(Open Roleplay Opportunity) The Many Plans Of The Many Colored Wizard

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Mericc:
   (I thought I would create a nice roleplaying opportunity for anyone in the kin who would care to participate and flesh out their Lotro characters, and have a little storytelling fun along the way. This story is open for anyone to contribute sections to and since I don't really have an overall plan of where this story is going, feel free to take it where you think it would be best. The story begins with the known transport of Pipeweed that Saruman was shipping from the Shire to his fortress at Isengard and we'll see where it goes from there. I would only suggest a few rules, try and keep future sections short enough so that people can play off of each other and the action that is happening, if people want to get together in game and craft conversations and story points, that is fine, but I want to give everyone a chance to contribute. The second rule is to try and stay true to Tolkien lore, most of us know from the books that the trasport of Pipeweed continues long after whatever actions we take here, so keep that in mind, and also keep in mind that our characters are mostly oblivious to the bigger and grander purposes of this war. We know that the Fellowship has some part in it, and the Grey Company as well, but as for it's ultimate design, we are in the dark. Hopefully we can get a lot of fun and participation out of this, I leave the rest up to you.)

   The caravan reached a break between two hills as dawn broke over the Bonevales.
As it traveled through, shadows from the occasional hillside crypt or ruined tower
twisted it's way across the wagons, creating a sense of dread and uneasiness amongst the
twenty or so men hired to escort it. This feeling tempered even the mercurial nature of
the Overseer and his strong men who would, under normal circumstances, be barking orders
and liberally using whip and blade to encourage haste in this dangerous country.
   Not that Overseer Grallak needed any particular reason to resort to violent means, one
does not expect civility and manners from a half-orc, and Grallak did not fail to live up
to the courseness of his breed. Then again, when your boss is a Wizard, you tend to take
extra care in making sure to keep him happy, and Saruman was not one who tolerated lateness
and failure. Grallak only had to remember the fate of his predecessor, whose head hung from one
the gate of Isengard for failure with the last shipment, to remind him.
    Ahead the road that the caravan was on made a sharp turn to the right, around one of
the large hills in the area, and after that, the far easier trip to Pren Gwyth. The
drivers were eager to reach the turn and get sight of country far less dismal than the one
they had been travelling for the past two days, lands firmly under White Hand control.
Four wagons, filled with dozens of barrels, along with other provisions,
made their way through the pass. And one other thing that Grallak was most nervous about,
locked tightly in the most heavily guarded wagon in rear of the caravan. But that was
something that the rest of the caravan need not know about, that was something that Grallak
planned to deliver to the Wizard personally. Only Grallak would recieve the prize for that. 
    Before the Overseer could wrap his mind around the wealth that would be his for his
great service to Saruman, the front Wagon came to a sudden halt, right as it was making
the final turn into Pren Gwyth, almost causing Grallak to lose his balance, and quite
removing his rather limited stores of patience and tolerance.
   
   "What dur ye think yar doen yer rats, get that wagon a moving befores I have the hides
torn of the lot of ye."    But he could not see what had stopped the wagon since it was
screened by the overhanding hillside to the right and had to get off of his wagon to
investigate. As he made his way to the front, quite willing to make good on his threat, he was
taken aback by what he saw.

    In the middle of the road, blocking the caravan, stood a man. He was armoured from
head to toe in blue and tan plate armour, an intricate longsword in one hand, and in the
other, a many pointed shield with the image of a lone mountain, emblazoned on its front.
An opening in the man's helmet showed forth a long full mustache and eyes of dark coal
that peered out and gave the man a look of supreme confidence that bordored almost on
insolence.
   
     Grallak loosed the ties holding his much used whip and snarled at the stranger
"Who do yer think ye are, getting in the way of my transport? This stuff is bound for Galtrev
and I'll not be late because of some vagabond traveler. Get yer gone and out of my way
before I lays the whip to ye." But the stranger did not move. He only held his shield out
in front of him, sword at the ready, barring the way. Grallak went to make a threatening
move but something in the stranger made him hold back, at least, not without some back-up.
    But it was on the way, twenty men and half-orcs, wickedly armed and foul tempered,
came around the bend to see what all the commotion was. Grallak's courage rose with the
numbers surrounding him and he sneered at the stranger, broken teeth breaking a grin not
even his mother would love. The stranger did not flinch at this sudden change in the odds,
only continuing his stand in front of the lead wagon.
 
  "Insolent dog" shouted Grallak, "I'll teach ye yer proper place in this world and make
an example of ye as ar warning not to mess with the White Hand." Grallak and his men moved
forward at the stranger and prepared to attack. What was one man to do against twenty? The
armoured stranger lifted up his shield in a defensive stance, pointed his sword at the
White Hand force and shouted, and suddenly a Grallak's world became a lot more
complicated...       
 

Tuiliel:
...A horrible smirk crossed Grallak's face; whom did this arrogant fool think he was dealing with? At the wave of his arm, two brutish men took a step forward towards the lone warrior.

Only one managed a second step.

The other crashed to the ground at Grallak's feet with a dull thud, a grey-feathered arrow protruding from the perfect center of his heart.

Grallak's eyes urgently scannned his surroundings for the archer, and his face contorted into a hideous leer as they found--and feasted upon--their target. Perched upon a branch above the warrior's head was an elf maiden, plainly clad in deerskin and a rough green cloak. Long black tresses spilled freely over her shoulders, and her leaf-green eyes stared coldly at the overseer. Her expression, dark and grim, contrasted sharply with her fair and delicate features.

"Now here's a rare treat! Come out of your hidey-hole, mouse, and play with us!"

The slightest twitch of the elf's slender fingers would have sent an arrow through Grallak's throat, but those who had seen Tuiliel at work knew the huntress' hands were always steady. She sat in perfect stillness awaiting her leader's next move.

The caravan escort had no such discipline. Another half-orc rushed forward, this time meeting the point of the warrior's sword. Grallak heard more than one man's shouts now and realized that the stranger and his pretty pet were not alone. This must be dealt with quickly or he risked delay--or worse--discovery.

Momentarily distracted by the fight, nobody saw the small motion of Grallak's finger, except the one trained to be watching for it. But everyone heard the dreadful twang and hiss as one of Grallak's party raised an enormous, crudely crafted bow and fired into the trees.

The huntress' body barely made a sound as it landed in the grass...

Mericc:
But it was not the deadly orc arrow that felled Tuiliel from her branch above the battle..

 
  One hundred paces away, high up in another tree, another patron of the hunter's art
perched. Aqualondo had been impatiently awaiting the armoured warrior's signal to attack,
slightly annoyed that his long-time traveling companion was the one that got to make the
grand showy entrance instead of someone far more suited to the role, namely...Aqualondo.
Once Mericc gave the signal and Tuiliel opened fire on the lead half-orc, Aqualondo opened
fire at the rear of the column, downing two half-orcs in quick succession, causing noise
and panic that Grallak heard up at the front of the line.   
 
  Aqualondo, pleased with himself, as he always was, prepared to continue having fun at
half-orc expense when he caught something out of the corner of his eye. A large half-orc
with a wicked looking bow straight out of the Evil-Looking-Implements-Of-Death 3018 Catalog,
took aim at where Tuiliel was positioned. Aqualondo could tell that the arrow was well
aimed and that he would not be able shoot the archer before his arrow left his bow so he
decided on a much more dashing and impressive feat. He took quick aim at the quiver over
Tuiliel's left shoulder, adopted a hasty version of one of his heroic poses(He had several
in stock, Dashing, Heroic, Lady-killer, and the rare Make-A-Nazgul-Blush) and shot.
 
  The arrow sped from his hands, mere moments before the half-orcs arrow was loosed.
Aqualondo's form was perfect, his motion natural as always, he felt sure that there was no
way possible, not in a million years, that he could miss his mark.

He missed...

   The arrow , possibly influenced by too much heroic pose, came up low, hitting
Tuiliel in the shoulder and toppling her off of her branch just in time so that the deadlier,
and better aimed orc arrow, shot over it's target, instead of delivering a fatal blow.
Aqualondo's eyes widened and he noted to himself that if asked, he either meant to do that,
or it was Eluridan's fault, whichever seems more plausible at the time.

   In the meantime, the battle along the caravan continued as Mericc backed off towards
Tuiliel to stand over and guard the injured hunter and Grallak rallied his forces to
strike back and protect his precious cargo...





Digger:
[[While I don't have time to contribute, I am following this story closely.  Thank you one and all.]]

Digger

Mericc:
   Despite an effective and promising start, things were not looking well for Mericc and
company. A half a dozen plus half-orcs remained with one member of the ambush seriously
injured and the other two pinned down at their respective positions. Tuiliel's injury had
forced Mericc to take an unfortunate defensive position that limited his mobility and a few
of Grallak's forces, armed with bows, kept Aqualondo occupied towards the rear. The Overseer
was shouting orders from the middle of the caravan when suddenly another entered the fray.
   
   From an outcropping of rocks a man ran into the battle with a shout. Before Grallak's
men knew what hit them, a long barbed javelin had pierced one through the chest, pinning
him against the side of one of the caravan wagons. A section of Grallak's forces disengaged
to deal with this new threat, relieving Mericc and Aqualondo somewhat.
   
   The newcomer was dressed in tanned leather armour, a green turban and cloak, and was
identified by Mericc immediately for the long thick black beard, large war spear, and fierce
contenance that he always wore on his face. It was Guanlos, the dour and humorless Ranger
who sometimes gave Mericc assistance when he was not pressed by business of his own. With a
shout Guanlos engaged a few of Grallak's men, wielding his spear with grace and power, weaving
a deadly dance of death and mayhem and pushing the half-orcs to adopt a defensive position
of their own.

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