Under One Banner
Page 1 of 1

Author:  Lasbelingur [ April 25th, 2007, 9:33 am ]
Post subject:  Under One Banner

This was origanaly in House of Bombadill. Tell me what you think...

Under One Banner

The night was silent, and the soldiers were on edge. The sentries of Osgiliath scanned the waters for any sign of the enemy. Without warning, one turned to shout something, when he was pitched down the stairs, and fell to the ground, an arrow in his back. The captain ran over, and looked out across the waters. A shout came from above; one of the sentries.
“Orcs! The forces of Mordor are here! To arms, Men of Gondor!”
The captain saw uncountable landing craft churning up the waters, each filled to the brim with orcs and goblins of Mordor. He was just about to shout an order, when a screech drowned out his words. Three Nazgul circled overhead, and one dived, ripping three men off the walls and tossing them to the ground. The captain was only stunned for a moment, and then he shouted out an order.
“Do not fall back! We must defend these shores, no matter the enemy. We are men of Gondor! We will not let the White City fall! Attack!” As he shouted, the first landing ramp fell.

The clap of hooves echoed through the ruined streets of the city. The horse’s nostrils flared, the stallion was a Chestnut with flaxen Mane and tail. His rider was not as impressive as him but they made a good pair. This was none other than Deawen a mercenary or assasin depending on how you look at her. She loved to ride hard into battle, the thrill of danger, and death. The smell of blood filled the air. The stallion arched his neck. Deawen let go of the reins, and he charged straight to the heart of battle Deawen drew her sword and slashed at an orc, and turned Bredol into a circle and hacked again and again. Deawen quickly scanned the area " Where is he?" she asked herself.
Deawen fought in intricant manuvers keeping the river on her right side at all times. Deawen found an opening in the overgoing ranks of the orcs she charged through it standing up in the saddle she pulled back on the reins the stallion stopped short she vaulted off the saddle into the battle. She landed on an orc slicing off it's arm, she then warded off attacks from both sides. She whirled and spun on her heels slashing and stabing.
She sent out a presence of dominate control and leadership something the Armies of Mordor understood but the soldiers of Gondor feared. The men of Gondor and Rohan alike felt it unatural for a woman to be so commanding so was indeed unatural. she did as she pleased she did not let any man rule her except one and only one...

Morwen rode across the black landscape, listening to the wind whistle through the rocky crags and the gentle pounding of Breda's hooves.
Everything was changing so fast. Her lofty position gone; her house, belongings, livestock, and considerable wealth, gone. Her love, bound to his military service. She had nothing left to lose. Now, the only thing she could do was search out Deawen. If Aelfred's intelligence report held true, she was in Osgiliath. That was where she was headed now.
The wind was chilly, blown from the backs of the Misty Mountians. She tightened her gloves and continued over the hills into the remnants of the Gondorian Relm.

Deawen looked at the battle before her, the Gondorians were being driven back to the outer walls. She charged off to the battle cutting down orcs as she went.
all seemed hopeless for the city there was not enough reinforcements to hold the river. But none the less She rode up and down the river bank slaying, hacking, andslashing. But she was relentless as if she waited for something or someone. Deawen charged at an orc her cloak flared behind her giving the impression she had wings of sable death her sword a flash of silver her mount of flame!
Without warning, a clear trumpet note rang out, heard over the sounds of battle. It was joined by others, until the whole of Osgiliath was filled with their sound. Even then, one voice raised above the sound...
“Storm, strike them down until none remain. For the fallen!”
Gondorian soldiers began to move out of the way, as a massive shield wall appeared at the outer reaches of Osgiliath, and it was moving at great speed towards the orcs. Behind it was a force of over five hundred, all arayed in brilliant armor. The front row carried the shields, hooked together with little spars, and the row behind held lances through small gaps. The orcs formed up as well as they could, but it was too late, as the shield wall crashed into them. The shields were immediately dropped, crushing the first few orcs in their path, as the warriors carried forward with a furious charge. Amidst the silver, in stark contrast, was a suit of black, with a golden phoenix figured on the helmet. Everywhere it went, orcs fell, as the Storm arrived at last, to aid the beleaguered Gondorian forces.
Deawen Answered the call with one horn it was dim, but she knew who would hear it the clearest. Deawen noticed the few orcs fled or more of ran them off to see what caused the commotion Deawen was no longer noticed. Deawen turned her horse to the North West streets and cantered down them cutting down orcs as she came upon them. After many hours of battle the Gondor soldiers with the Aid of the Storm the western side of Osgiliath was cleared. As she past soldiers they asked who or what had come but she didn't even glance at them her stallion was now prancing down the streets in a victorious dance. Deawen rode out of the city past many small divisions of the Storm each time she past one she nodded her head in recognition and greeting. From nowhere she produced a Standard of a silver Dragon in a black abyss. The shaft rested on her foot as she carried it with pride and dignity. She rode to the main Host in a prideful manner. she felt a tension rise between her and the storm but she was greeted warmly but in such a way as if to say “ Why is she here?” She dismissed it she turned to a retainer " Where is your lord Sen?" she asked, the Retainer pollitely led her to a Tent slightly larger than the others. She dismounted and bowed to the Retainer. The Retainer opened the flap for her, and she went inside still dressed for battle.

Morwen crossed a series of small streams before slowing Breda from a trot. She had made good time last night. She could just see the outline of the stone city against its backdrop of mountains. Deciding to come to the city as a refugee, she dismounted and changed into civilian garb. Surely no one would notice her overdress was of fine wool and her underdress of very fine flax. She stored away her captain's armor and walked Breda the rest of the way to the city.

Deawen when entering the tent found Lord Sen busy. Deawen stood at the doorway, she was smiling a kind and warm smile, a smile of a young girl though she was filthy from head to toe. " I don’t' know why you decided to join our battle but I assure you I had everything under control..." she announced teasingly.” I am surprised that Lord Denethor that has not sent guards for my arrest…” Deawen said with a tint of mockery...Despite just returning from battle Deawen was in good humor.

Just before the gates of the city, Morwen stopped and began to rub dust into her horse's coat. He nickered softly in protest. She grabbed his nose and quieted him softly. "You wouldn't want to be press-ganged into service without me, would you?" He blinked and let her continue. By the time she was done, poor Breda looked like a 20-year-old plow horse. "Very stylish," she said, patting Breda's jaw. He gave an equine sigh, and began walking to the city. Morwen followed him past the gates into the streets of the first tier.

Sen and the four retainers around him looked up from the map of Osgiliath that he had spread out over the table in front of him. He nodded to the lead retainer, and they bowed and were gone, silent as Sen himself. Sen stood up, smiling.
“Indeed. As for Denethor, I think he will be quiet for a while; something is happening, I can feel it. This incursion will not be the last of Mordor's plans, and it will not be the strongest, either. The Storm, with the aid of the Gondorian garrison here, will bolster the defenses of the western shore, as much as can be done before we move out. What brings you here, anyway? I thought you were on unfriendly terms with Gondor?” He poured two small glasses of cider, and offered one to Deawen.
Deawen accepted the glass she trusted Sen with her life but out of habit tipped the glass side to side to check for poison. Her smile and carefree had vanished " It is so that Gondor and I are not on good terms… many things bring me here on the wind" she said softly taking a sip of the cider something now troubled her it was evident, though she didn't try to hide it. " My lord Sen, you remember The king of Bredena? He has sent two things after me one, a Bounty which was expected, but the second I was not it is a Bride price these offers ransom whatever they are have spread like wildfire on my coming here I was attack four times by a full garrison Bredena soldiers. So I came here to Gondor after hearing on the wind you were to be this way. " She paused and felt suddenly dizzy she looked down there was a large cut running down her arm, it still bleeding, it was then Deawen realized her current state. She slowly sank into a chair she did not look up at Sen when she spoke she just closed her eyes sighed and continued " There is discontent in the Dragon tears there is a group that is uprising against me their leader is one of my phantoms he feels I am not fit to lead them so he is trying to usurp my position... " She said it all as if she expected to die after saying it out loud. Deawen opened her eyes and looked directly into Sens’s " He plans Er diela a duel to the death or to when one gives up and surrenders them self to the victor..." Deawen explained since she knew Sen was not familiar with her Phantoms customs.

As it got dark, Morwen made her way up, past the markets and slums in the lower tier to the upper levels. These were not grand mansions like the next level, but certainly not the apartments of the workers below. She looked for the tell-tale door jam masonry of intertwining dragons. She found it, and nonchalantly hid in the shadowy doorway. The door was pad locked. Frustrated, she looked back up past the carved columns and saw an easy way to climb up to the balcony. She took Breda to the little stable in the alley and clambered ungracefully up to the balcony. She fell onto the floor under the balcony, praying that no one had heard her.
When there was no disturbance, she stood and crept onto her old friend's Gondorian House.
The house was elegantly maintained and furnished despite it's location in the lower tiers of the city. The balcony led from an open corridor on the second level. it opened up to a courtyard with a fountain bubbling in the center potted trees grew in the corners and on the Far wall from Morwen was a Huge banner of a Silver Dragon on a Black field. carved doors led to reception rooms filled with exotic treasures bedchambers and a kitchen. the house included it's own stables built for magnificent Horses.
little nitches in the walls revealed benches and dead plants. As silent as the house was many thieves tried to loot the house but found a deadly surprise. Suddenly from a corner sprang a man all in black he attacked Morwen slammed her against the nearby wall with a knife at her throat.
Her initial scream came out as a loud choke. She looked into the face of her assailant. He was tall but with a slender build, he had brown eyes and hair which fit his profile. She allowed panic to take over for 5 seconds, then took a deep breath and began to speak: "Please, put down your dagger. I am an old friend of Lady Deawen's!" she raised her hands to show she was unarmed.

Sen sat back down, thinking as he sipped his cider. “Well, then propose this idea. Have a proxy battle; have both him and you nominate one person to fight on their behalf, or, if he wants, he could fight himself. Then, the victor of that duel will determine who becomes the leader of the Dragon Tears. Put it to him like this; a wounded or maimed leader would not be as respected as one whose soldiers would willingly fight in their stead. Or, if that does not work, I have a trick or two up my sleeve. Rest assured, Deawen, the Dragon Tears will remain yours. I assume without a doubt that you are taking good care of them?”
Deawen laughed uneasily " Yes the Dragon Tears are well taken care of it just this Phantom that worries me he admired my brother, Adrod, the Phantoms from his division are the ones that are rising up sparking tension and hate between the two groups...." Deawen fell silent
My brothers dead and still finds way to try an put me on my funrul prye..." Deawen muttered she looked at Sen and looked away as if ashamed or embarrassed. " I don't want anyone fighting in my stead... I can't have phantom against phantom. This phantom knows how I fight I am sure he can better me when he is driven by his lust for power and my ransom for if I loose he won't kill me he will turn me in to any of the Lords and Kings that are after me." Deawen said keeping her voice soft and low.

Eston looked at Morwen warily he took a step back from her and lowered his blade " A friend of Lady Deawen's? You could have knocked " he said walking past her. He turned around and faced her again " Deawen was very clear when she left the order that anyone who claimed to be friend of hers was welcome to her house. " He stated. He vanished down a corridor, he soon reappeard leading Breda by the reins to the splendid stables. After stabling him he came out and lit candles.
"I had hoped to find Deawen here, but she seems to have eluded me yet again." Eston frowned. "You've been following her?" he asked suspiciously.
"No, no, no! You make it sound like such a bad thing! I've been trying to find her for old friendship's sake, and join her forces. But, she is very elusive..."
He coughed uncomfortably and mumbled a reply.
"I was also hoping to stay here for a while, rest up, clean up, eat up, and the like. Is that alright with you?"
He answered slowly, "I'm sure it would be fine with Lady Deawen.”
“ Good. Now I am going to look around.” She said then left.
“Lady Deawen tends to be elusive, but she has valid reasons being wanted in almost every kingdom from here to the far north. Who can blame her?" he said to himself as he watched her go.
As Eston waited for Morwen to come back he groomed Breda making the horse spotless, then he led out a beautiful white mare which glowed in the eirie candle light. He left the horses tied in the courtyard, and prepared a room for Morwen. It was a large open room filled with carved furniture from Rohan. . Furs covered the wooden floor and the bed. Deawen was no pauper, she was one of the richer people.
To people that lived in Gondor her house on the outside did not look like much, but the inside proved her wealth and status..

Morwen walked down into the market and looked around wearily. Clutching her purse strings tightly, walked to all of the vendors. Even though it was winter, the farmers of Gondor were to be relied on. Everything inside the protection of Gondor was still fertile and productive. However, the meat required a fair bribe. The vendor was a stingy, wirey man who was covetous of his 'rare' poultry.

Sen smiled, before replying to Deawen. “Oh no, Deawen; I was not expecting another phantom to take your place. I will. It will serve two purposes; a near-guaranteed victory, and to further show how good of a leader you are. Know this, the measure of a leader is not how he fights, but those who volunteer to fight for them. The Storm are ready every day to lay down their lives for me, and not by command, but by choice. To put it bluntly, I don't know what they see in me, but it must be something worth dying for. So, when would this duel be, anyway?”
Deawen stood up from her chair in alarm " I can't ask that of you! nor could I allow it!" Deawen said in a hiss she knelt on her knees in front of Sen's chair " Don't make my debt to you further My Lord please don't. You don't know what you are doing..." Deawen's tone was soft, but defeiant. She bowed her head in thought. " If I let you fight in my stead it is an insult to the Phantoms. It is like saying that I am weak and therefore unfit to lead them!" Deawen's voice rose in bitter resentment. The duel is not set in time, but event whenever I return to the Dragons Tears. " Deawen's tone, and bearing suddenly changed
She looked up at Sen " I know I can't change your mind so I will not oppose you as I did at Bredena, but I first must clear this with the Phantoms it is not my place to choose my defender as is theirs... " Deawen stood up, " I have things I should attend to I shall be back at Dawn. Thank you for your hospitality ." Deawen said before bowing. Deawen found Bredol enjoying a patch of green grass. She swung gracefully into the saddle, and off they went. Like a copper bolt the stallion galloped to the main road. They past many soldier, wounded or unharmed but both tired. Deawen slowed Bredol to a canter and entered the great city. Many stared at her but Deawen took no heed of them. After the winding roads and crowds of people Deawen found her home. The lantern on the outside was lit, an oddity. She got out her dagger. She found Eston getting a room ready for a guest. Eston ,hearing her horse, stepped out of the room, and seeing Deawen he quickly bowed. She smiled and embraced him.
Eston sighed " Lady Morwen is here." Not waiting for a reply, he grabbed the reins from Deawen and led the stallion to the stables.
Deawen stood waiting and thinking. Why is Morwen of all people here?

Pygrus wandered around the town. searching for a clue to the were bouts of the orcs. He found a shop and asked the store keeper where they were.
"Have you not heard? They were all defeated !" exlaimed the shop keeper
Why must I train so hard, and yet be late for the battle. Pygrus thought to himself.

As they ate together, Eston seemed to relax. Morwen got him to talk about his past, and she conversed freely about her's. He grew drowsy, and Morwen took the opportunity to try and weedle some information. "So, where is Deawen now?"
His eyes, previously closed, snapped open. "You know," said he, "I'm not quite that off my center."
Morwen smiled wryly; "I guess I should have waited. But, as you know, my purpose for coming here is not to eat a nice dinner for you. I need to find Deawen. It really is a desperate matter. I will find her, with you help or without." She withdrew a dagger from her belt and held it to his chest.
"You wouldn't hurt an innocent man, would you?" exclaimed Eston, panic tingling the edge of his voice.
"My dear sir, you know nothing about me!" persisted Morwen in a deadly voice. She sheathed the dagger. " Where is she? It is urgent." They looked each other straight in the eye.
Finally, Eston said quietly, “ She is in Osgiliath, with the Storm. She already knows you are here." Morwen looked at him once more before going to her room and repacking everything. She dropped onto the bed, her heart sinking at what the next day would bring.

Later that night Deawen stood in the doorway of Morwen's room. She had heard all that was said between Eston and her. Eston had lied on Deawen's whereabouts. She was not in Osgiliath, but in the same house. " You have not changed much, Morwen of the Westfolde, still threatening my officers.." Deawen said smoothly. She wasn't smiling or frowning, her countance was unreadable, placid. Deawen did not enter the room but stood in the doorway " You would have to have urgent news to bring you here into the lair of a dragon..." This time a ghost of a smile formed at the corner of her lips. Her bright azure eyes held a steady gaze on Morwen to the point of anyone that did not know her would feel uncomfortable with the unwavering gaze.
Morwen sat up and rubbed her face. "I only use threats as a last resort. Take it as a credit to their training: I actually had to use my last resort to get any sort of information, right or otherwise." Morwen got out of bed. "But here. She handed Deawen a slip of paper.
The Westfolde is burning. Your Village is destroyed.

“ I don't know about your properties, but all my land burned, every thing I had is gone.” She waited for some reaction from Deawen.

Sen walked outside as Deawen left, and spoke with the Gondorian captain. A few minutes had past, when without warning, a falcon flew overhead, and dropped a letter straight into Sen's hands. He looked up at the bird, then quickly broke the wax seal. After a few seconds of scanning it, he crumpled it in his hands. We must move quickly.
“Captain; I must leave you now, on urgent buisness. Can you handle yourself with the defenses?
The Captain nodded, and Sen continued, beginning to address the Storm.
“ Men, we move for Minas Tirith, and then to Lothlorien. We have business with Lorien, and it is not good tidings Galadriel sends.”
The Storm gathered their arms, doused their fires, and made off for Minas Tirith. Sen had to get there faster, and tell those who needed to be told about the message. In a second he was gone in the shadows, along with a bodyguard of about five Retainers. He sped off towards Minas Tirith, and the house of Deawen.

Deawen went pale, her entire herd of horses was placed in the Westfolde! " What else can fate give me?" Deawen breathed . She shut her eyes and held her breath for a moment. " Is there nothing we can do?" Deawen asked. She looked at Morwen " Is that why you are here or is there another reason? Does Grima Wormtounge feel it is my bidding the Westfolde burns?" Deawen asked with a bitter sence of humor.
"No,” she said answering the second question, “ I am also here because I wish to help you. I was discharged from the Rohirrim. No more women in the ranks." Morwen moved to her saddle bag and started shoving in the rest of her armour the best she could in the darkness.

Meanwhile ...Eston crossed the courtyard as he just heard a soft sound by the fountain. *Start by posting this much* A stone in the floor moved aside. Four Phantoms Dressed in light gear climbed out of the hole. Seeing Eston they bowed
" The storm is advancing to the city. Lord Sen is among them they are headed this way" one said him. “ You could have used the door.“ Eston Noted under his breath. He noted they were out of breath. He dashed to Deawen. He almost ran into her, he bowed clumsily " Lady Deawen, Lord Sen is on his way here now."
Deawen looked at Morwen then back to the main door." It seems fate has a lot to give me" Deawen said bitterly " Eston, send a message to the Phantoms in the Westfolde to report on my holdings there." Deawen commanded. she then motioned for Morwen to follow her to the courtyard.
Morwen grabbed her pack and saddlebag and followed Deawen silently. She'd heard a lot about the famous Sen Starfire (or infamous depending on who you spoke to).
Deawen's mind was racing a steady of pulse of flame coursed down her fingers she hid her hands in her cloak not wishing to startle Morwen with her Abnormalties. First Dragon Tears, then my home, now what can fate bring me? 'Deawen thought repeating her earlier question. In the courtyard she stood by the fountain with her hands behind the smothering folds of her cloak.
She turned to Morwen," I am glad you are here, Morwen, when Eston told me you were here I thought you must be here to take me back to Rohan. but then I saw you, and I knew other wise... " Deawen laughed a small laugh, " Funny how you say you were discharged from service.. " at this time the phantoms drifted outside this time carrying lances ‘just in case’ they said. Deawen knew she could not persuade them other wise.
" Do you realize how expensive armor of this quality would be to actually purchase?” Morwen asked randomly, “ Aelfred pulled a few strings. He still seems to regard me as his Commanding Officer.“ she said gravely, "I have been dismissed, yet I wish to continue fighting. I thought you could, perhaps, help me in that regard."
Deawen laughed this time with a full laugh " Let me guess, Grima couldn't handle a tempest in the court? So he claimed to release you dishonorably to hide the fact he feared you, yes?" Deawen laughed some more “ It is hard to come by such armor without losing an arm or two. I don't think it's because Aelfred sees you as his commanding officer still, I think it's deeper.. " Deawen smiled the tom-boy exterior seemed to vanish leaving the girl unveiled." Admit it, you like him! You two would make a cute couple"
"I must protest to that! He is a just a boy, and a rather foolish one at that. If he as any feelings of...that sort, I do not reciprocate them." She blushed even more, even though what she was saying was true. "Where are we going, might I ask?"
Deawen sat down at the Fountains lip. " Morwen you can use every fancy word you like to hide the fact you like him.. but deep down inside you like him" Deawen sighed " I have not a clue on where we are going but if Sen is on his way here at this time of night it must be Urgent. and Since it must be urgent it means he needs me to travel to the far ends of our world to get to somewhere!" Deawen explained exaggerating " but I’m not complaining…" she reassurred herself " I own him my life on more than one occassion" Deawen said softly " It is the Price I pay for being Unwed, and outcast and wanted for crimes against more than one kingdom" Deawen laughed yet again. Eston hates the Storm. I have no idea why though.' Deawen said changing the subject.
“Are we going to stop at the stables?" Morwen asked suddenly, her armor laden saddlebag cutting into her shoulder.

Sen arrived at the gates of Minas Tirith, only stepping out of the shadows to give the guards a curteous greeting. Then he was back again, and rushed through the city, until he reached Deawen's house. Taking no time Sen stepped in to the enteryway As soon as he did the phantoms, out of defensive habit, lowered lance tips towards the intruders Deawen held a hand out to the phantoms in reassurance.
“ While in Osgiliath, I recieved a very strange letter. It summoned us, and all the forces that could be spared to a meeting in Lothlorien. Apparently Sauron has a plan up his thrice cursed sleeve. We must meet with the Galadriel; the Lady of Light, and Gandalf; who sent us this letter. We must do this with great haste; a day wasted is a day more time for Sauron to complete his plans. Will you go with me, or will I and the Storm go alone?” He asked. Then, standing there waited for an answer.
Deawen looked at Sen and smiled " As Elsent, and Dragoness of the Dragon Tears, the Phatoms will answer the call." Deawen said so all could hear. then the ceremonial air vanished " I will need till dawn, My lord, to Muster the Phatoms with provisions. It's the dead of winter they will be hard to come by.“ She looked at Sen, then continued, “ No army of significance has ever marched in winter.”
“ I want every Phantom outside the gates of Minas Tirith by dawn ready for a long march,"
The Phantoms jumped at the command and dashed back down the hole in the courtyard.
" Eston, have my horses ready, as well as Morwen's. Sometime between now and Dawn," She looked back at Sen, " Only five percent will have horses out of 100 here I have two hundred in Rohan, and others here and there. I dare not ask the Phantoms to accompany me to Lothlorien."
Eston went back to the stables, and came back with a dove. Deawen took the dove with distaste she took the message and handed the bird back to Eston

All four hundred horses moved to the edge of the white mountains, your home there is destroyed, but is being rebuilt ~Drad

" Well this is good tidings. I still have the largest Horse herd in Rohan " Deawen said ' so there solves my horse issues " Now the Provisions" Deawen said pacing her courtyard.
Sen nodded in agreement. “The Storm are camped at the gates; five hundred men, and fifty of them are Retainers. I hope we have enough for whatever Sauron is planning. If it is fine with you, we leave in the morning.” Sen sighed, and looked out the window for a second, before continuing. “I just wish that when we meet, there isn't always a quest to prepare for, or a battle to fight. I just wish, for once, there would be peace.” With a chuckle, he continued. “But then, there would not be a place for me, I guess.”
" Then I would be out of work...I would have to marry some do-gooder just to keep my lands..." Deawen grinned "Oh speaking of do-gooders I don't believe you have met Morwen, of the Westfolde, my Best Friend in the whole earth!" Deawen introduced the two. I have fought under Sauron’s banner once or twice..." Deawen went inside a room momentarily. She came out carrying a flask of a coffee. " Now before any of you go because I served under His banner once or twice, this is what I found, Sauron likes to overwhelm his opponent with large numbers. Also he attacks like a hammer just hammering away until you break. Captures your leader holds them prisoner then offers a ransom and whenever you pay it ,whatever the terms, he kills his prisoner."
A bell tolled in the distance announcing it was now two in the morning. Eston went to and from the stables soon he had seven horses saddled not including Deawen's stallion or Morwen’s. " Maybe in Lothlorien we shall have a day or so to rest with no thought of war or grief" Deawen said in earnest sincerity. Soon a phantom crawled out of the hole. He went straight to Eston reported, and went back down the hole.
Eston went over to Deawen " 166 phantoms have already assembled at the gate with provisions and some with horses. " Deawen sighed, at least they are ready.
Deawen turned her attention to the horses again " Morwen, I forgot! You see that white mare over there, I have been meaning to give that to you for a year now. It all yours one of the finest mares of my herd. " Deawen announced with Pride. Deawen was proud of her fighting skills, and her phantoms, but she was most proud of her horses. Her family had been horse breeders for a hundred years. Her herd produced some of the finest horses for her phantoms. Their gaits were different from regular horses walk and trot, these horses had an amazingly strong build with an amazing walk, and with their trot you glide on the air. They were hearty and with strong wonderful stamina and grace.
"I . . . I don't know exactly what to say. I've never owned such a fine animal. But what about Breda?" she asked, going to pet the white mare.
"Well what about him?" Deawen asked not understanding the question. " Breda is coming along ... Judging by the urgency of our mission we will have to travel hard and fast, in times like these I like to keep fresh horses. Even noble Bredol needs to rest at times, " Deawen said getting up to stroke her Stallions nose.
" My lord Sen," Deawen said suddenly, " If you need any horses just let me know and they are yours." Deawen said with a slight curtsy.
Sen nodded his thanks, as he followed them out into the courtyard. “Thank you, Deawen, but the Storm runs in the shadows. Many horses would spook at what we do, and most of the Storm prefer to have their feet on the ground when they fight. Flarenath is enough for me.” With a shrill whistle Sen called for Flarenath. Soon enough, a large black warhorse came with impossible speed up the road, and stopped in the courtyard next to Sen. He rubbed his nose, and smiled. “Tonight we shall rest easy, at least.” said with a hint of affection in his voice.
"I think even the Meras would have to envy their amazing gait!" Deawen said laughing "And, these horses may be small but they are wonderful war horses." Bredol snorted and tossed his head as if in agreement.
"Alright. Thank you so much. What is his name?" Morwen went and took the reins and walked the war horse around in a circle, admiring its beautiful form. "I've never had such a fine gift before."
"I call her Cam-Ria” Deawen said. Deawen shrugged " Once I am outside the gates of Minas Tirith I’m fair game....I never saw it this way but I am like a fox..."
" You foxy lady." Eston cut it " You stay out of this.. " Deawen warned with a pointed finger.
Hours passed and soon light in the East became apparent. Eston had the horses ready, he gathered Deawen's Important possessions. Deawen had changed back into her black riding dress, she wore a silver circlet on her brow. Her hair was up in braids again ready for a hard ride. Her cloak was not heavy it was light and billowy. Eston wore a black surcoat with a silver dragon on the Front his cloak was different. It had a Front and a Back.
" I plan to make Denethor have a heart attack when he sees how many phantoms just left the city..." Deawen said with a smirk. " Time to go" Deawen announced She swung into the saddle and waited for the others.
Soon Eston had the house locked and was unravling a banner the size of a horse. It was black with a silver dragon like the one he wore. Deawen put on her mask as they rode down the streets. The early birds drawn by the sounds of horse hooves stood in silence as they passed.
At the main gate two hundred Phantoms assembled. Many carried banners and standards like Eston’s some were blue others black, Deawen addressed them and kept them posted on the details of the mission when she finished the Phantom war cry roared in reply. Deawen dismounted and walked over to Sen," May the Valar keep you from harm." Deawen said placing her hand right below her neck where her medallion was placed. She bowed to him as she finished silently.

Morwen pulled on her green cloak over her armour, finishing with her crested helmet. She decided to give Breda a rest and ride Cam-Ria. Deawen was right, the gate was just as smooth as a walk. She rode as close as she could to Deawen, still not sure of what the other Phantoms thought of her. Just in case, she wore her sword close and loose. As a final touch, she carried her shield (also 'stolen' for her after her removal) on her back in Rohirric style and carried a small banner, to show that the soldiers of Rohan supported her where ever she went.

Sen swung his leg over Flarenath, as he saw the others getting ready to leave. He turned to his Retainers, and spoke quickly to them. “Go and tell Raelun to give the order to break camp. We move for Lothlorien, and we shall not be going alone.”
One of the Retainers looked at the Phantoms, and spoke quietly to Sen. “Captain, are you sure that the Phantoms are trustworthy? They look no more than mercenaries.”
Sen sighed, and nodded. “They are. I trust them, and their commander. No go quickly; the sun rises, and we need to be away.”
The Retainers nodded, and were gone, moving through the shadows far faster than the procession was moving through the city. Sen followed the others, and caught up to Deawen and Morwen.

Seeing a group of soilders up ahead the path Pyrgus desided folow them. Looking farther up the procession he saw a few soldiers grouped together, when he got up closer he relized he was heading toward women.
" Hello I am Pyrgus Malvae. I am here to join the fight." He said to a young woman in front of him.

Now esembled in ranks many on horse back the Phantoms awaited Deawen orders. Deawen nodded to the head of the rank and a lone horn sounded, and the Phantoms filed out of the great city in great colums. Their horses pranced, exited to be moving again. The Phantoms banners snapped straight when a strong gust of wind came, then continued their waving
Deawen startled by an unfamiliar voice looked down. Behind her mask she raised an eyebrow.
" To Join the Fight?" Eston asked before Deawen could react
" At the current moment we are not going to war, So if you are looking for a fight I am sure one of my phantoms could oblige you?" Deawen said with a laugh " You may join if you wish, but when we camp next we shall test your skills. For now I have no time. File into the ranks of the last unit, I'll send for you at the next camp. Now if you excuse me…" Deawen said turning her stallion towards the Phantoms in her own way of dismissing people. Deawen waited until the last Phantom filed out of the city. Before turning to Sen and Morwen " Lets have a Race!" Deawen announced for Bredol began to stomp and chomp at his bit for being left by the other horses in the colums. He pranced in place as Deawen held him back but it was too much for him and he turned in circles. "Better Yet a childhood game in honor of Morwen!" Deawen reached out and touched Sen's shoulder " Tag!" she said and bolted off in a copper blurr through the gates.

Morwen held Cam-Ria from going after Deawen and said, with a slight smile, to the soldier on foot, "Have you a horse, Pyrgus Malvae?"
"No, I dont have a horse yet" Pygrus replied.
"Here, take Breda. If he acts up, just give the reins a shake and he'll be as complacent as a drunken cow. If you'll excuse me..." She spurred Cam-Ria and sprang off in the direction of Deawen's dust cloud.

Sen sat there for a few seconds, then began to laugh. He whispered in Flarenath's ear, and he took off like a leaperd, chasing after Deawen. As they left the city, he caught a fleeting glance of the Storm just finishing packing up, before he was past them, ever gaining on Deawen until they were just within arm's reach.
“Tag!” He shouted, and touched her. As he did, he reigned in Flarenath, and immediately changed direction, peeling back towards the way they came from.
Deawen's Excitement swelled up inside her she felt like she could fly any moment! As Sen tagged her again and tore off in a new direction Deawen pulled Bredol to a halt and turned him back Heading Straight for Morwen. Deawen rode past Morwen and tagged her. " Tag!" she shouted and tore off after Sen. The Phantoms Cheered as she flew past them. Even though Deawen wasn't ‘it’ she wanted to prove Sen wasn't invinicible. Deawen slacked her rreins giving Bredol his head. Deawen leaned in the saddle so that she was almost flat against Bredols neck. Deawen knew no natural horse could keep up with Flarenath, but Deawen had a trick or two up her sleeve. She placed her hands palm down on Bredol’s withers. Deawen's hair went a vibrant copper, Bredol went into full gallop going as fast as his legs could carry him. But it wasn't enough to gain on Sen. Deawen's cloak billowed out behind her like sable wings. Suddenly Bredol went faster and longer his Breath came out in harsh clouds of steam. Deawen was gaining on Sen faster than ever. Soon she was neck and neck with him! Deawen took the reins in one hand and reached out to Sen she touched his hand, and a spark of fire flew (it didn’t hurt him).
"I am learning but I have learned'' Deawen's voice was clear in his mind. Deawen removed her mask and smiled at Sen still going at a dangerous speed, she put her hands back on Bredol’s withers and he went faster until he was far enough ahead Deawen cut off Sen and turned Bredol towards her Phantoms, and back towards Morwen.
When she reached Morwen Bredol was practicaly spent, even Deawen looked worn " I am sorry Morwen I had to prove Sen was not invincible in the game of tag" Deawen said smiling.
"That's fine. I suppose I'm a bit of a disadvantage because I'm not used to Cam-Ria. I've never been on such a swift horse!" She patted the horse's neck. "But if we're still playing," she tapped Deawen's shoulder, "You're it again!" She backed Cam-Ria up and started away.
Deawen sat stunned " I can't believe I fell for it!" Deawen sighed Bredol pinned his ears back at Deawen in warning not to make him go any faster than a swift gait.
" Morwen I admit defeat you and Sen win!" Deawen said putting her hands up then making Bredol go a little faster to get to the head of the colum. once up at the head Eston rolled his eyes at Deawen's game, she just laughed. She looked at the clouds moving in from the north " I have a bad feeling about this."
Deawen’s gaze fell to the distant forest of Ithilien. Beyond that forest was the tip of the white mountains and farther north was Rohan. It never really sank in that she was the only one of her family alive. She began to think of the duel " It would be a waste to die in a duel.'' Deawen concluded, but Sen wanted to fight in her stead but she felt that he should not. Deawen looked over at Sen " My Lord? Do you think it wise to fight in my stead in the duel?" She asked. Deawen had many questions for him but only one of them mattered " If you fight for me it makes me look weak that 'I am woman’ cannot fight my own battles that I let my own honor fall I killed my brother and cannot face justice as it is....Are you prepared for the phantoms choosing you as their leader and rejecting me? Because if that happens I will not fight it I will relinquish my station my insignia and my soldiers for the greater good." Deawen said this with her head bowed and eyes dropped.
It is said that a lady knows when it is time to step down, and even Deawen knew her time would have to end, even though it hurt her to admit it.

Morwen raised her standard in triumph, laughing as she turned Cam-Ria to look back at Deawen. As she started to head back towards Deawen, a Phantom jostled her, almost knocking her spear from her hand. She looked at the man, who looked like he was straight from the broods of Wildmen occupying Rohan. They stared at each other for a moment, sizing each other up, before she icily said, "Pardon." She spurred Cam-Ria into his particular gate and headed to the front of the column.
Deawen didn't see The phantom that bumped into Morwen she was busy interogating Sen, but Eston saw between him and Drad they knew everything that was going on in the phantoms. It was the reason Deawen was so fond of them.
Eston waited for Morwen to join the Columm before addressing the matter, "I see you have met Garnath the spy of Argo..." Eston said with a slight Kirk to his voice "Do not let him get to you." Eston said, " To him you are nothing but a spy of The Forgoil and a Kaithal" Eston said with a slight laugh, "Garnath in my...I mean the speech of the wildmen means Wolferkin, for he comes from a band of wildmen close to the mountains, horrid band they take captives from the Forgoil's villages and keep them like slaves... Deawen doesn't believe in killing for no reason and so far Garnath has done no harm to her or her cause but watch out you never know for sure.." Eston explained.
"Well, as long as he stays away from me, there will be no problems," snarled Morwen. She muttered under her breath, "Awiergan der cynn..." Eston guffawed.
"And what does that mean?" he asked.
"It's not important, min freond," she said, dismissing his question with a wave of her hand. "Just keep him away from me." She rode over to Deawen. "I met our friend Garnath. He seems friendl," Morwen said sarcastically.
Eston seemed put out by Morwen's comments. He understood all she said, but had to cover his tracks by being coy. The two are alike in many…many ways, he thought to himself, comparing Deawen to Morwen and visa versa.
But Eston kept quiet about his opinions.
He suddenly began to sing something he learned while in Bredena, the melody was bright and yet mysterious.

'They're gathered in circles
The lamps light their faces
The crescent moon rocks in the sky
The poets of drumming
Keep heartbeats suspended
The smoke swirls up and then it dies
Would you like my mask?
Would you like my mirror?
Cries the man in the shadowing hood
You can look at yourself
You can look at each other
Or you can look at the face of your god
The stories are woven
And fortunes are told
The truth is measured by the weight of your gold
The magic lies scattered
On rugs on the ground
Faith is conjured in the night market's sound
Would you like my mask?
Would you like my mirror?
Cries the man in the shadowing hood
You can look at yourself
You can look at each other
Or you can look at the face of your god

The lessons are written
On parchments of paper
They're carried by horse from the river andiun
Says the shadowy voice
In the firelight, the cobra
Is casting the flame a winsome smile

Would you like my mask?
Would you like my mirror?
Cries the man in the shadowing hood
You can look at yourself
You can look at each other
Or you can look at the face of your god

By the time Eston ended he had many other phantoms joining in. Deawen even caught herself singing softly along even though she never heard it before, somehow she knew the words, somehow she had heard this before...
Deawen glanced at Morwen " Who?" she asked softly "Oh, yes, Garath, vile creature stalks around camp. Whenever I go out alone in the camp he follows me about in the shadows I have often resorted to using my gift to travel about..." She said faltering on the last word then fell silent.

As this was going on, Sen rode beside them, thinking all the while of Deawen's questions. He did not want to put her in danger, and yet he also did not want to take command of the Phantoms; that was her rightful place. He spoke to her after the song had ended, choosing his words carefully.
“I still wish to fight for you, lady Deawen. If they do wish me as a commander, then I will have you challenge me for it, and then I will lose. It is a lot easier to win if you control both sides of the battle, and a lot safer. Have no fear, though; it will be real enough for them, and I can heal pretty quickly. What say you for this idea?”

Author:  Lasbelingur [ April 29th, 2007, 1:27 am ]
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If you get through all that congrats...well if you do please give me feed back.

Author:  The Nightingale [ April 30th, 2007, 12:12 pm ]
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Well, you already know what I think of it.

Very good.

Author:  Lasbelingur [ April 30th, 2007, 7:58 pm ]
Post subject: 

Thanks...and thank you for taking the time to read it.

Author:  The Nightingale [ May 1st, 2007, 8:04 am ]
Post subject: 

^ You're welcome!
I forget... have you headed over to the Writer's Club in the Glittering Caves yet?

Author:  Lasbelingur [ May 5th, 2007, 9:41 am ]
Post subject: 

Oh, no I haven't. And I don't really write, this is a RPG, I just sorta fixed the spelling and stuff.

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