- Senshan Trio – Travelers -- http://www.redwallslegacy.com/forum/index.php?topic=2821.msg51530;topicseen#new
- Aodhán -- Gatehouse Keeper -- http://www.redwallslegacy.com/forum/index.php?topic=2823.msg51563;topicseen#new
Former username: Icefurr
Rudderwake, hm? Hinata hadn’t heard of the place. She definitely needed to visit sometime. Where’s Rudderwake? And what’s it – she started, but was interrupted by the commotion of the newly ended contest. Ms. Dominique had hopped up onto a table and was announcing the winners.
Katsuke collapsed with his face in a bowl of soup with a sigh of defeat. “Ugh . . .” he moaned, and tossed the bag of money he’d gotten from Hinata over to his opponent. “Worthy . . . opponent . . .” he muttered, but it came through in bubbles of soup, so it sounded more like, “Blerth eep ponin.”
Hinata sighed in resignation. What am I going to do with you? she thought. Idiot. She accepted the cookie from the descending Dominique, then glanced around as she took a bite. Wait . . . she thought. Where’s . . .
Jurou looked around in awe at the large library. “Oh . . .” he breathed.
There were so many books! Scrolls, maps, and chests lined the walls, with other shelves full of musty tomes and old papers. It was impressive, to say the least.
No, that was a massive understatement. Jurou’s eyes widened as he stared at one book in particular. It was a somewhat thin novel, entitled, “The Friar and His Keep,” by Father Nicolas of Loamhedge Abbey.
Jurou glanced around the library. He’d never told anybody of his passion for reading, and it would be embarrassing if somebody were to see him in a moment of literary weakness such as this one. He pulled the book off of the shelf and looked about for a place to read in silence.
However, for (oddly) the first time, he noticed the squirrelmaid sitting in the middle of the room, surrounded by old and new maps. Startled, he backed up into a small stack of books, which instantly fell. Jurou quickly ducked behind a nearby shelf.
((ooc Sorry for the wait. Finals and all.
Gandalf held his cloak behind him as the horse pounded along the dirt road. Up ahead loomed the great black mass that was Orthanc, something of a dark mar of a silhouette against the mountains. He took a deep breath and let it out. Hopefully, the elder wizard would listen to him.
Smoke rises once more from the tower of doom . . . He reached the stairs of the tower and dropped from his horse. Saruman, standing at the top of the steps, swept down them with all the grace a propriety that befitted a creature of his stature and wisdom.
. . . the shadow takes shape in the darkness of Mordor; the hour grows late, and Gandalf the Grey rides to Isengard seeking my counsel . . . Saruman was a large, powerfully built wolf, entirely white in color. Dressed in a cloak and robe of the same shade, he also carried a black staff, with four elegant prongs at the top supporting a silvery-white orb. His eyes were piercingly bright, with jet black pupils that looked as if they could see through the darkest mist. “For that is why you have come, is it not, my old friend?” he called. His voice was like a roll of thunder that had sounded miles off and was just now reaching Gandalf’s ears.
Gandalf bowed slightly. “Saruman!”
The two wizards strode slowly through the beautiful gardens of Isengard, white trees lining the greenway where they walked – reminiscent of the gardens of Valinor where the tree of Nimloth once stood, the place never failed to calm Gandalf, no matter his state of mind. The sapstrength of Minas Ithil seemed to course through the ground. He could feel it.
Saruman interrupted Gandalf’s musings. “Are you sure of this?” he asked.
Gandalf brought himself back to the conversation at hand. “Beyond any doubt.”
Saruman put a paw on his chin, a thoughtful expression taking over his face. “So . . . the ring of power has been found?”
The urgency of the situation struck Gandalf once more, and he said, “All these long years, it was in the Shire -- under my very nose.” The pair of them quickened their step.
“And yet you did not have the wit to see it! Your love of the Halfling’s leaf has clearly slowed your mind!” Saruman slammed his staff into the ground firmly to emphasize every word.
“We still have time . . . time enough to counter Sauron . . . if we act quickly!”
“Time? What delusion has seized your mind to think that we have time?” the elder wizard demanded.
The two rapidly made their way into the tower and into a small antechamber. It was cluttered with old books and musty scrolls, no doubt full of wisdom and knowledge of ancient things gone by and lost to the maw of time. In the center of the room was a short, thick pedestal, covered with a single piece of graying cloth.
Saruman sat down beside this pedestal. “Sauron has regained much of his former strength. Of course, he cannot yet take physical form, but his spirit has lost none of its potency. Concealed within his fortress, the lord of Dark Mordor sees all. His gaze pierces cloud, shadow, earth, and skin and fur. You know of what I speak, Grey One . . .” The wolf paused. “A great Eye, lidless, wreathed in flame.”
Gandalf took a shallow breath, and whispered, “The Eye of Sauron . . .”
“He is gathering all evil to him.” The white wizard sighed. “Very soon he will have summoned an army great enough to launch an assault upon all of Middle earth.”
“You know this?” Suspicion entered Gandalf’s voice. “How?”
“I have seen it.” Saruman placed a paw on the cloth-covered object in front of him.
Gandalf’s eyes narrowed. “A palantir is a dangerous tool, Saruman.”
The wolf raised the cloth from the pedestal, revealing a smooth black orb underneath, flashes of light traveling through it and refracting all around its stone surface. “Why?” he asked, a smirk on his face. “Why should we fear to use it?”
“They are not all accounted for, the lost seeing stones . . .” Gandalf threw the cloth back over the palantir, not daring to touch the relic. “We do not know who else may be watching.”
As he dropped the cloth, his paw brushed the smooth stone underneath, and in his mind flashed an image of a fiery eye, widened and furious. Smoke rose from its surface as it stared at him.
Gandalf drew his paw away quickly.
In the main chamber, Saruman slowly sat down in his throne. “The hour is later than you think. Sauron’s forces are already moving . . . The Nine have left Minas Morgul!” he muttered.
Gandalf, walking into the room, started backwards. “The Nine?”
“They have crossed the river Isen, and proceed to the furthest extents of the land, disguised as riders dressed in black.”
“They have reached the Shire?!” Gandalf started moving back towards the doors.
Saruman shrugged carelessly. “They will find the Ring . . . and kill the one who carries it.” A slow smile spread across his face as Gandalf spun around to leave the tower.
The doors slammed shut in the badger’s face.
He quietly turned to face Saruman. All the other doors in the chamber closed themselves in an instant.
“You did not actually believe that the will of a . . . halfling could do battle with that of the Eye?” Saruman stepped down from his throne. “There are none who can.”
Gandalf’s face grew horrified.
“Against the power of Mordor, there can be no victory.” Saruman took another step. “We must join with him, Gandalf. We must join with Sauron. It would be wise, my friend.”
The badger tightened his grip on his staff. “Tell me . . . friend . . . when did Saruman the Wise abandon reason . . . for madness?” He demanded.
In mere seconds, Saruman had thrust his staff forwards and sent Gandalf spinning into the wall behind him. “Fool . . . !” the wolf started, but was cut off when his opponent blasted him backwards. He hit the floor, the wind being quickly knocked out of him.
Back and forth, the pair battled, sending each other hurtling through the air. Blood flowed freely from both wizards heads and bodies. The force sent from each staff was sickening.
Finally, Saruman gave a scream of rage and dragged Gandalf’s staff from him, yanking it from the badger’s paw and summoning it to his own. Gandalf was flung to the floor.
“I gave you the chance of aiding me willingly,” the wizard growled, his teeth audibly grinding against each other. He held up both staffs in a crossed shape, and Gandalf began to spin on the ground, crying out in agony. “But you have elected the way of pain!” With that, he sent the badger flying up, up, up, spinning all the way, until he hit the top of the tower and blacked out.
Hinata gave a quiet smile. It was a bit rusty, but the otter’s Senshachaa was definitely the real thing. No, it’s all right, she signed. She stood up and dusted herself off, then accepted the proffered paw and shook it. Thank you. It’s a wonderfully organized gathering.
Realizing that her hood had fallen down, she pulled it back up to cover her eyes and hair. They tended to draw attention, and she preferred to stay unnoticed in social settings. Unlike Katsuke. She smirked.
Bringing her attention back to her host, she said, You speak sign. Where are you from?
Meanwhile, Katsuke was furiously shoving food into his mouth, despite the fact that he knew he’d throw up by the end of the contest if he kept up like this. Fourth plate. Fifth. Now he was on his sixth, and he wasn’t feeling too well. He glanced over at Vrasku’s plate. They were close, if he’d kept count right. But . . . he was feeling awful now. Evidently, so were his opponents. He groaned.
He really wanted that knife.
Out of the corner of his eye, he could see Jurou. The small ferret looked as bored as hell. “I’ll bet he leaves in the next two –” he started to mutter to himself, but looked back and saw that Jurou was gone. “Never mind.”
Jurou was tired of being stared at, so he walked around the edge of the party and towards the large house to find something to capture his interest. “Hm . . . wealthy otter,” he murmured, as he entered by a side door.