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Stinghen
Tinkerer of Games
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Joined: 14 Feb 2012
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re: One pit, two Dúnedain and four Trolls

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The Sun rides westward, and as the skies turn red, the four riders reach a small dell, where the road runs in between two sheer cliffs. Gimiladûn goes ahead, with Turchon next to him. Behind them, the two companions, Angdal and Lardan, converse in a low tone.

Turchon glances behind him for a time, and to either side afterwards. "These woods grow dark this time of the year, I hope we can make the ford by before the stars are all alight."

Gimiladûn shakes his head. 'I do not think it possible.' he says, looking ahead. 'If I well recall, the road bends northwards after this gorge, and then it's another Lár ere we reach the Ford.'

Turchon shrugs- "I have seen hunted men run faster, but we are in no such situation." He glances again towards the rear before saying- "Let us progress at a comfortable pace, for this is a peaceful errand and we are in good company."

Gimiladûn smiles. 'Indeed. I figure there may be a place to spend the night, just up ahead. There we can sit down, make a fire, and perhaps peek into our little tome.'

Turchon nods quietly as he urges his steed onward- "I do not doubt it."

Gimiladûn looks over, as they reach the top of the small elevation. Now the terrain to both sides open, and a gush of fresh air crosses the top of the hump. Gimiladûn takes a deep breath, and looks over the hill to the west. I think there's a cavern of sorts past that hill, we might use it to take cover for the night, and a fire lit inside might not be too telling of the presence of wanderers.’

Turchon Also takes a deep breath and scans the surroundings while saying- "Indeed, that would seem like a good idea. But these woods are home to many creatures and caves are chief Real Estate."

Gimiladûn narrows his eyes. 'I would never think any vile creatures would take dwelling so close to the Ford.'

Turchon Shrugs lightly in his saddle- "One can never tell the intentions of the wild, and the purpouse of that ford was never to keep beasts of nature at bay, nor does its traffic do the trick."

Gimiladûn shrugs. ‘I am not concerned with the beasts of the wild, these a simple fire can keep away. But you are right, we must be cautious.’

As the four men ride calmly, the Sun hides behind the hills to the west. A gloom falls upon the road, as night begins to crawl from the east. The sky is still bright, for the menacing clouds that loomed overhead upon their departure have broken for the while. All in all, it seemed a peaceful evening.

And then, when they least expected, the worst came upon them. For as they trudged, mildly heedless of their surroundings, suddenly the ground before them gives way. A pit. The two forwardmost horses fall, hopelessly, dragging their riders with them. And so does Lardan's. Only Angdal manages to stop his mount before falling as well.

The pit had been cunningly delved. It was deep and the walls were steep, and they arched slightly so that the bottom of the pit had a broader width than its mouth. Thus even a strong man with no armour could not climb out. The pit was broad enough, even for three men to fit in, with their horses. It had also been cunningly disguised, and it had to be, if it ever was to trick a Ranger of the North and a hawk-eyed sailor from Gondor, distracted though they were.

Turchon was caught completely off guard. His eyes had been to the road ahead and not the ground below when it suddenly gave way. Both horse and rider tumble down into the pit with the bearer taking the most immediate blow, breaking its two front legs almost immediatly, its chest pressed to the ground. Turchon lands after the now extremely violent horse. As the other tumbled down after him he decided quickly that no good would come of men trapped in a pit with stuggling horses. Quickly and with some manner of remorse he draws his knife, disabled though he was, and runs it across the throat of his loyal steed, muttering only a brief prayer in Sindarin. The beast struggles violently for a time, its blood spilling out over Turchon but it soon faints, to die in its sleep.

Gimiladûn also plummets down, heedless of what was taking place ere it was too late. He manages to get loose from the straps and saddle, and tumbles behind as the horse falls, landing on his back with a thud, the wind knocked out of him. But it was just as well that he did, for Lardan came right over Gimiladûn's horse. Now this one was considerably more unlucky - his horse flipped over, and as he fell face-first on Gimiladûn's struggling horse, his own mount came over him, killing both who were beneath.

Turchon was now coming to his senses, he watched as his own horse, which he had owned for several years, spills its life blood upon his clothes. After a time he glances towards his other unlucky companions and looks upon the toppled series of horses and rider with a grim frown. Knife still in hand he tries to break free from the body of his horse.

Gimiladûn sits up, with some difficulty. He had bitten his tongue upon the fall, and spits a mouthful of blood, coughing. For a while he struggles for breath, as his lungs had collapsed upon the fall.

Turchon stops fighting for freedom of movement and catches his own breath, he looks around before saying- "Be any alive and well?!?"

Gimiladûn coughs, huffs and puffs. He speaks with a thin voice, and it seems his mouth is thick with some liquid. ‘I am.’ He says.

Turchon sighs as he leans back against the pit wall, his head now towards the sky. "It... it seems as if we have been trapped... Ca... can you see our companions cousin?"

Finally Gimiladûn seems to have caught his wind again. 'N-no.' He rubs his eyes with the back of his glove, trying to rid it of the dust that have been cast over them.

Turchon lifts aside the head of his horse so as to see the voice, noting his cousins situation he says- "I have found you, and you I. There are three horses here, ‘twas four that set out from Thorenhad..."

Gimiladûn tries to stand, but doesn't find enough room for that - the pit's wall arches so that the bottom is broader than the mouth. Immediately they hear a call, from the top of the pit. 'Milord! Are you well? Lord Turchon? Lardan?' His cries go. Angdal at the least was not in the same predicament as they were.

Turchon calls out towards the voice- "Angdal my friend, think not of us but to your surroundings. A skilled hunter fashioned this trap, and he will not leave it long sprung. Do you carry rope lad, or something that could be used to pull us out of here."

Angdal shuffles through his saddle-packs. 'Nay, milord! No rope! No rope!' he sounds desperate, and runs to and fro, looking for a way to save his lord and his kinsman.

Turchon sighs and grunts as he tries to move his legs, he calls towards Angdal again- "Alright friend, then what you must do will be hard. You must leave us and ride with haste for Thorenhad. Unless my cousin can provide some better solution..."

Gimiladûn apparently has fallen into a brooding state. 'There is no hope towards Thorenhad. It is too far.' he says. 'You are right, cousin. Whatever delved this pit shall not leave it unheeded. The racket of man and horse tumbling down certainly has not gone unmarked. And the night is already upon us.' Gimiladûn looks up. 'Listen to me, Angdal. Your best chance lies to the east. Make for the Ford, as if the Dark Lord himself were on your heels. Therein lies our only hope. The elves would see your coming, for I am certain they know of our setting forth.’

Turchon Looks to Gimiladûn as Angdal looks from the edge of the pit, deperately- "Why bid him make for the ford? What hope lies there?"

Gimiladûn sighs, turning to Orendir. 'I think I know who delved this pit, Orendir.' he says. 'See, this was not delved by tools or claws. It was made with cunning, but hands with fingers made it.' The man turns to Turchon. 'Trolls. Certainly they do not dwell too close to the Ford, which means they would come from the west, if they approach by the road.'

Angdal hesitates. 'This is no time for hesitation, Angdal!’ Gimiladûn cries. ‘If I guess correctly, the only way for us to be saved and freed is if you reach Imladris, or if word of our plight reaches its folk somehow! Go now, with all haste!' Angdal remains there yet a while, then mounts his horse, and rides hard. 'I shall return for you, my lord!' he cries, before riding hard to the east.

Turchon nods- "Indeed, you are true in your words. No matter Angdal's speed they will soon be upon us before his return." The man looks around- "We must prepare in what way we can, a hold out knife... something with which to defend ourselves."

Gimiladûn nods, and tries to reach his saddle-bag. Failing to do that, he resorts to taking Lardan's longsword. 'Forgive me, friend, for though I once saved you from an early demise, still I have led you into your own end after all...' He speaks a prayer in Sindarin, and vows to return the blade to the fallen, and entomb him with dignity if the Captain of the Guard ever survived.

Turchon watches this proceeding before looking above them to the mouth of the pit. "There will be more than one, they're too stupid to think of this by themselves." He sighs again- "All that is left to do now is wait for their coming."

And, to prove his point, just as Turchon stops talking, the loud stomping of feet can be heard. The sounds suggest there are at least three. 'Where'd that other puny man go?' one voice asks. 'Donnow. Runnin' to the river he was.' says another. 'Oh, but if he escapes, he'll rat us out he will!' says a third. 'Don' be such a wuss!' cries back the second voice. 'He'll be dead before sunup!'

Turchon suddenly remembers something- "The tome, cousin, the tome must be hidden or saved! They will burn or destroy it!"

Gimiladûn turns to Turchon, and he goes pale. 'We must try to reach it first.' he says, lowering his voice because of the sounds of the approaching trolls. He immediately begins trying to move aside Lardan's horse. 'Come, help me, and keep it low!'

Turchon turns towards the same horse one leg still binding him to his own, he stretches his body with great effort and grasps hold of the saddle ties. "With me cousin. One, two, three..."

Gimiladûn pulls the horse upon three, and they manage to get the body off of Lardan. Panting, he proceeds to remove Lardan's body, with great care. Then the man of Gondor shuffles through his saddlebags, finally finding the tome. 'Now should we bury it?' he asks. The noise of the trolls betray their proximity, and the alarm in Gimiladûn’s voice speaks the same.

Turchon ponders this suggestion- "A rain might ruin it forever too... Dammed it all... Quickly! stuff it into your tunic, we must trust that we can safely hide it at a later point."

Gimiladûn shuffles the heavy and voluminous tome into the back of his tunic, so it is partially concealed at least by the cloak.

'Now shut it, ye twos!' cries the second voice. 'Here's be the pit! I knew it had been sprung!' The voices seemingly approach from the west.

Turchon tucks a knife into his boot and goes limp as the trolls come closer. "Go limp friend, or they will break your legs for fear of struggle."

Gimiladûn lies face-down, to conceal the naked blade.

Now the trolls have come. They are not three, but four. The fourth, however, had remained silent all the time, and still does. The trolls stoop over the pit, and look down. 'Aw, three dead men?' one of the trolls asks. He is promptly slapped in the ear. 'Shut it, you dumb moron! Theyr not dead, see? This one's a-breathin'!'

The troll makes an angry face, but at a quick glare from the silent troll, all thoughts of battle leave him. He turns back to the pit. "So 'os to go down'ere an' fish them? I sure ain't gonna!"

The silent troll points at the third one, that has as of yet not manifested about the victims of the trap. "You go down, yes. Go down, and raise them up, we'll put them in these here sacks." The troll produces three heavy sacks, seemingly stinking. "An' take 'em bags while you're at it!"

The troll grunts, but if he were to disagree, they'd just turn on him and toss him down the pit, so he just leaps down, landing near Turchon's horse's body with a stomp.

Turchon remains limp, for as long as he can be, whilst the troll stumbles around near him.

The troll immediately stoops to search Turchon's horse's saddlebags. He ters the straps using a pocket knife, then flings the bags over his shoulder, and out of the pit. He then proceeds to do the same with the other two horses.

Turchon manages to open his eyes ever so quickly as to get a glimpse at his trappers but quickly closes them before being spotted.

The troll finishes looting the horses' saddle-bags, and doesn't turn his attention to the men lying there at all. Once he is done tossing the loot out of the pit, he turns his attention to the two men. Gimiladûn had kept his eyes half-closed, and just as the troll stoops over him, he turns suddenly, slashing at the troll's face with Lardan's sword.

The unsuspecting troll does not even try to dodge, and thus the sword slashes at his nose. Immediately he clutches at his face, and closes his eyes, and begins spinning around, screaming in anger. He tramples the horses and Lardan's body, but luckily for Turchon and Gimiladûn, they are not struck by the onset of the troll's rage.

Turchon jumps then as well, rushing towards the troll, stabbing his knife into what he thought was the creature's spinal line until only the hilt remained visible.

And thus, the troll is completely unaware when Turchon leaps, and his knife finds its mark at the base of the fiend's spine. However, it takes more than a knife to break a troll's bones, and while it cuts deep into its skin, the troll is not crippled.

Turchon leaves the knife imbedded there and raises his fists in a combative stance, all other options exhausted.

Once the troll's skin is broken, it turns in wrath at Turchon. He uncovers his face, revealing that the slash had taken away his nose, and black blood gushed forth from the wound, in spurts. 'Puny man! Your thorn don't hurt me! Now I'll show it t'you!' He tries to slap Turchon with an open palm, forgetting Gimiladûn, who by now had managed to stand.

Turchon back peddles until he ends up against the pit wall. He grimaces as he raises his hands to shield his center mass and face, expecting the worst...

The slap hits him hard, but the troll's anger makes it less deadly as it would otherwise have been. Turchon is flung against the wall, but no bones are broken... yet. And that is when Gimiladûn attacks. He swings his blade wide, aiming for the troll's ankle. The sword cuts the ankle, but it cracks and shatters. The troll squeals, and turns, slapping Gimiladûn with the back his hand.

The captain of Gondor is surprised, not expecting for the blade to shatter, and is hit hard, being forced back, and tripping over the dead bodies of the horses, falling on his back. As he tries to stand back up, however, the trolls on the top of the pit finally manifest themselves. A small rock is flung, not large enough to tear the head off a man, but enough to put him out of the fight. It hits Gimiladûn's head, and the man falls face-first, unconscious. Blood gushes from his head where the stone had hit it.

Turchon lunges out at the trolls- "Evil omens follow you! Elves be on our trails and yours too should you capture us. They'll turn you to stone in an instant with but a glance!"

The troll goes really angry at the mention of Elves. 'No, you're not bringin' elfs to the dens of ours! We'll take you, an'we will eat you!' Again the troll slaps at Turchon.

Turchon falls to the ground of the pit upon the second slap, he bleeds as he lays still, deciding that struggle is pointless.

The troll huffs as his strike falls true. 'Hah! No elfs now, eh, puny man? We takes you!' The creature then picks Turchon with no ceremony. He puts the Ranger into a large burlap sack, smelling of rotten meat, and ties it up, flinging it out of the pit. The sack, with the ranger inside, falls on the soft ground with a thud, and one of the trolls picks him up, carrying him under his armpit.

Once Turchon is "dealt with", the troll moves over to Gimiladûn. The Captain of the Guard is still unconscious, and the troll picks him up, puts him inside another sack, and hurls him over the pit's edge as well. ‘Oi, fetch one o’these horses too, we’ll make a fine roast tonight, to celebrate our fortunes!’ The nose-less troll howls in delight, and takes the body of Gimiladûn’s horse over his shoulder, before climbing back out of the pit.

Now the four trolls run swiftly back to their den, passing out of the roads, heading northwards to their warren, with their prize. It would be an evil night for Turchon and Gimiladûn, followed by an even bitterer Sunrise.
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