult due to the Trollans having trouble trying to stay aloft over the patches of water.
"He's led us into a bog!" Sam exclaims.
"Oh, yes," Loo-Kee says. "Hordeses don't know about it. They go 'round for miles and miles. Best be careful, Trollanses. Strange faces in the water will draw you in and soon, you stay with them."
Orko and Sam look at each other warily. They ring out their hats, their accumalated sweat falls before them. They continue to follow their "guide," who has sprung forward quite a bit.
"I don't like this, Mr. Orko," Sam says.
"Me neither, Sam, but we have to keep going." Orko is suddenly overcome with a sense of heavyness.
He plunges into the marshy water against his will. The frieghtned Shireling looks around and sees dead Elves and Men come at him. They grope for the Ring around Orko's neck, which has begun to light up. Orko can feel his life being sucked from him, due to not breathing. He gets pulled out rather quickly, drenched from head to his non-existent toes.
"Loo-Kee?" Orko quizzically says to his rescuer.
"Don't go into the marshes," warns the former holder of the Ring. He runs ahead.
As the hours pass, the odd trio arrive in the Wilds of Eternia. Orko and Sam had already ran through their lembas supply, when Loo-Kee discovered that he liked it, then they had to wait a couple hours as he regurgitated most of it.
"Nasty Elf bread! Try to poison us it did!" Loo-Kee complains between strangled breathing.
"Well, now what?" Sam asks Orko. "If we don't keep going, we're just gonna waste the day away."
"Yeah, you're right," Orko agrees. "We should get a move on as soon as possible."
Loud stomping of Caligar might flood the area. Orko and Sam rush to the sound. A massive beast of gray with a long swaying trunk and four might tusks crashes through the surrounding trees. On its back is a wooden platform of some sort that has some Men in strange armor on it. Loo-Kee shakily joins the other two.
"Look, Mr. Orko, it's an oliphant," Sam lighthearedly says. "The Gaffer wouldn't believe this."
"Wow!" Orko says with hushed excitement. "And to think, that Elvish rope you got can restrain it."
Suddenly, the wooden platfrom blows apart. A strange language erupts from the Men on the beast. A series of arrows impale the oliphant until a single shot between the eyes drops it. One of the bodies of the Men on the oliphant crashes by the Trollans. Loo-Kee screams and runs away.
"Help me..." wheezes the Man of the South.
From out of the wilderness comes another figure, either Man or Elf, the Trollans can't tell. A cloak covers his body, while a bandana covers his face and ears. The mysterious figure advances on the dying Man. He puts his left boot on the Man and pulls out a sword, an intricately designed silver blade sword with three triangles interconnected on the flate of the sword.
"Vaya con Dios," the figure says, slamming his sword into the neck of the Southron.
More Men come through the wilderness, dressed in a similar manner as Strider. The apparant leader, with his barrel chest and broad shoulders signals to the sword-drawn to figure to sheath his weapon. The concealed figure does so and boots the body away.
"What are your orders, Captain Duncan?" one of the Ranger dressed soldiers ask.
"Take 'em," responds the larger Man. "They may be of more value alive."
Without any hesitation, the mysterious figure grabs Orko and Sam by their shirt collars.
"You two give me any crap about this, you'll join 'im," threatens the sword wielder. He throws them to two other Men, who quickly blind fold the Trollans. "Let's get outta here. This place stinks of death."
Last edited by DrkMgcn399; May 6, 2004 at 06:11pm.
All of Edoras was in a hurry. The Brighthirrim were frantically packing up what they needed as they prepared to head for their legendary stronghold: Grayskull's Keep. It has been the site of many victories for the Brighthirrim for no force has ever breached its walls, said to be made by King Grayskull himself.
Inside the main hall, Glimmer oversees the shipping of the King's treasures to be taken into the lower parts of the stronghold. She spies a sword in one of the chests. Not one of great importance for it being one of the many mass-produced weapons they use. Only Eldor's sword was specially crafted. Glimmer picks it up and gives it a few swings through the air. Feeling confident, she practices some of the more intricate manuevers her brother taught her. In the middle of an overhead swing, Glimmer's sword interlocks with another.
"You have some skill with a blade," says the cool voice of Adam, son of Randor.
Glimmer stares at him with a mix of surprise and shock. The two part their blades. Glimmer sheathes the Brighthirrim blade and the Ranger slides his sister's blade back into the scabbard on his back.
"The women of this country learned long ago that those who die without a weapon can still die among those who do," Glimmer says. "I am not afraid to die and will fight if I have to."
"Then what do you fear, m'lady?" Adam asks.
"A cage. To be the wench to some old man who will never let me be and do things that I choose to do."
"You carry a brave soul with you, Lady Glimmer. I do not think that would be your fate. If given the chance, I'd be honored to have you fight with me."
Glimmer recoils. She had never heard of any man treating a woman as an equal on the battlefield, save for the Elves. The Ranger leaves the hall with a slight glint in his eyes.
Okay, besides being hot, he's also caring and sensitive, Glimmer thinks/sighs before following Adam out.
Ram-Man's nerves were starting to fry. He'd been waiting all day for the blacksmith to finish sharperning and reforging his axes. His leather boots tap impatiently at the floor. His eyes dart about, and his beard begins to itch.
"For God's sake, man! How much longer?!" Ram-Man shouts at the blacksmith.
"I canna work any faster!" replies the smithee, in a similar accent of Ram-Man's. "The furnace doesn't have the power!"
"Calm down, Master Dwarf," Bow says, absently looking over his arrows and blades. "You keep worrying like that, who knows what'll happen." Ram-Man replies with Dwarvish grumbling.
Yelling had broken out in the stable. The wranglers were being thrown about by one particular rowdy cat. Adam and Glimmer enter, upon hearing the screams.
"What's happening?" Adam asks one of the stable workers.
"Careful, m'lord! He's gone crazy, he has!" replies the worker.
Adam looks to the "crazy" cat. He sees a massive green and yellow-stripped tiger adorned in red, Elvish armor. Two more wranglers try to get the cat under control, but with one swipe of its might claws, the massive tiger causes the wranglers to flee. Adam grits his teeth and approaches the flailing beast.
"Calm down," Adam says to the armored cat in Elvish. "It's all right, just calm down." Seeming to understand, the tiger's temper subsides. Adam pets the tiger behind its armored mask.
"His name is Battlecat," Glimmer says to the Ranger. "He was my cousin's."
"Battlecat, huh?" Adam repeats. He turns to the tiger and says in Elvish, "Battlecat--your name speaks of power." The green tiger starts to purr as the Ranger continues to pet him. He turns to Glimmer. "I think you should set him free. This one has seen enough of war."
"I heard of the magic of the Elves, but I never thought I would see it in a Ranger from the North," Glimmer says, perplexed.
"Rivendell was my home for a time," Adam replies. "Will you do it?"
"Yes, I will." Glimmer approaches the massive tiger. "C'mon, boy, let's go." Battlecat gives one last look at the Ranger as its lead out of the stable.
An image floods into Adam's mind as he gazes at the tiger: a smaller tiger, more timid but with the same stripes and same shade of green.
"Cringer?" Adam asks himself. "Nah, couldn't be."
Last edited by DrkMgcn399; May 6, 2004 at 08:41pm.
The Tower of Orhtanc was in an uproar. Skeletor the Black had blown out a series of windows and burned several of his mindless Troopers alive. After his rampage of three hours he finally started to calm down.
"Marzo the Black?!" Skeletor shouts. "Marzo the Fool!" His Havoc Staff charges and fires a burst of energy that apart the roof of his tower.
"There were three others that accompanied the Wizard, my lord," says Kobra Kahn. He enters Skeletor's chambers.
"You stink of Men, snake. What of these others?"
"A Wood-elf, possibly Mirkwood, a Dwarf-lord, and a Ranger." At the mention of the Ranger, Skeletor looks at Kahn.
"What kind?" he asks.
"From his manner of dress and his hair and eye color, he might be a Dunadine but that's impossible for they are massively built."
"Did this Ranger bear a strange ring?"
"Yes, he did. Two serpents intertwined. One had emerald eyes and the other had exploding golden flowers. He also wielded a sword with Elvish scriptures."
"The Ring of Eternos..." Skeletor contemplates. "So, Adam son of Randor has revealed himself...the heir of Grayskull." Skeletor's eyes ignite in crimson flames, his body and staff glow in a bright light. "AAAAAAAH!!!" The tower erupts in a burst of golden energy that incinerates the surrounding area.
"What was that?" Zippin asks Terry.
"I dunno, Z, but whoever that was, sounded mighty ****ed," Terry responds.
Moss Man's stride continues to go unbroken. The massive Ent appears to part the trees and plants from his path so as not to crush them. The deep rumbles caused by his feet go unnoticed from the companions on his shoulders.
"Aye, indeed," Moss Man says. "Skeletor is having a bad day."
"Where're we goin', any way?" Zippin asks.
"To Entmoot, my friends," Moss Man answers.
"Sounds like a cool place if...you're an Ent," Terry says.
"Entmoot is not a place, Master Terry, it is a gathering," Moss Man replies. "A gathering of Ents."
"Then what?" Terry asks.
"We shall meet...and discuss...things that the Ents will do if we decide to do anything."
"So...will there be any Ent children at this thing?" Zippin asks.
"Apparantly...not. It's been many an Age since I've seen an Entling."
"How come?" Terry asks.
"We lost the Entwives," Moss Man says dejectedly.
"I'm sorry. How did they die?" asks Zippin.
"Die? No, we just lost them...we don't know how though."
"What do they look like?"
"I forget a long time ago. Have you seen them in the Shire?"
"Can't say that I have," Terry says. "How 'bout you, Z?"
"Nope," responds the other Trollan.
"Eldor's people will evacuate Edoras and make way for their stronghold," Kahn says to his true master. "Bright Moon will be vulnerable."
"Maybe, but Hordak deems it necessary to crush the Brighthirrim and I intend to thin out the ranks a bit," Skeletor says. He looks around his decimated tower. "Send Horde Trooper 399 up here to clean up this mess. I have a plan to enact."
The Black Wizard enters the furnaces of Orthanc. He strides through the metallic interworkings of the plant until he sees his target, a hulking ape-like beast with thick red fur whose armor barely fits him.
"Beastman..." Skeletor addresses the Trooper. "Send out your Warg riders."
Beastman chuckles in agreement. "They shall fall!"
That was one of my favorite scenes in the Extended version of Two Towers, Just a few things Skeletor's line to Khan should be "You stink of Cat" since in the movie Saruman says "You stink of Horse" and how about Griffins instead of Wargs. Just a few of suggestion. Great work, keep it coming
In The Snake Men Army, serving King Hsss, planning to once again rule all of Eternia
YAY! More! More! I can't wait for more! lol Take your time, I'm just acting crazy. lol I love these fics! ^^ Anyway, I wonder why hardly anyone is replying to this and the last fic? It's SO good! It's great!
Every province and city of Bright Moon had emptied and became a part of the long road to Grayskull's Keep. Most of the Brighthirrim army had been found and those that haven't were said to already be at the stronghold. A general feeling of depression had sunk into the marching group, but the Elf, Ranger, and Dwarf tried to lighten the mood.
"Aye, it's true ya don't see too many Dwarf-women," Ram-Man says to Glimmer, perched upon one of the few horses of the Brighthirrim. "In fact, they look so alike in voice and appearance, they are often mistaken for Dwarf-men!" Glimmer looks back at Adam, perched on the purple panther he received from Eldowyn, with a confused glance.
"It's the beards," the Ranger whispers, running his hands through his facial hair. Glimmer laughs.
"Now this had lead to the belief that Dwarves simply pop out of the ground," Ram-Man continues. Glimmer continues to laugh. "Which is totally ridiciulous."
Suddenly the horse lurches forward, with Ram-Man being dragged across the ground. The Dwarf shouts as sparks begin to issue from his helmet.
"Someone stop this thing! This is very uncomfortable!" The horse stops and Ram-Man drops to the ground. "Whew! I'll think I'll walk now." Glimmer, still laughing, comes up to Ram-Man to help him up.
"I've never seen her laugh like that...not since her mother died," Eldor says to Adam, riding on his red mane lion. "She was of Elf descent, y'know."
"Yeah, that would explain the wings, wouldn't it?" Adam replies.
"Does something trouble you, my friend?" Eldor asks, taking note of Adam's detached expression.
"Just thinking of two of my friends and how they're doing."
Over the Dead Marshes, once a site of a grand battle over 3000 years ago, a dark shape looms over. A Serpenetor, a winged, snake-like creature, flies over the Marshes. Its rider, the Hssss King, surveys the area. The Serpenetor drops down for a landing. The Hssss King jumps off and transforms into his five-headed snake form. Each head takes in a scent, until the eyes of each of the heads light up.
"Bagginsssss!" roars the Snakgul. The creature jumps back onto the Serpenetor and the beast takes off into the sky.
The marching Brighthirrim, after nearly nine hours of non-stop traveling, decide to rest. No sense in continuing forward withot a break on a trip like this. Glimmer voluntarily put herself on food detail, which struck Eldor as odd for she can barely cook and didn't like doing, what the men called, "women's work."
In her hand is a bubbling, medium-sized cauldron. She takes a deep breath and approaches the Ranger, who has taken to practicing his sword skill with his left hand, using his heavier sword. His Elf friend was watching him, similar to how a teacher looks at a student.
"Excuse me, m'lord?" Glimmer asks. "I figure that you could use a hot meal, instead of that bread I see you eat from time to time." She smiles.
"Uh...okay," Adam replies, caught off guard. He slides his sword into the scabbard at his waist. "Hey Bow, you want any?"
The Elf looks at Glimmer, then at Adam, then back at Glimmer. "I ain't really in the mood, so I think I'll check up on the horse before Ram-Man causes it to go over a cliff." Bow walks away from Glimmer and Adam, humming an Elvish song.
Glimmer scoops out some of the contents from the cauldron and drops it into a small bowl in Adam's hands. The green stew(?) continues to bubble, even seperated from the cauldron. The Ranger looks it over with a discouraged look. If Glimmer's smile could go from ear to ear, it would. Adam takes a sharp inhale and chugs the contents of the bowl down in one gulp. Adam's brow sweats, his face flushes and his eyes start to water.
"It's good," he strains. "Never...had anything like that. Thanks."
Satisfied, Glimmer starts to continue on her route to distribute her stew. Adam's knees buckle and he drops to the ground. His stomach burns and his body shakes.
"Oh, God..." he mutters under his breath.
"Are you all right?" Glimmer asks. "I don't think my stew is going over very well."
"Now why would they think that?" Adam pants.
"I have no idea, but your Dwarf friend seems to like it as much as you."
"Good stuff!" Ram-Man exclaims in the distance.
"Good for him," Adam says. "You seem to have something on your mind. What is it?"
"Well, it's kinda weird, but my Uncle says that you fought along side my grandfather, Elengel," Glimmer answers. "Surely, he must be mistaken."
"The King has a good memory," Adam replies. "He was but a little boy at the time."
Glimmer's eyes shoot open. "But you would have to be at least in your 40s." Adam stares at her. "50?"
Adam continues to stare. "Keep goin'. This is the fun part."
"60? But you can't be at least 70...can you?"
"86," Adam answers bluntly.
Glimmer's mouth drops open and her eyes go wide. "You are one of the Dunadin. Blessed by the Elves to have long life."
"Indeed I am. The only tribe of Men to be considered equal in the eyes of the Elves, mainly because we employ similar tactics."
"But you don't look like one. I mean, you don't have..."
"Big, rippling biceps? Huge, hulking muscles? Yeah, I get that a lot. I think its because I was raised by the Elves for a time and taught to fight smarter."
"So, are you this 'Strider' we've heard about? A wander Ranger in the Wilds?"
"Indeed. I got the name from some Ithiliean Rangers. I had a limp at the time, so it was more of a teasing remark."
"Do you have any other titles? It's just that someone like you must have ranked up some nicknames."
"I only have one other title as it were. The Sorceress gave it to me...after my sister's funeral. She called me a true He-Man, defender of Eternia. I don't use that too often because my build doesn't match the name."
"Just to be honest, do you think we'll survive this upcoming battle Marzo says will happen?" Glimmer asks with concern.
"I don't like to make predictions. I do know one thing though: We won't go down without a fight."
Snarling is heard in the distance. Howling comes across the wind. Barking disrupts the quiet.
"I think I better go check on the children," Glimmer says absently. She slowly backs away from the Ranger then takes off towards the others.
Bow quietly walks up to Adam.
"Methinks the lady has fallen for thou," says the Elf.
"Shut up," Adam replies. "What do we got?"
"Wargs, dude, and hungry ones."
Last edited by DrkMgcn399; May 8, 2004 at 01:18am.
Orko and Sam find themselves in a damp area, mist fills in the gaps in their blindfolds...which where immediately found to be useless, so the Ranger-dressed Men simply pulled their hats over their eyes and bound their hands.
"All right, lift up their hats," comes the voice of the once called "Captain Duncan."
The Trollans' hats get lifted up enough to expose their eyes. Their vision starts off as blurry and then becomes suddenly clear. Before them is the broad shouldered Man they say before. Their eyes scan the area, some kind of cave behind a waterfall. Leaning next to a wall is the guy they can't differentiate from a Man or Elf. He looks at them with narrowed eyes.
"All right, you two, you're going to tell me what it is you're doing here and where you are going," orders the Captain.
"I'm Orko Baggins and this is my companion, Samwise Gamgee," Orko answers, staring at the Captain with a perplexed look. He looks somewhat familiar.
"Who's he, your bodyguard?" asks the guy against the wall.
"His gardener," bluntly answers Sam. The Elf(?)/Man(?) narrows his eyes and grits his teeth behind his bandana.
"Now, what business brings you Shirefolk here?" asks Captain Duncan.
"We were just traveling through the Wilds and then we ran into you guys," Orko answers with a wide, hidden, smile.
"He's lying," says the other. "His heartbeat skipped...twice." Orko and Sam stare at him with completely shocked expressions.
"Okay, maybe you can answer me this question: What happened to your third member?" asks Duncan. "Some sort of gangrel creature with an odd favored look about him."
"There was no other," Orko says. "Just us."
Duncan looks to the other. He shakes his head.
"Well, Link, what questions should I be asking them, then?"
"You can start with how it is they came across those Elvis cloaks they wear, the Elvish blade Mr. Baggins has on his waist, and why they have the air of Men and Dwarves about them," answers Link. They stare into the eyes of the Trollans.
"All right, we set out from Rivendell with seven companions. Two of our kinsmen, a Mirkwood Elf, a Wizard, who we lost in Moria, a Dwarf and two Men: Adam son of Randor and Fisto of Eternos," Orko answers, as if it was going to burst out of him.
"You knew Fistofocles?" Duncan asks.
"Uh...yeah," Sam answers.
Link gives a thumbs-up.
"His body and an Elvish crafted boat washed up on our shore a few days ago. Perhaps you can enlighten us as to why my brother is dead."
"He's dead?!" shout the Trollans.
"Yes, but the details are kind of sketchy. Link, keep an eye on them. If they get the courage to run...take them down hard." He responds with a two-fingered salute.
Duncan exits the cavern and heads down a tunnel. The Trollans direct their gazes at Link. He cracks his knuckles in a loud, freakish manner.
Duncan stews in his private section of the chamber. He sits at an average chair, hunched over with his head in his hands. He thinks back to the last time he saw his brother:
Osgiliath, the sister city of Minas Tirith, lies in ruins. But it's a good ruin, for the Eternos Army has driven out the Horde infestation within its walls. Fisto, Captain of the Guard, stands over his people. He holds in his hand Eternos' flag, a single white tree on a light blue field.
"We have beaten them back! We have won this day! For Eternos!" Fisto shouts to the gathered crowd below the tower he stands upon. The crowd responds with a "For Eternos!" shout and wild cheers.
He climbs down the tower and meets his brother at the base. The two embrace each other, made difficult to the heavy armor they wear.
"Your speeches are getting shorter, brother," Duncan comments.
"Leaves more room for drinking," Fisto explains. "Break out the ale! These men are thirsty!" The gathered masses cheer.
"Make way, make way," comes a voice out of the already drinking crowd. "Where is my son, the hero?"
"Can't he give us a brotherly moment these days?" Fisto asks Duncan.
"Apparantly not," Duncan responds, removing the armor on his biceps.
Their father, the Steward of Eternos, Denethor, stands before them. A thin man with long, black hair and equally long arms and fingers.
"Fistofocles, you have won back my city," Denethor says. "Its a shame your brother couldn't do it on his own."
"You only gave me 150 soldiers," Duncan interjects. "No one could take back this city with that small a number against 1000 Horde Troops."
"All I hear from you these days, Duncan, are excuses. Now, I have a job for your more worthy brother. That Elf-twit Zodak is calling a meeting and has asked for a representative from us. It's not really that important, but rumor tells of it might concern the One Ring."
"Well, if it isn't that important, maybe I should look into it."
"You?! Please, I trust all manner of business with those foolish Elves with your brother, my loyal captain...or rather, my new Man-At-Arms."
Fisto smiles wide as Duncan has a look of shock on his face. It was no secret that Duncan wanted the prestigious rank of Man-At-Arms. Several of his men have said that he would make a perfect Man-At-Arms, but their request fell short on Denethor's ears that become deaf when concerning his second-born.
"Man-At-Arms? Him?!" Duncan shouts. "It's a strategic position! He's a rampaging bull!" The enraged Captain smashes his battle club against the rock and his chair.
"Uh, Captain?" comes the voice of one of the Ranger-clad warriors. The Captain calms down immediately
"We found it, sir. What do you want us to do?"
"Wait till nightfall. I want to bag this thing myself."
Last edited by DrkMgcn399; May 9, 2004 at 01:53am.
The barking and the snarling had increased in a matter of minutes. Bow could already see the massive dogs coming towards the Brighthirrim camp. Wargs were something the Elf was looking to avoid but if he had to take them down, he'd do it.
"What's going on?" Eldor asks Adam. "Sounds like a pack of wild wolves."
"Worse--Wargs," Adam replies. "Looks like Skeletor is making sure we don't make it."
"Then, let's take it to him then," Ram-Man says.
"Agreed." Eldor turns to his troops. "Those of you who haven't eaten Glimmer's stew, and those lucky enough to keep it down, shall stay and fight. The rest of you, make for the Keep. We shall hasten to you once the battle is won!"
The sick troops and the women and children flee the impending battleground. Glimmer takes one last look at Adam before she is forced into the running crowd. The King, Ranger, Elf, and Dwarf brandish their weapons.
"For Bright Moon, attack!" commands Eldor.
The Wargs rampage into view, each one carrying a Horde Trooper with numerous scars and scratches in their armor. A hulking Horde Trooper appears to lead the pack, with no scratches at all in the armor but with orange fur poking out of the joints.
Bright Moon's troops advance and charge at the equally sized Warg assault force. Cats and dogs growl and roar with increasing decibles. Adam leaps into the middle of the foray, his swords at the ready. The blades slash at the limbs of the Wargs, as Bow's arrows fly at the Horde Troops riding the beasts. Ram-Man's axe slams into the snouts of the charging dogs.
"This is getting us nowhere!" Bow shouts to Adam.
"You're right! We need to take out the leader, then the Wargs will be easier to take down!" Adam shouts. The Ranger holsters his sister's sword and plants his own into the skull of another Warg. "Can you find him?"
"If you mean the orange guy, there he is," Bow says, pointing to the massive Trooper.
Adam charges into the fray before him. He deftly dodges the cats and the dogs and moves past the fallen. The Warg leader spots the charging Ranger and has his beast charge. Adam pulls out one of his arrows and throws it at the Trooper's helmet. Frustrated, he pulls it off revealing his feral features. Beastman roars and the Warg picks up speed. Adam slides his sword into his scabbard and jumps at Beastman with a diving kick.
"Pathetic Ranger, that the best ya got?!" taunts Beastman, shrugging off the hit as if it were nothing.
"Uh-oh," Adam mutters to himself.
The combatants punch and slash at each other as the Warg's speed starts to slow down and has trouble trying to run straight. Adam connects with a left and right cross combo to Beastman's jaw, but the Uruk-hai built Trooper retaliates with a powerful two-fisted slam to the Ranger's back. Adam woozily tries to steady himself on the tiring Warg.
"What's a' matter, Ranger? Can't keep up?" taunts Beastman. In one swift motion, Beastman's claws slash off the Evenstar fastened to Adam's neck. "Aw, ya lost your little necklace. Whatcha gonna do about it?"
Frustrated, Adam whips out the sword on his back and impales it through Beastman and into the Warg. Beastman lets out an enraged roar of pain. With a powerful backhand smash, the Trooper knocks Adam off the Warg. The Ranger tumbles over a high cliff and into a stream down below.
The Warg's life slowly leaks out of it and collapses with its master still pinned to it. The Brighthirrim beat back the Wargs without suffering a single death, mainly due to their cat's sharper teeth and fangs. Bow and Ram-Man approach the dying Beastman.
"All right, you overgrown fuzzball, where is he?!" Ram-Man yells with conviction. "I'll make your passin' easier." The Dwarf raises his axe above his head.
"The Ranger took a nasty fall into the river, little man," Beastman replies. "I don't think he'll be needing his little necklace where he's at now." The Trooper points to the glittering Evenstar next to a fallen Warg.
Angered, Bow yanks out the sword that pins Beastman to the Warg. A stream of blood sprays from the wound and the beast and master die. The vile blood instantly cakes on the Elvish blessed weapon. Bow holsters the blade into his quiver and retrieves the Evenstar.
"I knew that we would suffer some lose of life, but I did not expect it to be him," Eldor says, approaching the saddened Elf and Dwarf. "He would not like us to hang around here. Let's move."
Grayskull's Keep; a massive fortress made from the heaviest stone that has seen many a battle in the many years since it was made. At one time it was known as Castle Grayskull, built by hand by the King who it is named after. The Brighthirrim claimed posession of it in a most unusual way: the Steward of Eternos found no use for the stronghold and gave it to the kingdom of Bright Moon so as to be rid of them in their strange idea of an alliance between the Kingdoms of Men.
Under the guidance of Elengel and later Eldor, Castle Grayskull was rebuilt to it once ominous presentation of a massive skull set into the very rock. Later additions included a high wall that is virtually impenetrable and an even sturdier jawbridge than the original.
The tired combatants of the Warg battle come upon the Keep. Six hours have passed since the battle, but they would have made it to the fortress in less than half the time had it not been Bow's insistence to make a sweep in the valley below the cliff Adam fell...three in total.
"I am sorry, Master Elf," Eldor says. "He is a rather lucky Ranger but if the fall didn't kill him, that current is strong enough to pull him out to the Sea."
"Unless I see a body, I won't believe it," Bow answers. His horse pulls ahead and goes into a full gallop.
The reception inside the courtyard of the Brighthirrim's second home is a bussle of activity, welcoming back the rest of the army and their King. Bow is the first to dismount off his steed and the others follow suit. Ram-Man is helped off the horse he shares with Bow by two Men.
"Much obliged, lads," Ram-Man says.
"Excuse me?" says one of the Men in a female voice.
"Oh, sorry. I just asumed you to be lads."
"Maybe its the beards," says the other "man."
Glimmer joins the reception with a wide smile on her face. She hugs Eldor and pets the red mane lion her uncle rides into battle with. She spots Bow with a morose look on his face.
"Why are you so sad?" she asks the Elf. "Everyone has returned." Bow directs her glance to the purple panther Adam rode on. She sees that there's no passenger. "Where's Lord Adam?"
"He fell during the course of the battle, m'lady," Bow says. "I'm sorry." Glimmer's eyes fill with tears and weeps. "Uh...a little help here? I'm not too good with crying women."
Two women come through the crowd with Elvish ease and pick up the cyring Glimmer. They escort her back through the crowd with the same ease they used to get through.
"Uh...okay." Bow scratches his head. "How did they do that?"
Last edited by DrkMgcn399; May 14, 2004 at 07:44pm.
The tiger designated as Battlecat prowls the stream on the route to Grayskull's Keep. His tongue laps up some water in a fever speed. His powerful jaws plunge into the water and come out with a fish almost half his size. The cat's sharp teeth tear into the thin flesh of the fish, killing it. Satisfied, Battlecat swallows it whole.
The massive tiger's acute sense of smell picks up something...something familiar. Battlecat looks down the stream and sees a familiar sight: the Man he met in the stable. A distant memory comes to the tiger, one he hasn't thought of in years:
A timid tiger finds itself caught in a tangle of vines and branches. It knew that coming into the Fangorn Forest was a bad idea, but the idea of chasing a bird became too tempting to pass up. The tiger cub lets out a series of meows and whimpers.
"What is that, a housecat?" comes an inquisitive voice. The tiger stops struggling and listens to the voice. A tall Man, by its recolection, comes to the little tiger cub.
"Hey there, little fella," the Man says, his blonde hair full of dirt and sticks. "Now hold on, I'm gonna get you outta here."
The blonde Man pulls out a sword and cuts away at the branches and vines that hold the cub. The tiger mews happily and jumps into the Man's arms. It licks his face.
"See? That wasn't so bad, was it? Let's get you outta here." The Man hacks through the forest with his sword until he comes out of it. "I hope I don't have to go through that again."
A massive thud lands next to him. A white tiger looms over him, carrying a soldier from the Kingdom of Bright Moon. The soldier jumps from the tiger.
"What business does a Ranger have in the Riddermark?" impatiently asks the soldier.
"Just passin' through...Private," replies the Ranger, squinting to see the rank on the soldier's shoulder.
"That is not the answer I was looking for, knave," says the soldier, drawing his sword. "Tell me, are you under the command of Hordak?"
"That's enough, Norrington!" comes a powerful voice. "If the Ranger is just passing through, then he is passing through. Hello, Adam."
"Hey, Eldor," says the Ranger. He limps towards the King. "I found this cat in the forest. Is he yours?"
"Battlecat!" shouts the impetious, young Prince Eldread. The tiger in Adam's arms jumps down and tackles the young prince.
"Battlecat, huh? Looks more like a Cringer to me."
"Don't worry about that. Someday he's gonna be bigger than Dad's lion," Eldread proudly boasts.
"I'll believe it when I see it," Adam says to the King.
"Sorry about your sister," Eldor says. "She was family. How's the limp?"
"Some losers from Osgiliath started calling me 'Strider' because of it. What do you think?"