« Back
Generated: Feb 07, 2020 9:03 PM
Post last updated: Feb 07, 2020 9:03 PM
those who have not swords
Orc Decima and Elf Macilnie in Arda
Permalink Mark Unread

There isn't much in the way of a road, entering or leaving the elven realm of Lothlorien. Small paths, here and there, kept passable only because wildlife find them just as convenient as the rare elf. The only real way south or north is by boat, or by a long detour east or west, or a slow pick through woodlands where someone inexperienced is more likely to get lost than not. No one goes east anymore, not since the shadow fell over the southern reaches of the Greenwood - Mirkwood, as those few who bother gossiping about the outside world call it now.

To the west and a bit to the north is, theoretically, a path through (more over) the mountains - the Redhorn Gate, the one usually used by the few parties visiting Lothlorien. The goblins of the Misty Mountains are supposed to be few, especially this far south, ever since their many wars with the dwarves, but the pass still has a reputation for danger and treachery.

Relevant to her, it is quickly becoming very, very cold, even under the high summer sun, and the only food around is what she's carrying. The streams at least are clear, flush with the last of the spring snow melt, and while they're bitterly cold they're not yet frozen.

Permalink Mark Unread

Macilnië wraps her braid around her neck like a scarf, shrugs the strap of her bag higher on her shoulder, and sets off along the stream.  The headwaters should be well up into the mountains, and she knows it will be nearly impossible to navigate by the sun or stars in the gloom.

As she walks, she keeps a close watch on the surrounding vegetation, ready to defend herself or gather food as the case may be.  She has several hours yet before it becomes urgent to find a good campsite, but she can stop if she finds anything to hunt or gather for food.

Permalink Mark Unread

The route's mostly plain and long and rocky. There's birds even this high up, many of them curious about her. She doesn't meet anything foul, even on her second day, when she's climbed past the last of the non-lichen vegetation and is skirting the summer's snow line.

Still, it's a gorgeous view, the fields and woods and streams laid out behind her, the mountainside banded with different colors of rock.

Permalink Mark Unread

Macilnië sings.  There is no one here to complain, and she likes the way her voice echoes off the rocks.  With no one around, she doesn't have to worry about matching anyone but herself.  The beauty of the view envigorates her, and she starts running over the rocks, almost dancing.

She runs and sings until she finds a hollow among some rocks to sleep in for the night.

Permalink Mark Unread

There's someone sitting outside the hollow when she wakes up. She can't really see them from this angle, just hear them breathing, moving occasionally.

Permalink Mark Unread

Macilnië wedges herself into a gap between two rocks and climbs up to the top, so she can look down.  She is nearly silent, but an attentive listener may hear a few pebbles fall.

Permalink Mark Unread

The person doesn't strongly react.

She's tall and sturdily built, and appears to be an orc, skin banded between light and dark like she was stitched together from two others. Her left ear is pointed and pierced with dark metal rings; the left side of her hair has been shaved to stubble and the right left to tumble in black waves across her shoulder; and a section of hair near her crown is pulled into a low ponytail. Her clothing is dark, browns and greys, carefully made and tended leather and padded cloth serving as armor, a patchwork bag flopping at her feet. She has a very large number of assorted knives tucked here or there, one sword at her hip, and a wooden staff leaning against the cliff wall nearby. Most of her face isn't visible.

She's filing her nails, at the moment.

Permalink Mark Unread

Macilnië adjusts her dagger in its sheath to make certain it will draw easily, and then, leaving her hand on the hilt, she calls out to the orc.

"Hello.  What is your name?"

Permalink Mark Unread

The orc glances up, grinning.

"I'm Agon," she says, her Sindarin accent clipped but still understandable. "And you?"

Permalink Mark Unread

"Macilnië.  Did you know I was here?"

Permalink Mark Unread

"You're a bit obvious," she says, still smiling.

Permalink Mark Unread

"Why did you seek me out?"

Permalink Mark Unread

She shrugs, humming. "I'm bored, and you're either very dumb or very brave but definitely not capable of just shooting me. Arrows are annoying."

Permalink Mark Unread

"Jumping out of a burning building requires neither bravery nor stupidity.  Do you have any particular reasons for assigning me those characteristics?  Which one are you currently assigning greater probability to?"

Permalink Mark Unread

"In case you hadn't heard, there's orcs in these mountains." She flashes her teeth. "Hear they're a danger to travelers. Most of your kind travel in groups - or at least walk more like someone who knows this land."

"Figuring you're probably brave. Don't strike me as stupid."

Permalink Mark Unread

"I appreciate the vote of confidence.  Are you wandering aimlessly in your boredom or do you have a specific destination in mind?"

Permalink Mark Unread

"Mostly exploring. Seemed more likely to find something interesting, that way."

Permalink Mark Unread

"What can you tell me about the terrain going forward?"

Permalink Mark Unread

"Gets rough and steep. Worse than this. Part of the path's above the snow line, and while most of the avalanches are done for the season, things are still unsteady. You'll have an easier time of it after you hit the crest, 'specially if old Redhorn takes a shine to you. Other side's steeper, but it's downhill, so it balances out. You're more likely to hit rain or even snowfall on that side, though this's been a dry summer so far. There's a group of ruffians camped near the base on the other side. Unlikely to bother a party, might decide a lone traveler's easy pickings, assuming they don't move on. Hunting's good this time of year, so the wild wargs won't bother you - those're a problem down in the foothills, sometimes."

Permalink Mark Unread

"Thank you.  Which way are you heading?"

Permalink Mark Unread

"Same way as you, for now."

Permalink Mark Unread

Macilnië considers for a moment, then climbs down from the rock by way of reply.

"I am open to suggestions as to what direction that might be."

Permalink Mark Unread

"Well, what're you looking for?"

Permalink Mark Unread

"Somewhere without elves."

Permalink Mark Unread

"Lots of places like that. Humans mostly, though they sometimes get elves passing through. I don't know if you'd want to live in an orc camp. Dwarves, but they don't like outsiders much."

Permalink Mark Unread

"Elves don't like outsiders much either.  Which do you like the best?"

Permalink Mark Unread

"Humans are fun. Gondorians are pretty stuffy, and don't trade with my kind, but the Rohirrim and folks of Eriador aren't too bad. There's more humans to the east and south, too, and once you get away from places with Numenorian history they get pretty good."

Permalink Mark Unread

"East and south it is, then."

Macilnië hops down from the rock and starts walking, calling back over her shoulder,

"You can fill me in on the Rohirrim and Eriador on the way."

Permalink Mark Unread

She follows.

"Sure. Eriador's most of what's over this range. Speak Westron, mostly. North of it's the Lone Lands. Couple of settlements, there, but not much. South part's got more people, and the Greenway runs towards Rohan..."

She seems cheerful as she talks.

Permalink Mark Unread

Macilnië grins and feels the sunlight on her body as they walk.  She moves faster, as though the energy is pushing its way out of her skin.

"What do you like to do?"

Permalink Mark Unread

"Explore. Talk to people. Cause a bit of chaos here and there. Fight, when I get a good opportunity."

Permalink Mark Unread

Macilnië grins.  "Have any good chaos stories?"

Permalink Mark Unread

"Perhaps a few. Mostly depends on what you consider 'good chaos.'"

Permalink Mark Unread

"Subverting power structures and enfranchising the disenfranchised, I suppose.  Or maybe just annoying annoying people."

Permalink Mark Unread

She laughs, and launches into a few stories - she apparently steals from, arranges the downfall of, or otherwise causes problems for 'rich lordling' orcs pretty often, to the point where the self-styled Goblin King has a notably high bounty on her head (the feeling's mutual; she's trying to arrange his death, and trying to do it without destabilizing the entire northern Misty Mountains like some acquaintance of her said she would). She also tells a long and involved story involving screwing with someone's spy and informant network, and one about that time she got press-ganged into someone's (small) army, arranged to steal his army out from under him, and then had a series of adventures trying to feed said army without them just pillaging the countryside.

She's apparently been all over the world, from the Blue Mountains of the West to the islands off the world's Eastern shore, to the far reaches of the South, and has lived a life on a rather elven scale, given the handful of time frames she mentions.

Permalink Mark Unread

Macilnië listens raptly to the stories, interjecting questions occasionally (particularly about plans for the overthrow of the goblin king and the logistics of army-feeding.

At what seems like a pause, she tells a few stories of her own (smaller in scale), several of which center on liberal interpretations of assignments she has been given, and ways in which she twisted them to amuse herself.  She has no stories of travel or major exploits, and by the end she trails off, saying, "Sorry, I've never been out of Lothlorien before."

Permalink Mark Unread

"You've made an interesting enough life for yourself, anyways. And now you have the whole exciting world in front of you."

Permalink Mark Unread

"I suppose I do."

It would be hard for an observer (internal or external) to tell whether Macilnië looks excited or petrified.

Permalink Mark Unread

She laughs. "Freedom takes a bit of getting used to, doesn't it?"