Prologue I - A Hidden Path - Imnachar & Berangar - Year 2946.   Posted by LoreMaster.Group: 0
LoreMaster
 GM, 5 posts
Sat 10 Aug 2013
at 00:48
Prologue I - A Hidden Path - Imnachar & Berangar - Year 2946
This is Imnachar's and Berangar's Tales leading up to Chapter 1
LoreMaster
 GM, 19 posts
Thu 5 Sep 2013
at 06:54
Re: Prologue I - A Hidden Path - Imnachar & Berangar - Year 2946
The trip back from Laketown had been hurried. Berangar and his Beorning friend, Wulferd Shadowbane, had been asked to take urgent correspondence back to their respective peoples regarding the upcoming Gathering. They had been thanked heartily by the Dwarven emissary, Glóin, who had been extremely grateful to them and their unlikely companion Oddilfarr for their recovery of Balin and Óin from their captivity with the Marshdwellers. He had rewarded them with a princely treasure and, even more valuable, his trust.

Oddilfarr had been asked by the Master of Laketown to undertake a very... particular mission for him. Neither Berangar nor Wulferd had been given any details and Oddilfarr had left almost immediately. Before leaving however, he'd given each of them a small token with which they could identify themselves as his friend and send a message that he would know was from one of them. Berangar's, a silver dog carved with dwarven precision from a coin, hung presently around his neck.

Berangar and Wulferd had parted ways at the western edge of Mirkwood, having been escorted by a half dozen Elves along the elf-path. The trip had been almost disappointingly uneventful. They had moved quickly. The Elves had bade them farewell and turned back for Elvenhall. Berangar and Wulferd then parted ways and returned to their respective homelands.

~~~~

The Healer sat patiently beside the stream waiting for one of the dark stripes in the bottom of the ice-cold pool to take his bait. This was his favorite fishing spot and it had been well over a year now since he'd had a chance to try his luck. The long, hair-thin strand of whisker weed fiber he was using for line suddenly went taut. The Healer waited just an instant before jerking his hand upwards, setting the bone hook into the trout's mouth. It fought him as he coaxed it downstream to a shallow area and flipped it onto the bank. The trout flopped helplessly before he was able to remove the hook and then he carefully returned it to the icy water. He wondered if he'd ever caught that particular fish before. It was a nice one, and if he'd been hungry he would have kept it, but he'd eaten well this morning before heading out here for a day of relaxation.

As he washed off his hook and was about to re-bait it, he heard the sound of someone running toward him along the grown-over path to his favorite spot. Cautiously, the Healer's hand moved to the handle of his long-hafted axe. The sound grew nearer until a runner burst forth from the shrubbery surrounding the forest glade. It was a youth of perhaps eleven winters.

"You are to come to Mossy Creek Hall at once! The Brave himself asked me to fetch you. Radagast is here!" exclaimed the excited youth breathlessly.

The Healer sighed inwardly, looking longingly at the pool and the dark darting slivers beneath its surface. So much for his day off...

Alright little brother," the Healer said with a resigned smile, "lead the way!"

They bounded down the overgrown trail for perhaps a half-mile before exiting the woods and approaching the south gate of the stockade. Mossy Creek Hold was situated atop a small knoll surrounded by open forest just at the western edge of Mirkwood. It was an older stronghold of the Woodmen and over the years the wooden stockade had been replaced with stone imbedded with sharped stakes and shafts. It looked formidable and it was strong. The Hall sat in the center and served as the meetingplace of those who lived here as well as a mess hall and primary location where the headman conducted his business.

The sun was just rising now and the smells of the cooking fires made the Healer's stomach growl even though it was already full. The people were moving around now getting ready for the day and going about their tasks and chores. Sentries posted along the walls nodded to them as the Healer and his little brother entered the stockade. It felt good to be back. The Healer recognized the sounds, smells and sights of this place and thought to himself that nothing had changed in the year and a half he'd been away. The only real difference he could note was the increase in stature of his younger brother who was trotting ahead of him toward the Hall.

At the entrance to the hall stood a guard who watched over the doorway while the headman was conducting business as he did early every morning. The Healer guessed at the time and supposed breakfast would be served in about an hour. The regularly scheduled time the headman set aside was almost over and the Healer could see cooks and their helpers getting ready to carry their baskets of bread and roasted meats into the Hall to set them for breakfast. The guard took a mallet and rang an odd-shaped bronze bell. It produced a very low, distinct tone. The guard then opened the door to Mossy Creek Hall and allowed the Healer to enter in.

"I'll see you after breakfast," the Healer said to his brother with a smile and then turned and walked through the heavy wooden door.

~~~~

After having pushed so hard to get here, all Berangar wanted to do was sleep, but upon arriving at Mossy Creek Hold, the young woodman's homeland, he was immediately summoned to deliver his message. Berangar quickly made his way through the compound to the main Hall. He expected the headman, Baldac the Brave, the leader of the woodmen here in this small valley, would be eager of any news, especially since less than two months ago he'd sent Berangar to Laketown to stay until after the Gathering. Berangar strode into the torchlit hall and looked toward the far end where the Brave sat at large, heavy, hide-covered table. Seated across from him, back to Berangar was a tall thin figure wrapped in earth-colered robes and wearing a strange fur hat. Berangar paused a half-dozen paces away as the Brave stood with a grim smile.

"You must be exhausted Shepherd," said the Brave, "I will take delivery of your message quickly and then let you return to the barracks to rest for a short time. But first, please forgive my manners, I would like to introduce to you Radagast the Brown, Wizard and Master of Rhosgobel." The robed figure rose carefully and turned to meet Berangar's gaze. He looked ancient, but rather timeless, as if the centuries he'd spent in the forest among the animals had slowly transformed him into a living piece of nature itself. The old Wizard smiled warmly and nodded his head in Berangar's direction. the Brave then returned the introduction saying, "Randagast, may I present the Shepherd as he is known to this people, named Berangar."

"Well-met Shepherd!" Radagast said sincerely, "I've asked your headman here if he might provide me with a messenger who is quick and trustworthy. Your arrival was just moments after his wish that you were available. It would seem now that perhaps you are? Baldac the Brave holds you in high regard."

Just then they all heard the sound of a low-toned bell ring at the far end of the hall beyond the door. The door opened and the guard showed in another young man close in age to Berangar. He calmly waited until at last the Brave beckoned him to come forward. The woodman walked down the length of the hall and stood beside Berangar, nodding respectfully to him and also to Baldac and Radagast.

"Welcome Healer and thank you for coming so quickly. You remember Radagast the Brown?" the Brave asked the newcomer.

"Yes headman," the newcomer replied in a quiet voice, "It is good to see you again Master Wizard."

"And you, Imnachar. I think you are still growing," Radagast said as he appraisingly arched one bushy eyebrow.

"And this on your left is the Shepherd, Berangar," said the Brave pointing to Berangar.

The two exchanged handclasps and well-do's and then returned back to the Brave and Radagast. They had met each other as youth but had never become friends as their training and responsibilities to their people had led them in different directions. They were close to the same age, both being wise beyond their years.

"It seems to me both the messengers you'd mentioned are available now," said Radagast happily to the Brave, "I should suggest they might travel together for my message is dire and the recipient... ah... elusive."

"I think that would be a wise course Radagast," agreed the Brave. "What say you? Will you bear the Wizard's message, knowing it is urgent and could be dangerous?"

~~~~

Berangar should make an Inspire or Courtesy roll (TN10) or invoke a trait to make a good impression on Radagast. He is already in Baldac's favor. He can then ask any questions he might have.

Imnachar may attempt an Insight roll (TN 12) to determine if there might be anything further Radagast wishes to share before he decides to accept the task of conveying a dire message.