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 Post subject: Re: Unsung Heroes - Fiction by jdizzy001
PostPosted: Wed Apr 13, 2016 8:43 pm 
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The wizard opened his eyes to nothing once more. He could see nothing and his strength was spent. I can't even light my staff. I'm so weak. "I yield!" Radagast yelled into the darkness, "Do you hear me creature? I surrender to your horrid game. Come and finish me. I know you're there."

In silence Radagast sat, but only for a moment, "That is all I wanted to hear, old friend," came a familiar voice.

Radagast perked up, "I know your voice, like an echo from a past age."

"More like two ages, or is it three now," the voice answered. It was a deep voice Radagast noticed. Deep, but not sinister.

"You have me at an advantage. I do not remember your voice. You have also remained hidden from me. Don't kill me in a state of confusion. Speak your name before you add my death to your title," requested Radagast.

"Oh my dear friend Aiwendil," came the voice.

Radagast raised his brow, "No one has called me by that name in a very, long, time," the brown wizard slowly pushed himself up from the floor, "In fact, only four others know me by Aiwendil. Curumo, Olorin, Pallando, and Alatar, my Istar cousins," Radagast paused and pondered for a moment, "Alatar, is that you?"

There was a space of silence followed by a low, slow, chuckle, "Indeed, 'tis I, Alatar the Blue, Morinehtar as elves called me."

Radagast laughed, "Where are you? Illuminate this place, I can not see."

"Nor I," stated Alatar, "that is why I did not illuminate my labyrinth."

"I don't understand," began Radagast.

"I will explain it in time. For now, follow the sound of my voice, we have much to discuss," said Alatar.

Radagast followed Alatar's instructions. He listened to Alatar guide him, left, then right, then forward. On an on until Alatar told him to halt, "Now will you provide me with some light?" asked Radagast.

"You're one of the Istar, do it yourself," stated Alatar.

"I would, but I have been lost in this maze for a long time. I no longer have the strength. I grow weary," explained the brown wizard, "Why are you keeping your sanctum so dark?"

"To ensure all who enter have no advantage over me. I will be master of my own domain," answered Alatar. His voice was closer now. Radagast could hear the sound of Alatar's staff on the stone floor.

"Alatar, you're speaking in riddles. Speak with me as you once did. As a friend," asked Radagast.

"I am blind. My eyes, Aiwendil. He took my sight," Alatar said bluntly. He was standing next to Radagast now.

"Who took your sight?"

"Pallando. He has been corrupted by the Golden King. When I refused the Golden King's bribes Pallando captured and tortured me. Before I could escape he took my eyes. Then, one night while he reveled in the debaucheries offered to him by the king of Abrakhan, I used what bearing I had and escaped into the night. I managed to regain my staff of power, but that was it. I fled naked into the Harad wastes. Blind, naked, and half-dead I managed to find this crag. I used the powers afforded to me by my staff to create this sanctum. The Golden King sent many hunters after me. They found my sanctum but were lost in the bowels of the labyrinth. Many have entered here and only I know its secret, for it is mine, I made it, and I will keep it," explained Alatar.

"So Pallando too is lost," Radagast stated rather somberly.

"Too? Who else has fallen?" asked the blue wizard.

"Curumo has abandoned reason for madness. He spends his days locked in his sanctum poring over ancient tomes searching for the answer to all riddles," explained Radagast.

"And what of Olorin? Is he still true to our cause," questioned Alatar.

"His wit has been slowed by his love for the halfling's leaf. He thinks he has found Sauron's ring," stated the brown wizard.

Alatar sighed. Radagast heard the blue wizard tap his staff on the ground and the chamber was illuminated, "It seems you and I will have to do then."

Radagast squinted before his eyes adjusted. Once he could see, he looked at Alatar. The wizard was dressed in blue robes, his eyes were covered with a strip of blue cloth he had tied around his head. Its color match that of his robe so Radagast assumed it was ripped from the hem of his cloak. In his hand the blue wizard held a staff whose head was illuminated by the chamber. The brown wizard looked around, on the far end of the chamber was a pile of furs where Alatar slept, next to that was a small case filled with scrolls of paper. Beyond those two things, the massive chamber was bare, save the numerous arching doorways leading back into the labyrinth. Finally, Radagast's gaze settled onto Alatar, "Yes, it seems we two will have to stop Pallando. Tell me, who is this Golden King?"

Alatar shook his head slowly, "He is the ruler of Abrakhan. In times past it was an important city between Gondor and Umbar, the rulers accumulated massive wealth. I have seen many kingdoms in this Middle-Earth, Radagast, and I tell you, I have never seen a city of such wealth! The walls, streets, and structures are all gilded, there is nothing the city does not possess. Except an Istar. When Pallando and I passed through the city we were seized by the Abrakhan guard. We were taken before the king and asked to join his court. At first we both refused, however, the Golden King is not accustomed to being told 'no.' It was then that he started bribing us. He offered us gold, jewels, furs, silks, foods, women and anything else you can fathom. I don't know why or how, but Pallando succumbed. The rest you know."
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 Post subject: Re: Unsung Heroes - Fiction by jdizzy001
PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2016 5:59 pm 
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Beowdil reached down into the water of the Oasis. It was warm, but cooler than the surrounding air. He took a handful and raised it to his mouth. The life giving liquid run down his parched throat. He look across the pond of the oasis at May and Yursaa. They were filling everyone's waterskins before departing. He stared at the lovely women longingly. They were standing in the water trying to cool down. They allowed the skirt of their robes to soak in the water. They are beautiful, he said to himself. He smiled to himself when he was suddenly seized by pang of guilt. Beowdil quickly turned his head and looked over at his dwarf companion who was snoozing under a palm tree.

Beowdil was surprised, despite the time they had been away from this oasis, when he first met Yursaa, he could still see residual tracks in the sand where he fought the mighty half-troll. The bodies had all been picked clean by scavengers and many of the bones were either buried by the sand or hauled off as well. Beowdil placed the last bit of dried fruit from his ration into is mouth, scooped up one last mouthful of water, then stood up.

"May, Yursaa, are you two ready to continue onward? The sun is almost set," Bewodil called to them across the pond. He walked over to Belok and tapped the bottom of his boot with his foot. The dwarf slowly opened his eyes.

"Is it time?" he asked,

"Nearly. The sun is setting. May and Yursaa agreed that it would be easier to travel at night. However, tracking the Mahud is going to be almost impossible. To make matters worse, we still don't know what happened to Radagast," explained Beowdil.

"Maybe we should wait for him," suggested Belok.

"The thought has crossed my mind. But we are all here in this desert for different reasons. Radagast is here to stop some unseen threat, I am here to find my wife, Ariel, and you are here," Beowdil paused, "why are you still here? You have been freed from your captors, and you are free to go."

"And let you have all the fun?" Belok chuckled, "No, I think I will stay here with you Beowdil. You can't have all the women in Harad," the dwarf joked.

Beowdil shuffled nervously. He looked over at May and Yursaa who were walking over towards the two adventurers, "My sister and I have filled the waterskins. We are ready to depart," stated Yursaa. She stopped at Beowdil's side and gingerly stretched out her fingers until they touched her husbands. Beowdil blushed, making his sunburned face more red. The fighting man had noticed Yursaa had been making more advances towards him. He continued to turned her away, but with each passing day, it grew more difficult. May could see her sister's actions were making Beowdil uncomfortable so she tried to persuade her sister to stop by attempting to elbow her unobserved by the rest of the party. Yursaa glared at May, Belok stifled a grin.

Beowdil broke the awkward silence, "Well, perhaps we should be leaving." The company agreed and moved towards their small caravan. Each member of the company took their place in the caravan. As Beowdil moved to the front he heard a distant voice.

"Did you plan to leave without me?" Everyone in the company turned to see where the noise was coming from. On the far end of the oasis they saw the Brown wizard. At his side was a man of similar robed in blue. Over his eyes he wore a blue cloth wrap.
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 Post subject: Re: Unsung Heroes - Fiction by jdizzy001
PostPosted: Tue Jul 26, 2016 7:38 pm 
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Beowdil was glad for the extra company, and skill. Between himself, May, Yursaa, and the two wizards the company was able to follow the Mahud's tracks. Despite this, from the top of a sandy dune, Beowdil soon found himself gazing down into an abandoned campsite, "where did they all go?" He asked.

"I couldn't say, other than eastward," stated Radagast. With a slow pace the brown wizard began to make his way into the camp.

As the caravan slow descended into the empty encampment Belok asked, "If the Mahud are nomads, why would they leave all their tents behind?"

"That is what I want to know too," stated May, "It is fool hardy to travel without supplies in this land." As the caravan entered the encampment everyone spread out and began looking through the abandoned tents for any sign of the Mahud. May moved from tent to tent. She found trinkets of bone, sleeping furs, spare clothes and a few other items but not a single person. Once the caravan regrouped in the camp's center point they discussed their findings.

May listened as everyone spoke in turn, "All I found were trinkets," said one of her companions, "I found nothing," said another, "Nothing but sand," said the dwarf. It was Radagast, she noticed, who began to put the pieces of the puzzle together.

"Perhaps," he began, "The answer to our question is not in what we find, but what we didn't find. Beowdil, did you find any food?"

"No."

"Belok, did you find any weapons?"

"No."

"May, Yusraa, did you find any water?

"No."

"Alatar, have you sensed the presence of anything?"

"Well," began Alatar, "the half-trolls. I can sense they were anxious and excited. The warriors were also the same. If I didn't know any better," Alatar paused as he honed his spell of sight he continually maintained, "these people were leaving for war. And it seems that none of them planned to return," the blue wizard finished.

"Therein, we find our answer," stated Radagast. Someone has recruited the Mahud. But who?" Pondered Radagast.

Beowdil looked around at the abandoned camp. As he surveyed the ghost town a glint of light caught his eye from the far east edge of camp. As his companions talked he slowly moved towards the shining object on the ground. As he moved he felt someone grab his hand. He turned back to see Yusraa. Beowdil did nothing to remove his hand.

"What is it?" She asked, "Did you find something?"

"It may be nothing, come and see."

May watched as Beowdil and Yusraa separated themselves from the camp. Hand in hand. A piece of her resented Yusraa's forthright attitude. Another piece of her wished she too was confident enough to act more the part of Beowdil's wife.

On the ground Beowdil and Yusraa found a gold coin. It had a stamp of what looked like a mask upon it, "I've seen this before. From merchants passing through our camp back home."

Beowdil reached down and took the coin from the sand, "I saw a few too." Stated the farmer, "Who are they from?" Beowdil stood up, "Hey!" He called to his cohort, "I've found something, come here!"

The travelers moved to Beowdil and Yusraa, "What is it?" Asked Belok. Beowdil extended the coin to the dwarf he examined then coin then moaned. "It's from the golden city. That face on the coin," Belok held out the coin for all to see, "It's the Golden King."

Alatar sighed, "If the Golden King has bought the tribe for war then indeed, a foul act is afoot. We must stop him."

"Wait, who is the Golden King?" Asked Beowdil.

"The rotten shadow-lover who forced me into slavery," stated Belok "He is the wealthiest creature I have ever encountered. Do you recall the tale of Erebor and the gold within that mountain? The Golden King's wealth makes Erebor appear as nothing more than a few coppers. Between his conquests, treachery and the cursed mountain he's hollowed out, that king is arguably the wealthiest creature in Middle-Earth. And that is saying a lot coming from a dwarf."

"On then, to the Golden City," stated Alatar, "I'm sure we will find many answers there." The company was in agreement. They regrouped and began to move out.

"Belok," Radagast called to the dwarf, "Lead the way."

Belok nodded.

"Beowdil, come to me. I must speak with you," Radagast said as he fell back to the rear of the caravan. The fighting man met him as the others began to move out.

"What is it?" He asked. He noticed the wizard carried a wad of green cloth folded under one arm.

The wizard unrolled the cloth. It was a dress. Beowdil recognized it instantly, "It can not be," he stated.

"I found it among the camp. As you can see, this dress is not of Harad make. It is from Dale," stated the wizard.

Beowdil grabbed the dress and began to inspect it. He turned it over and over in his hands. Aside from a few tears and soiled marks the dress was in good condition, "But how? She was taken by the Uruks."

"Then we found her amulet among the Haradrim. It is clear to me that she is now in the possession of the Mahud, who are heading to the Golden City." Explained Radagast the Brown.
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 Post subject: Re: Unsung Heroes - Fiction by jdizzy001
PostPosted: Sat Oct 15, 2016 4:44 am 
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"Anyone is allowed into the city," began Belok, "in fact, the King prefers it. He welcomes all to swoon over his wealth. The entire city has been covered in gold. According to the scholars, who I heard talking, it was all done in previous ages. The rulers of Abrakhan used their position to accumulate massive amounts of riches during Harad's bloody history," he continued to speak as the company traveled. Beowdil, despite his best efforts, was no longer able to focus on Belok's tale. The caravan was now traveling on a main road. Though movements were now easier, Beowdil felt nervous being so exposed. He turned his head from side to side gazing off at the rolling dunes. He searched for any movement out of the ordinary, he felt uneasy in such a wild country.

He noticed his caravan was slowly joined by others. Soon, his company stretched behind and ahead for as far as he could see. Beowdil leaned over to May who walked beside him, "who are all of these people?"

"Travelers, like us. The Golden City is home to more people than you have ever seen. So much happens here. Be at peace husband, there is strength in numbers. We have nothing to fear. At the moment," May reached up and touched Beowdil's arm. She felt her face flush. May slowly opened and closed her fingers on Beowdil's arm. It was gritty and sweaty yet comforting. She had not known Beowdil long, but she could tell that he was an honorable man. Worthy of the title husband which she had bestowed upon him. She  looked up at her man, "Beowdil," she began.

The farmer turned to look at her, "Yes?" he asked.

May felt her face flush for a second time. Her mind suddenly raced as she began to think of Beowdil, herself, Yusraa, and Ariel, "Never mind." May quickly broke her gaze and looked forward.

Near an oasis, by the road, and under the stars, Beowdil and his company rested. The huge line of caravans had also set up camp along the road. It was now lit with many campfires, and in the distance could be seen the fires of the city Abrakhan. The farmer laid upon his sleeping furs which he arranged near the campfire. Sitting to his right was Belok, and on his left was Radagast and Alatar. They were all still glistening from the sweat of the day. Behind Beowdil one of the company's tents was erected. Inside May and Yusraa could be heard moving about and speaking in low whispers.

"Tomorrow we will enter Abrakhan," stated Radagast.

"Have you thought this far ahead?" asked Beowdil. They spoke in the common tongue of Middle-Earth so the near by travelers could not understand.

Radagast, "I know what must be done."

Alatar chuckled, "You just don't know how to do it. Pallando and I already tried to convert the Golden King. You know how that tale resolved."

"Indeed," nodded Radagast. Beowdil could see the wizard was at a loss of how to proceed.

They sat in silence pondering, finally Belok spoke, "Let's worry about reaching the city first. We are yet a day away. We'll think of something."

"What of you Beowdil?" asked the brown wizard, "Will you help me? Upon reaching the city the terms of our agreement will have been fulfilled."

Beowdil smiled, "Our agreement was met long ago. If you recall, I agreed to stay with you until we reached Harad. We have been in Harad for some time. I will continue to aid you until our paths diverge."

Alatar chuckled once more.

"Is something funny?" asked Beowdil.

"If you only knew when those paths forked. You may have refused Radagast's offer in the woods."

"What do you speak of?" asked Beowdil.

Radagast spoke, "Alatar may be blind, but his vision is keenest of the istari. He has been blessed with the gift of foresight."

"Foresight," said Belok, "few are those who possess such a gift."

"And much like those who possess it, I see little. Glimpses if you will," explained Alatar.

"What do you see, wizard?" Asked Beowdil.

"As I said, only glimpses. I see you and Radagast. I also see your family, farmer. You, Yusraa and May," began Alatar.

"Are my sons there?"

Alatar nodded.

"Are they well? Where are they, and what of Ariel?"

"Careful, Farmer, it is only a glimpse, and knowing too much harms more than it benefits. Yes, I see you all, and you seem well but that is all I see. Pester me no more with this. Let a blind old man be," Alatar was grinning now.

"You wizards," scoffed Belok, "Always more trouble than you're worth." All four of the men laughed at his statement.

From behind them, the tent flap was heard as it opened. May stepped out holding the caravan's water bladders, "Beowdil, I am going to fetch water. Will you help me?" she asked in Haradish.

Beowdil pushed himself up from the ground, "Of course, my dear." The entire camp froze, including the farmer. Never had he referred to Yusraa or May by a term of endearment. He didn't need to look but he could feel May's smile. Beowdil cleared his throat, finished standing and took a portion of the water bladders, "to the oasis."
----------------------------------------------
Gently, quietly and slowly Beowdil and May filled the water bladders with the water from the oasis. A few travelers from the other caravans were also there but everyone kept to themselves. Beowdil let the cool of the water creep up his arm then down his spine. For the first time in a long time, he shivered. As he moved the water bladder in the oasis he felt his hand bump into May's.

"Excuse me," May said.

"No. All is well," Beowdil released the water bladder with one hand and clasped May's. He looked her in the eyes and spoke, "You have been nothing but kind to me and I have repaid you with silence and loneliness. You left your home and agreed to wed and travel with a stranger so your younger sister could also wed. I see, May, that you bear a strength most free folk will never muster."

"Free folk?" questioned May.

"The Free folk. Men of Dale, Gondor, Rohan, the Elves of Mirkwood, the Dwarves of Erebor, the lands from whence I came. Where the sun shines, and water flows down the mighty Anduin in currents far greater than you have seen. Where white snow falls and yields to a green spring, where life isn't so harsh, where men and women love and children play."

"It sounds lovely," May paused. With her right hand she set down the water bladder she filled. The woman then turned to face Beowdil. She stood, and he followed, "My husband. Will you take me there? Will you take me to see your land?"

Beowdil dropped the water bladder in his left hand and clasped both of May's. Holding them close to his chest he answered, "Yes. I will take you wherever I go," he leaned forward and for the first time, kissed his bride.
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 Post subject: Re: Unsung Heroes - Fiction by jdizzy001
PostPosted: Sun Oct 16, 2016 6:28 pm 
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Beowdil was in awe as he neared the mighty city of Abrakhan. Veins of gold ran up the city walls much like ivy crawls up a wall in Dale. Unbeknownst to him, there seemed to be an ever growing throng of travelers moving towards the city. He squinted, shaded his vision with a raised hand and scanned the city walls. Men, clad in robes with gold colored armor, armed with bows stood guard. The line of travelers slowed to a crawl as each party was admitted to the city individually. Despite their proximity to the city, Beowdil understood now why it would take another day to enter the city's gates. The many different companies moved very slowly.

It was past noon once Beowdil's company reached the high arching city gates. Much like the walls, veins of gold reached to the top of the wooden doors. Yusraa, who walked near Beowdil, leaned over, "The gold is impressive, but when our people speak of the city's doors, we marvel at the height of the timbers which make up the doors," she explained.

"I imagine so," Beowdil said with a nod, "I haven't seen timbers of this height since I left Dale." Beowdil turned his attention to the guards who were asking Belok and Radagast a series of questions. They appeared like the same guards who stood upon the walls. They carried a bow, a curved sword and a spear. They were clad in the same scarlet colored robes, adorned with the same gold colored armor. All save two. The two who caught Beowdil's eye were hulking men. Both overweight with round, bare bellies. They each carried an impressive sword and wore, in addition to their trousers, a head cover and a thick gold chain around their neck.

"They are the king's personal guard. They are usually with the Golden King, however, they also oversee the activities of the regular warriors," explained Yusraa.

"You seem to know a great deal about Abrakhan," stated Beowdil. He looked at the young woman. Her smooth, tanned skin creased as she smiled. A strand of dark hair fell out from under the shawl she wore on her head to block the sun. Beowdil reached up and gently pushed it back.

"I do. I know much about this city," stated Yusraa.

"Excellent," answered Beowdil.

Their conversation came to an abrupt end as Radagast interrupted, "Come!" The mighty city doors were opened by a handful of guards and the company was allowed to enter.

They passed under the high archway. Beowdil looked over at Belok who was nearby, "I never thought I would return to this place," he said to the farmer over the din of people. Immediately after passing through the gate, the noise escalated. They immediately entered a market. It was crowded with vendors and passing people. Beowdil was surprised. Even in Dale, he had never seen such a concentration of people. He was speechless.

Radagast raised his staff slightly, for his company to see, "Follow me, we were issued a token which will allow our caravan to set up camp at the west end of town." He spoke loudly as he looked over his shoulder at his traveling companions. They pushed passed the countless throng of people. Beowdil stared at the buildings, each crafted from a mixture of bricks and gold. The main road was also made of stone and veins of gold. Beowdil was in awe. Never had he seen so much gold. In addition to the buildings, streets and walls, it also adorned the city's patrons.

Yusraa, who noticed Beowdil's bewilderment, placed a hand upon his arm, "Fear not, husband. Stay close to me and I will ensure your safety," she joked.

Beowdil looked at Yusraa and smiled, "Yes. I would like that."

As the company moved towards the west end of town, Beowdil noticed a large circular building. Coming from the inside the farmer could hear cheers and crashes of iron. Belok nudged the man from Dale, "That is the stadium. The slaves are made to fight there," the dwarf paused, "That is where I was made to fight. For a long time." Silently, the company passed. As they moved through the city both Yusraa and Belok pointed out interesting locations, the grand market, the central oasis, the aquaducts, the Golden Library and other buildings. Each one appeared more grand than the previous. Slowly, however, the city's grandeur lessened as they approached the west end. Buildings became smaller, and the gold less frequent. Soon, Beowdil noticed the shrinking buildings were no more than single dwelling huts separated by large open lots of sand. Some of the lots were bare, others were filled with the belongings of different caravans.

"What happened?" he asked Belok.

"This is where travelers stay. The huts are for guards to ensure there are no troubles among the different caravaners," explained the dwarf.

Radagast approached a guard and extended the token he received at the city's main gate. They exchanged few words. The guard pointed to an empty plot of sand, then turned away. The Brown wizard turned to the company, "Welcome home," he said as he extended his staff towards the plot of sand, "this is where we shall stay."
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