In the King's Hall! [Caranthiel]   Posted by Gandalf The Grey.Group: 0
Gandalf The Grey
 GM, 5 posts
 The Grey Pilgrim
Mon 30 Oct 2017
at 02:37
In the King's Hall! [Caranthiel]
Caranthiel moved along the the passages which twisted, crossed, and echoed even under the soft boots of the elf. These were no goblin tunnels like that of Goblin Town or found in the Misty Mountains. These were smaller, less deep underground, and filled with cleaner air and filled with soft music drifting toward the Warden as she made for her King's own hall. Here and there the corridors were lit by red torch-light which made shadows dance upon the walls. Even in the darkness between these brands, Caranthiel's sharp elfin eyes saw better than some in the light of day. One shadow in particular caught her/ his eye... what appeared to be a queer dragon riding the air upon dark wings. She/ he dismissed it entirely and hurried onward.

Caranthiel had read about the Battle of Five Armies and knew what may have been certain disaster turned into complete victory because the free-folk had done the unthinkable... they had set aside petty arguments and base prejudice to work for a common cause. Even now the realms of man, elf, and dwarf were at peace. Trade flowed between them and coin was filling the coffers of all. Yet, was this enough? Had their eyes, now blinded by the glint of gold, stop seeing the threats of long ago... that they were still here today. That Mirkwood remained dark and unsafe was known even to Thranduil. Had he not stopped patrols south of the forest road because those that went past this place failed to return more oft than not? Did not the Beornings speak of goblins and orcs that were once again making travel west difficult?

As Caranthiel finally made the King's Hall, with it's many pillars of hewn stone and dancing elfin lights, she saw her king sitting upon a grand throne of intricately  carved wood. And what a figure he was! Gold and jewels of cunning work adorned his fingers and spider-silk clothing covered his lithe body. The musicians played soothing music upon harp, flute, and lute. The torches burned bright and elf-lights flitted about the cavernous room. The king sat with his eyes closed and with a slight smile upon his lips. Yet, for all the light and soothing sounds, at the edge of even this most beautiful place shadows too danced and cavorted like living things.

"You seem... uneasy Caranthiel." said Ammornil, the king's Herald. "Shall I announce you or will you wait to the song's end perchance?"
Caranthiel
 player, 2 posts
Wed 1 Nov 2017
at 06:32
In the King's Hall! [Caranthiel]
Indeed Caranthiel did feel uneasy.  But he always felt uneasy in King Thranduil's presence.  For most her life he felt a darkness settle over Thranduil.  The halls seemed darker than when she was a small child.  The Mirkwood certainly was less dangerous then.  For many years the king has sat in his throne room soaked in wine.  It was though all hope had left him.  He should have gone to the boats to the West.  And yet something kept him prisoner here.  Caranthiel feared it was the tug of the Nameless One.

But events of the past year have stirred Thranduil from his stupor.  It was greed that stirred him to action.  It was the need to regain treasures he had lost to the ancestors of the Dwarves who came to retake The Lonely Mountain.  And so Caranthiel had learned that it was greed that kept King Thranduil on the shores of Middle Earth.  The king had more in common with Dwarves than he would like to admit.  They shared the very same darkness in their hearts.  It has made for an odd partnership.

The light of the Arkenstone seems to have opened King Thranduil's eyes once more to the world.  There are people worth fighting for.  And fight he did.  And many warriors they have lost.  If Caranthiel knew the king's mind, and he liked to think he did, Caranthiel would take what jewels he has regained and give up on Middle Earth.  There are too few Elves now to hold back the growing tide of darkness.  The Battle of the Five Armies showed that the forces of darkness have grown too great in numbers, too skilled at strategy, and too well organized.  Even if Elves and Dwarves could stand shoulder-to-shoulder one more time, it wouldn't be enough.

And Men?  The hearts of men are easily corrupted.  Would they have the strength to fight again?  Given no great kings to lead them, the answer at the Battle of the Five Armies was yes.  And that gives Caranthiel hope.  There is still courage in the hearts of Men.  And with them there is hope for all of Middle Earth.

Caranthiel tried to let the uneasiness slip from his mind by listening to the music.  She began to sway in time to the music.  He let the familiarity of the tune consume her mind and drive out the doubts he had of King Thranduil's intentions.  He spoke not a word of reply to the king's herald.  He let his keenness for the music be her answer.
Gandalf The Grey
 GM, 26 posts
 The Grey Pilgrim
Wed 1 Nov 2017
at 12:16
In the King's Hall! [Caranthiel]
Caranthiel could appreciate the sweet sounds and the skillful hands that produce them and for but a while allowed them to take her/ him away to a more pleasant time when the wood about was known by another name and grander name... Greenwood the Great! To  Caranthiel's mind it may become so once more... in time and with care.

At last even the sweetest song must end and so did this one. The minstrels looked upon their king with smiles and bright eyes and he opened his own. There was contentment there. Finally, Thranduil's keen eyes settled about the entrance of his own great all and upon  Caranthiel.

"Great King of the Wood may I announce  Caranthiel? She has returned once more a and wishes an audience sire!" Ammornil said with a slight bow of his handsome face.

From his intricately carved throne, Thranduil gave a slight nod and waved her/ him forward  with long graceful fingers.

"Come! Come  Caranthiel! What news of the world from your books do you bring me? For this day I, like you, have news for your ears but it shall wait for now. I would hear of your redes first." Thranduil said with a hint of a smile upon his thin lips.
Caranthiel
 player, 3 posts
Wed 1 Nov 2017
at 13:42
In the King's Hall! [Caranthiel]
Caranthiel stepped forward into the light of the torches.  He then bowed down low to the king, his long hair sweeping the floor at this feet.  Caranthiel then straightened and smiled appreciatively toward the king.  He liked how the king remembered little details about his subjects.  This case being how Caranthiel preferred flexibility in the pronouns used to describe her.  He had once had a true love, but she left him.  The weight of darkness on the world was too great for her heart to bare.  Love nor hope in Man could convince her to stay.  Caranthiel had gone with her to the Boats beyond the White Towers.  But his hope for this world was too great for love to convince him to step onto those boats.  So he remained in Middle Earth, but always he kept a piece of her with him.  He is also She.  He liked to be addressed as Her to keep her memory alive.  It also didn't help that he looked more womanly than is usual for an Elf.

"The 'news' from books is never new.  One may call them 'olds'.  They speak of the founding of Gondor so many centuries ago.  It was a time when trade thrived.  Men from all lands began sailing the rivers and treading their roads to trade goods from one town to another.  Gondor sat at the center of it all so it thrived the most.  And the Kings of Gondor used that wealth to build Gondor's influence through splendor.

"Kingdoms rose in the North, built upon trade from Gondor.  They built themselves in Gondor's image.  They stood strong with Gondor through the Dark Times.  But since then they have disintegrated; torn apart by petty squabbles like siblings once their parents stopped paying attention to them.  The Family of Men has gone weak ever since the Kingdoms of the North ceased to be thanks to petty infighting.

"But one appears to be on the rise.  The Kingdom of Dale once again has a king, and it is rebuilding.  It is all thanks to our sacrifice.  The Men of the North have hope once again.  Trade is already beginning to grow.  In time, King Bard may unite the peoples of the North.  Gondor will once again have a strong ally in the North.  And this time it will not be a child born in Gondor's image.  It will be its own kingdom; the North united.  It shall be Gondor's equal.

"But they need time I fear they do not have.  The Orcs are too well organized.  You saw their skill in battle.  Surely they had a commander who was leading them from beyond the battlefield as we saw in the Dark Times.  The Necromancer has awoken something."
, he spoke to the king.

This message was last edited by the player at 05:55, Thu 02 Nov 2017.

Gandalf The Grey
 GM, 28 posts
 The Grey Pilgrim
Wed 1 Nov 2017
at 23:01
In the King's Hall! [Caranthiel]
Thranduil followed Caranthiel's words as he steepled his long graceful fingers under his chin. The Elvin king shared a certain kinship with the scholar as Thranduil had lost the love of his life as well. Save the king would never reunite with his love as she was slain long ago. When Caranthiel mentioned the kingdoms of men, the king's smile faded. At last he sighed.

"How can we expect those who measure their years in decades to understand what the future holds. Men, many of them , live only for the day for tomorrow is not promised to them. The enemy has used it to his advantage all too often. Such was the case with the nine. The Witch King wore down even the Dunedain, even as you have said, pitting one against the other until they, in their folly, split the great kingdom into three! These men nearly did the enemy's bidding themselves as they bickered and refused to unite. Bard is a good man and a fine king. Yet, in twenty winters... fifty at the most, he too will be gone. Who will wear his crown then?" he said as a hint of sadness filled his voice and eyes.

Thranduil slowly and gracefully rose from his carved throne. With a forced smile and a wave of a slender long fingered hand, he bid Caranthiel to rise and follow him.

"Come! Walk with me, for now I have tidings for you." the king said not waiting to see if Caranthiel would obey.

"You see a raven came this day. From Erebor, they use such as messengers and spies you see."
Caranthiel
 player, 5 posts
Thu 2 Nov 2017
at 06:32
In the King's Hall! [Caranthiel]
Caranthiel stood his ground.  She was not yet prepared to let the discussion end so abruptly.  King Thranduil had asked what was on Caranthiel's mind, and now Caranthiel wanted to let it all out.  Distasteful as the subject of Men is, it was one Caranthiel felt had to be discussed.  Events of late had made it necessary.  Now there was little time to spare putting off the discussion.

"Sire, I am aware that King Bard is only a mortal.  The rebirth of Dale will not come within his lifetime.  But hear me out.", she protested.  "King Bard already has a son, and two heirs to spare.  His line of succession will go on to finish the work that he has started.  Men may live such very short lives, but there is one thing that consumes their lifetimes and that is procreation.  Why even the royal line of the Dunedain lives to this day.  They are kings of nothing, but kings in blood.

"Think not of Men as being like us.  Think of Men as the fruiting tree.  You may pluck all its fruit in one season.  But so long as the tree lives it will always bare fruit.  And every season one of those fruit will be the sweetest.  One must only plant the seed from that fruit and nurture the tree that grows from it.  Do this and soon you will have an orchard.  So once in a while we must cut down a diseased tree or three.  The orchard will remain strong so long as we are there to catch the disease while it is still young.  Yes, it is a never-ending task.  But it is one that will bare us fruit that we can keep on throwing at our enemy.  The enemy does so to us, although their strange fruit is grown in a much more unnatural way."


He then stops and takes in a deep breath of air.  The pause is to show that he is ready to change the subject.  Caranthiel then does change the subject.  "So, Sire, about the Dwarves?  What tidings from our stone fruit?  Hmmm, no, a most unappetizing analogy.  Better to refer to them as nuts, I think.  Are the nuts at last ready to join the mix?"
Gandalf The Grey
 GM, 32 posts
 The Grey Pilgrim
Thu 2 Nov 2017
at 11:23
In the King's Hall! [Caranthiel]
Thranduil paused as he listened to Caranthiel. His forced smile seemed to become less so as the scholar continued with his words of hope. At last when he was finished, the elf King laid a gentle hand upon Caranthiel's shoulder.

"I am happy to hear you feel thusly my friend. For I have mission for you. You know of King Bard's proclamation then? I need someone... one of my own to be there... at the upcoming celebration of our victory. Will you be my representative then? I can think of no one better. It seems you carry a hope that many here do not. Whether man's trees bear much fruit and their trees become a vast forest is yet to be seen but you are right. Our hope must lie with them. We are far too few. The dwarfs, though growing in power, may revert to to their old ways of greed and isolation. No! Men are to see us into the next age if there is to be one. My scouts tell me evil is rising once more in the woods beyond our borders. Some of it spills over into our lands as well. If the darkness is indeed growing then those who live closest to it might be the better judge of this. Before you go to Dale and meet with King Bard, I would have you travel among the Woodmen of the Vales. They will know of this darkness if anyone will. The Brown Wizard will keep them informed and they will experience the brunt of it."

He then gave Caranthiel a curt nod "Yes Woodmen-town is the place. The Woodmen gather there to trade and at such places there will be much gossip."

Thranduil then laughed out loud at the scholar's calling the dwarfs nuts.

"You must have a care Caranthiel. You must not call them that to their faces for dwarven pride is well known. They are slow to forgive any slight... real or imagined. If men are to succeed they will need the stout ones help as we have seen it in Dale. Now then... this raven brings troubling news. King Dain thinks... that not all of his treasures remain under his mountain. He thinks that when the dragon went to spread fire and destruction among the men at the Lake... Smaug brought with it, knowingly or unknowingly, something that was dear to his folk."

This message was last edited by the GM at 11:27, Thu 02 Nov 2017.

Caranthiel
 player, 6 posts
Fri 3 Nov 2017
at 06:29
In the King's Hall! [Caranthiel]
At first Caranthiel began to feel a little confused.  If a representative was needed to send to King Bard, then why not send his son, Legolas?  After all, Legolas had been instrumental at the Battle of the Five Armies, and already had a bond with King Bard and his family.  Besides, the only fitting diplomat to send to royalty is other royalty.  But then the news that King Thranduil wants Caranthiel to go to the Woodmen puts his confusion at ease.  Caranthiel has visited the Woodmen many times.  It's hard not to when traveling in and out of the Mirkwood.

To the king's warnings, Caranthiel replies, "Of course, Sire, I know better than to use such analogies with the mortal folk.  Nobody likes to be thought of as food for the slaughter.  That is only my advise to you, Sire.  Please do not repeat the mistakes of the past.  We must not think of them as being exactly the same as us.  They are mortal and thus born to die.  We must not feel bad about leading them to the slaughter.  To die is their lot in life.  The fruit that is eaten gives itself so that the leaves remain untouched.  And thus the tree survives.

"I am aware that this time is critical.  The Northmen are not yet united.  They are vulnerable.  Their trade and growing wealth will attract greedy eyes.  Dwarves among the closest of such threats.  King Dain may be right in thinking the dragon carried treasure on his hide.  But those treasures now would be at the bottom of the lake.  I invite King Dain to dive in and retrieve them.  Surely King Dain must see that this is insanity?  Or perhaps not.  Like I said, nuts."

Gandalf The Grey
 GM, 37 posts
 The Grey Pilgrim
Sat 4 Nov 2017
at 00:51
In the King's Hall! [Caranthiel]
Thranduil  nodded  at the scholar's redes.

"Then you will be the one to bring such wisdom and logic to the men... both of Woodmen-town and Dale. Yet, temper it so they do not take offense of such truth."

He paused a heartbeat or three upon pondering what was said about the dragon's treasure.

"Below the water the dragon may be but close enough to the shore mayhaps for something to wash ashore. That, and some things may have a will of their own to be found."

The king then smiled "Enough of that for now but keep your eyes and ears open. For we know there was treasure of our folk as well within the dragon's hoard. There is another thing I wish you to investigate if you will? It seems our scouts report that an orc chieftain has gathered a force to him which is based out of the Mountains of Mirkwood. Whether he is a goblin of the forest himself or mayhaps one of the many who fled south after the Battle of Five Armies no one can be sure. They raid both north and south. Some claim they may try to ally with the forest goblins and if so they may be a danger to the Woodmen or even Lake Town depending upon their numbers."
Caranthiel
 player, 8 posts
Sat 4 Nov 2017
at 06:16
In the King's Hall! [Caranthiel]
Caranthiel bows again at the waist to his king.  "Yes, Sire, protecting the Woodmen from the Orcs and Goblins goes without saying.  They are foremost of the threats that seek to stop them from growing into a great kingdom.  At least Dwarves can be negotiated with.  I would trust the Men to do their own negotiating with the Dwarves.  They have less bad blood with them than we.", he replies.

Then then blinks twice as she thinks about something her king had just said.  Going back to an earlier subject, Caranthiel asks, "Something with a will of its own that wishes to be found?  Surely you are not suggesting?  It is true, not all of the Seven Rings of the Dwarf Lords are accounted for.  I suppose it is possible that one belonged to the Lords of Erebor.  That would explain their great greed and madness.  Those rings did not awaken anything in the Dwarf Lords that was not already there.  They only made the Dwarf's inner-darkness grow stronger.  That was enough to neutralize them as a threat during the Dark Times.  Yes, I will remain alert to any news of rings being found.  We do not wish King Dain to bury himself beneath his mountain, and remain deaf to happenings outside as his predecessors did."
Gandalf The Grey
 GM, 43 posts
 The Grey Pilgrim
Sat 4 Nov 2017
at 17:42
In the King's Hall! [Caranthiel]
Thranduil listened and pursed his lips "Yes... men should perform their own negotiations but still you may give them guidance if they allow it. Your experience and knowledge from all those tomes could benefit those who are short lived. As for what Dain seeks... I do not know... though from what was stated by the king, your guess matches my own. We shall see."

The King then reached inside the folds of his robes and produced an item. It appeared to be a frosted white crystal about the size of a fig fixed to a plain and worn leather cord.

"It's name is Galinim, Songlight in the common tongue. With it you shall never have to fear the dark. Sing in the tongue of it's makers, Sindarin, and it will light the way for ten paces. If another joins your song then the light will be strengthen and it will grow another ten paces. My gift to you Caranthiel."

The Elf King then placed a gentle hand upon his shoulder "Now you must be off. You will not have overlong. A day... mayhaps two for a scouting party will be patrolling the Elf Path. It will be led by Nidhiel and I would have you travel with them."



IN order to use Galinim you must ake a performance check vs DC 12 to bring forth it's magic. It gives you a blessing in performance (you gain your proficiency in performance when using to bring light only thus giving you a +1).
Caranthiel
 player, 9 posts
Sun 5 Nov 2017
at 06:03
In the King's Hall! [Caranthiel]
"The gift of such a star-jewel, prized by our ancestors, it is too great a gift for me, My King!  I am but a humble scholar.  It is one thing to read about it, but quite another to be its guardian.  I am too humble to accept such a gift.", protests Caranthiel.

In truth, being told he must sing to activate it frightens him.  Being a bit her as well as him, Caranthiel has no idea which register to try to sing in.  It's a bit vexing.  If he tried to sing, he would end up sounding like a man who sings like a woman.  And what kind of musical idiot would like that?  Add to that a mind for words and not for notes, and you have a singer who can't sing on key.  His singing voice would be quite the insult to Galinim.  And he has far more respect for his traditions to insult the star-jewel in such a way.
Gandalf The Grey
 GM, 45 posts
 The Grey Pilgrim
Mon 6 Nov 2017
at 03:54
In the King's Hall! [Caranthiel]
For a heartbeat the King's face clouds over and at last he gave Caranthiel a curt nod.

"Very well... " with a graceful flick of the wrist the star gem disappeared within the folds of his robes.

"... ready yourself at dawn and meet your escort at the main gate. Your guide will await you there. Your mission is known to you. Keep your eyes and ears open to any and all news."

Thranduil then spun, his robes flared out as he moved with great strides back to his throne.
Caranthiel
 player, 10 posts
Mon 6 Nov 2017
at 05:28
In the King's Hall! [Caranthiel]
'Well, that was abrupt.  Shows he wasn't sincere about giving that gift.  Probably for the best then if he has such doubts about me.  A king is supposed to be able to see qualities in others that they cannot see in themselves.  That's encouraging.  I am so going to die.  Here's hoping it's quick like from a Goblin arrow to the heart.", thought Caranthiel to himself.

Depressed more than usual, Caranthiel plods off to go back to his cell to collect his things for another journey.  She moves really slowly through the halls.  Every doorway he passes through, Caranthiel says a little prayer to it to say goodbye.