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Minas Tirith Forums » The Green Dragon » Writer's Block (Page 1)
Author Topic: Writer's Block
Roll of Honor Arra
Guard of the Citadel
Citizen # 401

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A short, long hair figuare stumbled into the inn's stables. She had been running from the red horsemen. That had captured her twin brother. She didn't have money and she didn't trust the innkeeper. She didn't trust anybody. I'll sleep here and wake early to steal a horse. Then I'll go to...The 14 year old girl was tired and she couldn't think straight. I don't know were I'll go. Just away from them. The girl closed her deep brown eyes and fell asleep in a pile of straw.
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Cernunnos
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Arra's sleep was troubled by images of the day's terror. The six horsemen, clad in red, hooded and cloaked, who had appeared suddenly from the deep shadows of the wood that lined the West Road, the soft leaf-mould giving little hint of their approach until they were almost upon them. Each rider had held a cruel, curved sword in his gauntleted hand.

'Ware thieves!' Orlin had cried as the thud of rushing hooves burst on the travellers' ears. Arra had turned round to see the old dwarf, hindmost of the small party, swinging his shield round from where it had hung on his back by its carrying-strap, his right hand already reaching for his fighting axe.

'Búri! Lóni!' he had shouted to his sons, but the onset had been so swift that the old warrior was still trying to pull the axe from his belt when the leading horseman rode him down.

Búri had been leading the baggage-pony, and his axe was hanging from a thong looped round a horn of the pack saddle. By ill chance, the beast, frightened by the sudden noise from behind, reared up kicking and knocked the dwarf to the ground even as he reached for his weapon.

Arra had screamed as the first of the riders had reined in his steed above the dwarf and made it bring its hooves crashing down on him, even as the pony bolted down the path.

'The trees! Make for the trees!' Barin had shouted. Arra and her brother were weaponless, with nothing more than slender staves to aid them on the road in their hands, while Lóni, so young as to be still beardless, had only a knife at his belt. The leading rider, his horse's hooves red with blood, now pointed directly at Barin, and cried words in an unknown tongue to his companions. The three travellers turned and fled, but with little hope of escape. Their lead was only a few yards, and already wrathful hoof-beats sounded behind them.

'Split up!' Lóni shouted, 'Try to loose them in the forest!'

Arra ran to the left, her brother and their dwarvish friend to the right. She leapt over the ditch which lined the ancient paved way on both sides. Jumping lithely over tree-roots, expecting at any moment to feel the bite of a sword-stroke in her back, she saw ahead a press of bushes that might foil the horsemen. Diving under low branches, she crawled as fast as she could into the heart of the tangled thicket. Briars grasped at her travelling cloak with clinging thorns, and she had loosed the brooch at her throat and left the garment behind her as she crawled deeper into the tangle of bushes.

Safe for the moment at least, she looked back at the road to see what had become of her two companions.

'Arrinya!'

It was Barin's terrified voice, using her pet name. Arra saw through the branches that her twin had been captured, and slung over the neck of one of the horses.

Nearby hoof-beats brought back her own peril. One of the horsemen had brought his steed under the trees, and was looking for a way to reach her through the tangled branches. Arra shrank back, and cast about for a means of escape. She saw a kind of tunnel through the bushes - the run, perhaps, of some woodland creature - along which she was small enough to force her way. Behind her she heard the red-cloaked horseman slashing at the bushes with his sword.

'Arrinya!' Barin shouted again, and Arra heard the rider who held him crying something to the other horsemen in his unknown speech. The rider under the trees turned his horse, and made his way back to the road, ducking under low branches as he went. There was a sudden thunder as twelve pairs of hooves made off eastwards down the road. The noise faded swiftly, and from the distance Arra had heard one last faint cry:

'Arrinyaaa . . !'

Then silence fell.

Trembling uncontrollably, Arra listened for a minute, but there was no other sound. The forest birds, startled by the horsemen, had fallen silent, but now the harsh croak of a jay sounded nearby, and further off the rapid tap, tap, of a woodpecker.

She crawled more slowly than she had come in out of the thicket. Cautiously, she approached the paved way.

'Lóni?' she said, half whispering.

There was no answer. Arra looked both ways along the road. It seemed empty, and she dared to jump back across the ditch onto the path. A few yards away, there was blood on the paving stones. She looked into the ditch on the north side of the road and her hand flew to her mouth to stifle a scream. Lóni was lying sprawled at the bottom, his face in the dirty water, the back of his head cut open by a savage sword-blow.

Overcome for a moment by the speed and violence of what had just happened, Arra crouched down on the road and wept. Barin captured by . . who? Robbers, madmen? Orlin and Búri ridden down before her eyes, Lóni murdered. What was she to do? What was she to do? The next settlement was at Rivermeet, two leagues away or more, and travelling mountebankes like the twins Arra and Barin were looked upon with suspicion by some in the still largely unpeopled wilds of Arnor as thieves and runagaits. The last time they had stayed at Rivermeet, the innkeeper had told them in no uncertain terms he wished to see no more of them and their 'kind', and sent them on their way with scornful words.

How they had been looking forward to seeing the old tosspot's face when they showed him and the rustics in his tavern the tokens they had been presented by King Elessar and Queen Arwen themselves when they performed before them in the royal hall at Annúminas! Arra's singing and dancing and Barin's conjuring tricks had won them a rich reward. Arra remembered how Prince Eldarion, not yet seven years old, had clapped his hands in delight at their show and jumped down from his small seat beside the thrones of the King and Queen to give a silver bracelet from his own arm to Barin, who bowed low and thanked him. Some in the hall had looked askance at the gesture, but the Queen had smiled and praised the Prince for his generous heart before bidding his nurse take him to rest. Meanwhile King Elessar had instructed a servant to bring a bronze-bound casket, from which he took a silver brooch to give to Arra. The company had risen in due order and followed the King and Queen to the Hall of Feasts where, after the Standing Silence, the twins had eaten at a lower table of the hall, and slept on soft beds in one of the King's guest-rooms.

The next morning they had been approached by old Orlin, also the guest of the King, travelling from the Lonely Mountain far away to the dwarf mansions on the eastern slopes of Ered Luin with his two sons. A marriage had been arranged between Búri and the daughter of Fandhûr of Shazûr-dûm, and Orlin had bidden Arra and Barin accompany him to the halls of Fandhûr to perform before the wedding guests.

The future had looked so bright. The old dwarf, kindly behind a gruff exterior, and his sons had quickly become friends. Arra had soon learned the way into Orlin's affections: let him dwell as they sat round the campfire on his wars of the past. The Battle of Five Armies long ago, in which he fought as a stripling, and the great battle before Erebor when the dwarves of the Lonely Mountain and the men of Dale had stemmed the black tide of the Dark Lord in the North, when Arra and Barin were still babes in arms.

[ 06-08-2016, 02:42 PM: Message edited by: Cernunnos ]

From: Perth, Scotland | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Roll of Honor Arra
Guard of the Citadel
Citizen # 401

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The tears on her cheeks woke Arra from her restless sleep. She could see the sun was just beging to rise. I'd better get that horse before anyone notices. She thought hurriedly to herself as the girl rose with a start.

This message has been edited by Arra on 06-24-2001 at


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Cernunnos
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WHAT WAS THAT!

A noise . . there was someone in the stable!

'Ho now,' a deep voice said. 'What's this? A rat among the straw?'

Arra nearly jumped out of her skin, but thankfully recognised the voice. It was Dareth, the stable-hand, not the sour-faced innkeeper as she had feared.

'Humph! Young Arra is it? And what might you be doing here? You should know that your welcome's less than certain in Rivermeet, little missy, and least of all in this house! You'd best be on your way. I'll not grudge you a night's rest on our straw, but the master may be of other mind! And say now, where's your brother? I've never known you two to be parted.'

'Dareth! Thank the Lady it's you! Barin's been taken by thieves and murderers! We were travelling with three dwarves, and six horsemen in red killed them all and rode off eastwards. I hid from them in the woods. I made my way here during the night, keeping away from the open road. I was so tired when I came to the village I couldn't do more than fall asleep in here.'

'Red riders? Murderers? Where?' Dareth said, looking astonished.

'Back along the road to the east. Two leagues or more.'

'What, so close? This is a tale the Captain must hear, I'm sure. Robbers in the East Woods? Nothing like it's been heard of since the Great War ended. We'd thought the King's men had routed out all the ruffians in these parts. Come now, I'll get you a morsel to eat and we'll go to the King's Tower.'

This message has been edited by Cernunnos on 07-03-2001 at


From: Perth, Scotland | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Roll of Honor Arra
Guard of the Citadel
Citizen # 401

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Arra scarffed down her small brakefast. Thinking all the while of Barin and his last cry for help. Stop that! You're being foolish. Don't think those things or you'll be to scared to do anything, let alone save him.Arra thought angerily to herself. "I'm all set to go." She told Dareth hurridly.
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Cernunnos
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The pair set out through the sleeping village, Arra still nibbling on a crust, up the slope towards Arminas, the King's Tower, the fort being built on the hill-top overlooking the settlement. The central tower rose above a stout outer wall, pierced by a single gateway. Outside the walls were sheds and piles of half-hewn stone where the masons worked. The great gate was not yet open. Dareth knocked on it.

'Ho, the fort!' he shouted. 'Porter! Rub the sleep from your eyes! There's grave news for the Captain's ear!'

A little hatch was opened in the gate and Arra saw two eyes gazing out at them through the grille that covered the hole.

'Well, what is it,' said a grumpy voice.

'Open up, Gelion,' Dareth replied. 'Do I look like an enemy? The girl here's been attacked in the East Woods and her brother stolen away. The Captain must hear it.'

Grumbling to himself, Gelion pushed open one leaf of the great oaken door of the fort.

'The Captain's not yet risen. This had best be important,' he said, yawning. 'Well, come in if you're coming.'

He swung the door to behind them.

[ 09-07-2015, 04:09 PM: Message edited by: Cernunnos ]

From: Perth, Scotland | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Roll of Honor Arra
Guard of the Citadel
Citizen # 401

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Arra walked in hesitantly, glancing around. Another watchman came foreward and led them to the Captain's quarters. Knocking on the door he said, "Sir There is a girl here who wishes to speak to you of thieves in the woods."
There was a groan and a shuffling of clothes as the Captain rose and dressed. "Enter."
Arra and Dareth walked in to the quarters, now lit with candles. "Thieves in the woods huh?" The Captain grumbled, for he was not a morning person.
"Yes sir. They wore red cloaks and they captured my twin brother. Killing three of my friends."

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Cernunnos
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'Killed, you say?', he said, seeming awake at last. 'Who has been killed?'

'Three dwarfs with whom we were travelling to the Blue mountains. Orlin of Erebor and his sons. We were going to the halls of Fandhûr of Shazûr-dûm.'

'Fandhûr? Fandhûr son of Ziggathûr? Fandhûr is here. He and some of his folk came hither within this fortnight to work on the Tower. Ho, outside there! Gelion!'

The watchman who had brought Arra and Dareth up to the chamber came in.

'Rouse the keep! There's murderous work afoot. Roll those sluggards of guards out of their beds, and bring Fandhûr the dwarf to me, and that presently!'

The man hurried off down the stair. The Captain now introduced himself to Arra as Baradhîr son of Halbarad, and bade her and the stable-hand sit on a pair of wooden chairs while he questioned her closely on the events of the night.

Within a few minutes, there was a knock at the door, and a dwarf of great age came into the chamber. His snow-white beard was very long, and over his grey hood he wore a silver chain. He bowed to the Captain.

'The day's greeting to you, Captain Baradhîr. A fine morning.'

'Doubtless, Master Fandhûr; but I fear ill tidings must mar it ere it be much older. This girl has brought news of dwarves waylaid and murdered on the West Road, and it seems they may have been known to you.'

When Arra named Orlin and his sons, the reaction of the old dwarf was frightening to see. Tearing at his beard, he cried out:

'Alas! These were indeed known to me! For Orlin was travelling to my own halls, and Búri his son was to have married with my daughter. Who are these red riders who have slaughtered my kinsmen? And are their bodies even now lying untended, prey to the beasts of the wild? Lend me horses, Captain, that I and my folk may swiftly come thither!'

'I myself and a troop of my men will ride there at once. Arra, you will accompany us.'

Within minutes Baradhîr, with Arra on a pony by his side, was on the road, with ten mail-clad horsemen behind them. Fandhûr and some of his people, unused to horses, followed more slowly. The sun was bright in their eyes as the advanced. Arra felt a sick dread deep inside at the prospect of seeing again the place where they had been attacked. Dareth, the only person she knew in Rivermeet even slightly, had gone back to the inn, and she felt bitterly lonely. If only Barin were here!

[ 06-08-2016, 02:47 PM: Message edited by: Cernunnos ]

From: Perth, Scotland | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Roll of Honor Arra
Guard of the Citadel
Citizen # 401

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There was the ditch where Loin lay a knife in his back. Arra moaned at the sight and turned her face. Further in the forest they sad company found the bodies of Orlin and Buri. Arra's stomach churned with sorrow. She saw her cloak tangled in the bushes. Arra worked on freein her garment while the dwarves tied the bodies to the riderless horses.

Her misery only served to inhance Arra's beauty. Her eyes began to sparkle as they filled with tears. Her face was pale as winter's night's frost. Arra's lips were pressed tight, to stop herself from sobbing, causing them to redden. Her cheeks flushed in frustration at her own helplessness. Her hoped some one would notice, and by doing so gain the courage to comfort her. But no one did.

This message has been edited by Arra on 06-26-2001 at


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Cernunnos
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Presently, there came a shout from one of Baradhîr's men.

'A rider approaching from the east, Captain.'

The horseman soon rode up, clad as a King's Messenger in a livery of black and silver. He reigned his steed in in front of the little party and addressed Baradhîr.

'Captain Baradhîr, I thought to find you at Arminas. The King is coming. He sent me ahead of his party to forewarn you but a short time since. Have you had word of his approach?'

'By no means, Estolad. Grimmer business brings us onto the West Road. Murder has been done here. I shall await the King.'

'I think that wise. No doubt he will wish to learn what has passed. I shall ride now to the ford and alert your folk.'

'Do so,' the Captain replied, and Estolad spurred his horse on westwards, glancing with alarm at the blood-covered bodies tied to the horses as he passed.

Already the King and his party were approaching. Old Fandhûr, who had been mourning with others of the dwarves by the side of the road, their hoods cast over their faces, ceased his lamenting. He strode into the middle of the path and held up his hands, crying aloud.

'Justice, Lord King! Justice for the Children of Aulë! Justice for my slaughtered kin!'

King Elessar now approached. He was mounted on a great black horse, clad in mail, and the sword Andúril hung by his side. Behind him rode his banner-bearer, carrying the standard of the Heir of Elendil, a tree surmounted by a crown and seven stars, worked in silver upon black, and a company of well-armed knights.

'Greetings, Fandhûr son of Ziggathûr,' the king said. 'You are welcome here, as are all your folk. For what cause do you come before us?'

'Lord King! The blood of my kinsmen calls from the ground! Behold, Orlin son of Nalin, my ancient friend, slaughtered upon your royal highway, and his two sons with him! Is this the King's Peace of which so much has been heard? Here lay Búri, who should have espoused my daughter, and his brother, a lad of fifteen winters. Are the evil times of old come again so soon? For shame, King Elessar, that such bloody deeds should be seen in your realm!'

The King now dismounted from his horse, and his face was stern. Some behind him murmured angrily at the disrespect shown by the dwarf, but Elessar held up his right hand, commanding silence.

'I see that some great evil has chanced. Who here can give me fuller tidings?'

'My Lord, this girl saw all that took place,' Captain Baradhîr said, and gestured to Arra to come before the King.

Nervously, she approached. Elessar looked at her keenly.

'I know you, do I not . . ? I have it! The feast a week since, is it not so?'

Arra bowed.

'Come, tell all that you saw, without fear.'

'Riders clad in red,' the king said frowning when she had finished. 'Riders clad in red? Assuredly I have heard nothing of such marauders. Is anything known at Rivermeet, Captain Baradhîr?'

'Not so much as a whisper, My Lord. We thought the lands around us, empty as they are, safe for all traffic, save perhaps for wolves in the winter-time.'

'Then know, all who stand here, that I shall utterly search out the roots of this evil, and when they are discovered they shall be abolished. Fandhûr son of Ziggathûr, your heart is hot within you, and that not without cause. Justly, as I deem, you complain that the roads of Arnor are unsafe for peaceful travellers. Therefore I command that a wergild of heavy gold for your kinsmen lying here shall be given to your House, and their bodies shall be carried to Shazûr-dûm with honour.'

The old dwarf looked up at Elessar. Then he bowed low.

'I see that the Rightful King has indeed returned to the Northlands. Let him forgive my harsh words, for I spoke in the passion of my heart.'

'You spoke in your grief. It is forgotten. Forgive me,' the King said, turning to Arra, 'but I do not know your name.'

'Arra, My Lord,' she replied, abashed at being spoken to so courteously by the King of the West.

'Be assured, Arra, that I shall not rest until your brother is restored to you. Come,' he said, remounting his horse. 'We shall continue to Rivermeet and there take council upon these matters.'

[ 06-08-2016, 02:50 PM: Message edited by: Cernunnos ]

From: Perth, Scotland | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Roll of Honor Arra
Guard of the Citadel
Citizen # 401

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"Thank you for your concern My Lord." Arra said nerviously.

"My dear it is my job to be concerned." The King smiled.

The company road to the fort. The King and the Captain leading and descussing the matter of the red horsemen. King's guard came next, followed by the dwarves. Arra trailed behind alone.

This message has been edited by Arra on 06-26-2001 at


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Nienna the Weeper
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Citizen # 364

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At the fort, a young maiden greeted them. The captain introduced her as Melyanna, his only daughter. To all, however, she did not bear any resemblance to the captain. She was fair and delicate, almost as if she would break into pieces when touched by anyone. Yet, her eyes were not so. They carried a certain glint of mischief and stubbornness.

She led them to the meeting hall where the men and the dwarfs could discuss the events that took place. She made certain that everything, including the food and the accommodations, were attended to. She smiled to herself as she noticed her father looking at her with suspicion. "He knows me too well," she thought, amused.

------------------
For we are but Atani and death is our Fate. Such is the gift of Iluvatar.

This message has been edited by Nienna the Weeper on 06-26-2001 at


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Roll of Honor Arra
Guard of the Citadel
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Arra wasn't sure the men would approve if she joined the discussion. Besides she already told them all she could. The girl decided to find out what life was like living in a fort. Arra came to the Captain's daughter, "Hullo Melyanna, I'm Arra McPherson. How's life here?"
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Cernunnos
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'Greetings, Arra,' Melyanna replied. 'I'm sorry to hear the story of your trouble. I don't recall having heard your family name before - Mak-Pharazôn, was it? It sounds like a name out of ancient Westernesse. Come, I'll show you round the Keep of Arminas. Our little kingdom.'

The two girls soon warmed to each others company. Melyanna impressed Arra with her self-assurance; she noticed how the servants and guards in the fort treated her with affectionate respect. It was obvious she was used to playing the hostess when the Captain her father had important guests to entertain. Melyanna explained that her mother had died three years before, and that she had had to take on the responsibilities of the Lady of Arminas. For her part, Melyanna, who did not remember living anywhere else than Rivermeet, and had never made more than one or two journeys to the royal city at Annúminas in the company of her father, was fascinated by Arra's tales. For she and Barin had travelled over Middle-Earth as far east as Esgaroth and Dale, and as far south as Gondor before the death of their parents, learning songs, dances and tricks by the way to entertain anyone willing to give them hospitality.

Presently, the girls found themselves at the top of the highest point in the Keep, looking out from the battlements. There was a splendid view. Below them, the little town of Rivermeet straggled down the hill to the ford that led over the swift and noisy Little Lhûn that flowed down from the hills above Lake Evendim to join the Great Lhûn here. Over the Lhûn itself was a great stone bridge of many arches, newly built, defended at its inner end by a gate-tower.

To the west, the peaks of Ered Luin stood up starkly against the setting sun. Between some of their heights a distant gleam of silver hinted at the sea. To the east, the Road stretched away until it was lost among the gathering shadows of the evening. To the south, the Tower Hills could be seen in the distance, and Arra fancied she could see the ancient Elf-towers that crowned them gleaming in the dusk. To the north-east, the deep and rocky channel of the Little Lhûn fell down from the hills that cut off the view of Evendim.

A bell sounded below them.

'That is the signal for the evening meal,' Melyanna said. 'It should be good tonight, in honour of the King. Or if it isn't old Hinni the cook will get a fly in his ear from me!'

They made their way back down the spiral staircase built into the thickness of the wall to the main hall of the Tower, where the King and his company were already seated at the High Table.

[ 06-08-2016, 02:53 PM: Message edited by: Cernunnos ]

From: Perth, Scotland | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Roll of Honor Arra
Guard of the Citadel
Citizen # 401

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Arra sat down next to Melyanna with a shy glance toward the King. She wondered what it was like to be royalty. The girls raised their glasses with every one else as the Captain toasted the King and his aid.

The meal was exceptionally good. Compared to Arra's standards and Melyanna had to agree. The cook had really out done himself. Arra was quite during the meal and ate clumsily. For the young girl was uncomfotable with all the different utinsals. Melyanna noticed her guest's discomfort with a sly grin. The hostess leaned over and whispered in Arra's ear. "You start with the outer ones and work your way inward." Arra nodded gratefully, not wanting to make a fool of herself.

Melyanna was the perfect hostess. She kept the conversation flowing with small coments on Arra's origin and courtiously questioning her guest into coment. Arra answered with short sentences unsure on why there would be anything of interest about herself to talk about. Long into the evening the meal was finished.


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Cernunnos
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Out of respect for the mourning dwarves, a quiet and sober mood had prevailed, and there had been no call for a song to entertain the company. Faintly, from time to time, a distant sound of solemn music could be heard. The dwarves were chanting a slow dirge in their own strange tongue for the dead.

When the company rose, King Elessar gestured to Arra to come aside with him. He stopped at an arched window embrasure in a corner of the hall where they could talk privately.

'Well, Arra,' King Elessar said, 'Our tongues have wagged to little profit thus far, and I fear the day may bring no better council. I have sent messengers east, south and west to spread the tidings of this attack and alert the people against these red-clad marauders, but without further clues to who they were, I can see no finger of a road towards finding them and restoring your brother. This only seems certain, that they were not mere robbers, for the bodies of the dwarves were unplundered. Now, in the morning, it is my purpose to accompany Fandhûr and his people to their halls under Ered Luin. You may, if you wish, remain here at Arminas as the guest of the Captain. Or if you desire, you may accompany us westwards.'

'My Lord, I will go with you, if I may,' Arra replied. 'It will be better than moping here.'

'As you wish,' Aragorn said in a kindly voice. 'I will have a horse prepared for you against the morning. Melyanna will accompany us also. She has begged leave of her father. Good night.'

Arra bowed as the King left her. She was glad she would have Melyanna's company. She had never before been in the country beyond the Lhûn. Normally she loved seeing new lands unfolding before her, but this journey seemed likely to prove cheerless, with the worry of whether Barin was still alive always gnawing at her heart.

Melyanna, who had been instructing some of the servants about their tasks while she was away, now came over and led Arra to her chamber, where she had had a pallet spread for her. The girls soon fell asleep.

It was a little before the dawn when Melyanna was shaken from her sleep by fearful cries. Arra was screaming in her sleep. She heard her shout 'Barin!' more than once. Melyanna hurriedly lit the lamp by her bed and came over to her. She shook Arra's shoulder to wake her up. Coming to with a start, Arra grasped her arm, wide eyed.

'Barin!' she said. 'I saw him! He's alive!'

[ 09-21-2015, 03:45 PM: Message edited by: Cernunnos ]

From: Perth, Scotland | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Nienna the Weeper
Guard of the Citadel
Citizen # 364

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"You were dreaming, Arra. Calm down." Melyanna spoke to Arra softly.

"I did see him!" Arra gasped. "He was calling out to me! He's alive!"

"Of course he is." Melyanna wasn't certain if he really was alive but she felt that reassuring Arra would be the only way to calm her down. She didn't want Arra to go on a journey in a frantic state of mind.

Arra was silent for a while, though constantly wringing her hands. After some time, she spoke. "We might as well prepare. It is almost dawn and..." Her voice trailed off. "I saw Barin, Melyanna. He seemed frightened but he was unharmed."

"What do you remember, Arra?" Melyanna asked. "Perhaps the dream was trying to tell you something."

Arra shook her head. "It was dark. All I could see was him. Although, there was something strange about it. In the background, there was some kind of sound. It almost seemed like rushing water."

"That does not tell us anything." The other girl sighed. "We should get dressed."

------------------
For we are but Atani and death is our Fate. Such is the gift of Iluvatar.


From: Why are you looking down here? | Registered: Mar 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Roll of Honor Arra
Guard of the Citadel
Citizen # 401

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Arra packed silently, still wondering about her dream. By the time Melyanna and her had finished, the sun had risen. "Well we'd better join the others for breakfast." Melyanna sighed as she led the way to the dinning hall.

"Right," Arra said with a preoccupide tone. The redhead stummbled down the stairs for she did not wake easily.

Breakfast was a quick and somber matter. The King was deep in thought. The dwarves/Arra were in moarning and the others kept their silence due to respect.

The company departed the fort soon after the meal. The Captain was left with a salute from the King, a hug from his daughter and bows from the rest. Melyanna and Arra rode side by side. Arra was comforted by the noble's dignified presence. Melyanna found herself interested in Arra's stories of her travels with her brother.

The day's journey past uneventfully. Setting up camp in a stand of trees, the group settled down for the night. The men took turns on watch. Though Arra had offered to stand guard, she was dismissed with a smile.

Arra went to sleep grumbling at being unable to help. As soon as she drifted to sleep, she was visited by another dream. This one was hazy, not dark, and showed her brother in a tower, alone. The scene changed: Arra saw red horsemen standing guard around the tower. All Arra knew was that she must save her brother and she would do anything, even go alone into the tower, to do so. ....The dream ended in darkness.

The next morning, Arra wondered at the vision, but blamed it on grief.

This message has been edited by Arra on 06-29-2001 at


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Cernunnos
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Citizen # 652

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She sighed and opened her eyes. There was a feeling nagging at the back of her mind that her dreams had some significance she could not grasp, but it refused to become clear to her. 'Perhaps if I don't try to think about it, it will come to me,' she said to herself.

Through the trees Arra could see the snow-clad peaks of Ered Luin touched with the rising sun, though the glens and forests of their lower slopes were still in shadow. The mountains were already quite close. Her heart rose, almost despite herself, at the sight of the great range that marched down the western margin of Eriador. Beyond them, she knew, was the green country of Forlindon by the Great Sea she had never seen, where some of the elves still lingered, unwilling to forsake Middle-Earth.

Arra had always loved to hear tales of the elves, and had tried to learn as many of the ancient songs about the great heroes and heroines of the Eldar and the Edain as she could. She loved the story of Beren and Lúthien best of all. Once, she had made up a dance acting out the discovery of Lúthien by Beren in the woods of the Hidden Kingdom long ago. Barin had portrayed Beren, and they had danced together while their father recited part of the Lay of Leithian to the accompaniment of his harp. That had been in the courtyard of a tavern in Minas Anor in the South Kingdom. Strange to think, how long ago it had all been - longer than Arra could imagine, thousands and thousands of years, and the Hidden Kingdom and all Beleriand sunk beneath the sea. Yet when Arra saw the King and Queen at Annúminas, she knew their ancestors were Beren and Lúthien, and there they were, sitting on their thrones before them, and Queen Arwen the descendent of Lúthien only in the fourth degree . .

'Daydreaming?' a voice said beside her.

It was Melyanna. Arra smiled.

'I was just thinking . .'

'Ah! A dangerous occupation at any time. For one thing it can make you miss breakfast.'

'You're talking like a Halfling, Melyanna,' Arra said, smiling. 'Have you hairy toes below that skirt?'

'The Hobbits,' Melyanna replied, 'are a wise people, and very dear to King Elessar. The King is always kind, but amid his many cares he may perhaps forget to save you a bowl of porridge. Come on!'

The girls went down to the tent where breakfast was being given out. As they sat side by side with their backs to a tree, watching the sunlight creep down the shoulders of the mountains, Arra remembered her dream.

'I had another strange dream last night,' she said. 'I saw Barin again.'

Arra described what she had seen.

'I wish knew what it meant.'

'I wonder if there might be someone among the dwarves to ask,' Melyanna said. 'We should arrive before nightfall at the Halls of Shazuûr-dûm and from there, I believe, we will be travelling on further to the south, to the place where they bury their dead. They lay them in tombs carved out of stone beside the ruins of their ancient city Belegost.'

Arra sighed. 'Yet more delay! I don't want to show disrespect to the dwarves - after all, Orlin and his sons were our friends - but when will we ever start looking for Barin? The trail will be long cold by now.'

'You know the King has done all he can in sending out messengers and scouts to scour the land. We can only hope that some clue will be found,' Melyanna replied.

[ 09-21-2015, 03:47 PM: Message edited by: Cernunnos ]

From: Perth, Scotland | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Roll of Honor Arra
Guard of the Citadel
Citizen # 401

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Arra paused as she ate then said, "Do you know anything more about hobbits? I've heard the tale of the War of the Ring already, but do you know what happened to... let's say Merry and Pippin?" As she said this the King finished his oatmeal, rose and happened to overhear Arra's comment.

"Why Merry is in the service of King Eomer of Rohan and Piipin is a member of my guard." The King said with a smile. "They're doing fine. They should be after all I had to go through to "rescue" them."

Here Arra blushed, for she had not ment her question to be answered by a king. "I should like to see them sometime."

"Perhapse you shall meet Pippin if you visit Minas Tirith." The King nodded then left.

Arra cleaned her bowl in the nearby stream. The girl yawned, closing her eyes as she did so. As soon as her lids dropped, Arra saw, not blackness, but red horsemen running towards her. They did not draw they're swords, but held open a large net. Drawing, near Arra they cast the net over her, despite her struggle, ensnaring her. All this she saw in a moment's time. Arra opened her eyes with a gasp and a start that caused the redhead to tumble into the shallow stream.

A wet Arra stood up, the stream flowing around her calves. Raising her head she saw the guards laughing at her clumsiness. The flushing girl stepped out of the water mumbling something to the degree of "having to change into dry clothes." Melyanna handed Arra her pack with one hand; the other was used to hide her smile. "Ha. Ha. Ha. Very funny." Arra scowled as she dressed rapidly. Stepping out from behind a bush, Arra yanked on her boots as she was confronted by the King.

"What's the delay?"

"I...I fell into the stream while I was cleaning my dishes." Arra stammered red faced and head down.

"Well let's go. The sooner we leave the sooner we find your twin." the King said as he mounted his horse.

Arra did not breath a word of her vision to anyone, not even Melyanna. Sure it was normal to have nightmares at night, but not in the day when your wide awake!

This message has been edited by Arra on 07-01-2001 at


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Cernunnos
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Citizen # 652

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The rest of the day passed without incident. Gradually, the foothills of the Blue Mountains drew nearer. Now the King's party began to come across dwarves, some travelling along the same road they were on, some working on either side in quarries and forges. As they passed, the dwarves ceased their tasks and stood silent, with bowed heads, in honour of the dead and out of respect for the King.

The shadows of evening were lengthening when they came to the mansions where Fandhûr was lord, delved below the mighty peak Zurûkhinbar. On a terrace built against the side of the mountain a great archway showed dark against the sheer sides of a cliff. Many narrow windows were carved in the solid rock high above it, to light the chambers within. The steps of the terrace were lined with the dwarves of Shazûr-dûm who awaited them. The horses of the King's party were led aside to stables by men whom the dwarves employed for this work, and the bodies of Orlin, Búri and Lóni were carried in solemn procession into the halls below the mountain. The King and his people followed in respectful silence. Behind the rest, and feeling rather lost and out of place, came Arra and Melyanna. Before the great arch the King was welcomed by Fandhûr's two daughters, Ruthu, the eldest, and Sirri, who was to have married Buri.

Arra looked at the two dwarf-women curiously. She was of course used to seeing dwarves on the roads of Middle-Earth, but it occurred to her that she had never consciously seen a female dwarf. So much for Barin's story that dwarves grew out of stone! Nor, she noted, did they have beards, as another foolish rumour had alleged. Rutha and Sirri were plain by the standards of other races, but there was no mistaking them for anything but women. Soon Fandhûr and his daughters led the King's party into the cool, echoing interior of Shazûr-dûm.

[ 09-21-2015, 04:08 PM: Message edited by: Cernunnos ]

From: Perth, Scotland | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Roll of Honor Arra
Guard of the Citadel
Citizen # 401

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Arra saw as they were led into the great hall how miserible Sirri was. Feeling pity towards the female dwarf, Arra approached her saying, "Buri was a friend of mine. He was a noble dwarf." Then in dwarven she added, "May the heavenly forge warm his soul."

"Thank you kind miss. Might I be right in guessing, you are Arra McPherson?" Sirri answered wiping her eyes.

"I am."

"Buri and Orlin talked of you and your brother. I-I'm sorry about him."

Arra sighed rubbing her hand across her eyes. Just as she was about to say "Thanks." Arra saw Sirri standing at the gate with her sister Rutha at her side and Fandhur's body at her feet. The dwarf maidens held axes in their hands ready to ward off the red horsemen that charged towards them. Arra blinked and the vision ended. Shoulders slumping, Arra let out a small groan at the horrible sight.

Sirri thinking the groan was from grief put a comforting hand on the girl's shoulder. "I'm alright." Arra smiled slowly. Sirri nodded then left to join her father.

Arra fell back to join Melyanna. "Are you ok?" Melyanna asked concerned.

Arra wondered at what could be happening to her, but she only said. "Yeah, I'll be fine," Arra nodded.

This message has been edited by Arra on 07-01-2001 at


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Cernunnos
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Arra felt that someone was looking at her. She turned round to see another dwarf woman, very old and bent, with her skin wrinkled and weathered like the bark of an ancient oak, looking at her intently. She wore a long blue embroidered robe and bore a curious neck-torc of bronze hung with charms at the end of fine chains. Her snow-white hair hung in long braids held by rings of bone on each side of her face.

She said something to Arra in the guttural Dwarf-language, but Arra knew no more of it than a phrase or two that Búri had taught her - somewhat to his father's disapproval - to help them pass the time on the road.

Sirri heard the old woman talking, and came back over to Arra.

'This is Zâmilgibâl. She says that you have what we call uzesh-kêshir, the Waking Dream, which some call the Second Sight. Have you seen something strange? Zâmil is the oldest and wisest of spae-wives. Her name among us is Ashar-zirukhdu, the Woman Who Knows Everything. I have never known her to be mistaken.'

Melyanna looked at Arra with astonishment. Arra herself felt suddenly shy. 'I have been seeing strange things, sometimes in my sleep, sometimes in broad daylight. I don't know what they mean.'

The ancient crone, at least a head shorter than Arra, now came up to her and took her hand in her little, withered fist. She started saying something to her in the Dwarf-tongue, and pointing to a doorway in the side of the hall.

'Zâmilgibâl wants to take you to the Chamber of Seeing. I would advice you to go with her. She may be able to interpret your visions,' Sirri said. 'I will accompany you, as she speaks little of the Common Tongue. You may come too, if you wish,' she said to Melyanna. 'I will tell my father where we are going.'

The old seer led Arra down many corridors lit by lamps set in niches in the wall or by shafts cut in the living rock of Zurûkhinbar deep into the hollow heart of the mountain. Presently, they came through a doorway which Arra and Melyanna had to stoop to get through into a high, round chamber around which seats cut out of the rock were ranged. Zâmilgibâl gestured to Arra and Melyanna to sit down and struck a little bronze bell hanging in a niche beside the door. A single clear note sounded. In a short time, a shuffling sound was heard from a doorway on the other side of the chamber, and two more dwarf-women came in. To Arra they looked scarcely less ancient than Zâmilgibâl, and they bore round their necks the same bronze insignia. Old Zâmil went over to them and started talking to them in their own language, glancing the while at the two girls.

Sirri entered. 'This is the Chamber of Seeing,' she said, 'forbidden to men. Even my father has never entered here. These are Izikhâshta, sister of Zâmilgibâl, and Enukku, her daughter, the wisest of the women of the Khâzad. Few of other race have ever spoken with them.'

The girls looked at the seers with awe. Though short and withered, wisdom clothed them with ample dignity. Melyanna rose to her feet and did them a courtesy after the fashion of the Dúnedain, bowing with her hands placed over her breast. Arra followed her example.

Zâmilgibâl spoke to her daughter, who went to an aumbry cut into the rock beside one of the seats, covered with a stout iron-bound door. She took an intricate silver key that hung from a chain at her belt and opened the wooden door with it. There were many chests and bundles inside. Enukku took down one of the bundles and closed the door of the wall-press again. She brought the bundle across, and unwrapped it, taking out a lustrous disc about a foot across.

'This is the Mirror of Ulukhânda,' Sirri said. 'It was carved from black obsidian in Gabilgathol, our ancient city which the Elves call Belegost, ere the First Age of the world had ended. In its depths a true seer may see much that is, and has been, and will be to come. The spae-wives of Shazûr-dû have said that you may look into it if you will. But be warned, Arra, ere you gaze into it: for truth alone is reflected in its depths. Therefore a false heart sees only falsehoods and deceits. Do you wish to look?'

[ 09-21-2015, 04:03 PM: Message edited by: Cernunnos ]

From: Perth, Scotland | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Roll of Honor Arra
Guard of the Citadel
Citizen # 401

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Arra stared in amazment at the mirror held before her. She had never seen anything so...so mystical. Arra swallowed a lump in her throat saying softly, "I will look." Arra leaned forward, grasping the mirror gently in her hands.

Peering into the depts Arra saw the darkness begin to swirl in a circle. As the swirling motion grew faster, a vision formed. There, Arra saw, was Shazur-dum only it was up in flames.

The scene changed showing Arra bending over her brother, who was lying on the floor of a chamber with shakles on his wrists and ankels. Barin gained consiousness and screamed in terror as the iron door, behind them, was slammed shut.

The vision changed again showing Arra and Barin's parents dying from the plaque. Arra felt tears begining to well up in her eyes as she watched her parents last moments on Earth.

The next vision was a picture of Melyanna and Arra riding towards a tower with the King and his guard. The sky rained arrows as the group proceded. The picture faded as the darkness came again.

Shaking, Arra handed the mirror back to the sage.

This message has been edited by Arra on 07-02-2001 at


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Cernunnos
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Citizen # 652

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'What did you see?' Sirri asked.

Arra described her visions as best as she could, while the dwarf translated her words for the three seers.


From: Perth, Scotland | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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