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Welcome! This is a Lord of the Rings roleplaying game based on the trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien (book verse).

Frodo and Sam failed in their quest to destroy the one ring. It is lost in Mordor, and the two Hobbits had no choice but to turn back. The fate of Middle Earth once more is undecided.

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One Ring to rule them all..
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» Ill Warning, Ill Finding, Eowyn, Eomer, Gandalf the Grey
Gandalf
Past Thread Posted: Jul 27 2014, 05:42
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From his somewhat odd vantage point riding atop the shoulders of the great Eagle, Gandalf the Tattered gazed down with sharp eyes and curious mind at the vast rolling grasslands and broken stony outcroppings which characterized the plains of Rohan, the horse kingdom of Men. He had not visited the realm of Rohan for decades, yet as Gwaihir flew him swiftly toward the royal fortress of Edoras, it seemed to Gandalf that the realm seemed somehow ill-kempt and bleak (though perhaps that was merely a reflection of the wizard’s own state of mind).

So swiftly did Gwaihir fly, eager as he was to be freed of his passenger and quit of his errand, Gandalf had very little time to observe or wonder about Rohan as the land rushed past beneath him. Gwaihir would carry him to Edoras itself, where the wizard must hastily deliver a grave warning to King Theoden and then procure a swift horse to ride back north, find Frodo Baggins, and get him and the Ruling Ring safely to Imladris. He was dreadfully concerned about Frodo and the Ring and could only pray that disaster had not already befallen that Hobbit.

Gwaihir had informed him that Rohan was rumored to be paying a yearly tribute of their beloved horses to Mordor though they were not yet fully under Sauron’s yoke. How dearly Gandalf wished he knew whether this rumor was true or false before he spoke to Theoden King, for in his ignorance he ran much greater risk of a costly misstep. But Gwaihir could tell him nothing definite, and there was no time to make inquiries. He could only hope that Theoden King would listen to facts and reason and respond wisely and honourably.

Gwaihir set him down a short walk from the gates of Edoras and flew away immediately, greatly to the shock of the guards. Making a valiant effort not to grow annoyed with the men’s stunned confusion, Gandalf wasted very little effort in trying to explain why he was requesting an immediate audience with their King while presenting himself in a remarkably disheveled state. His temper was at least as ragged as his appearance, but he managed to remain civil and was eventually rewarded by watching one of the guards go inside to announce him to the King.

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Éowyn
 Posted: Aug 2 2014, 09:35
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"You make a crow's feathers seem the finest of silks, Grey One."

It was a sense of protectiveness for even the burly guards that made her tongue free even with this intimidating stranger, the kind that came naturally with one who had been borne with and had hewn into her a natural desire to keep her people at ease. Though so too was that frankness quite simply a part of who the young woman who was King's niece and shieldmaiden among her own people, a boldness that was both inherently Rohirrim and yet so too, even this early on, such a part of herself that it could only be called integral to her being.

Gods knew there was very little of openness in this world any longer, anyway. Especially their own...a world where it had once been prized.

But so too even in that sorrowful pale face was there a hint of something that seemed more playful than any real threat, if only for a moment -- a glint of blue eyes in a face too solemn for one so obviously young, a silent concession to the fact already that she too looked little better at this moment, to be greeting a guest. For she had been out riding, had Eowyn, and though her horse had long been led away, her countenance was still that of the rider, and one who had ridden hard -- clothes snug and practical rather than soft and flowing, a golden braid rather than falling free, a smudge of dirt unknown to her upon her right cheek even as she gave into the unladylike urge to swipe at the itch there, rubbing at it absently even as she regarded the temperamental wizard before her thoughtfully.

"Poor Dernhelm. One can hardly blame him for his fright." The glint of humour in her eyes dimmed slightly, and her countenance once again became all that was solemn and somber, even as she took the last step so that she stood on the same plane as Gandalf...and covertly, for just a moment, between him, the remaining guards, and the door. A little woman, convinced in her fierce little heart that she would do what was necessary to put safety to all that she loved...somehow, in some way, and not be left utterly helpless. Wizened beyond her years, in the ways of the soul.

"There is very little to trust to be had among strangers in these times, Grey One." Or among their own kith and kin. "Why do you seek my Un--the King so abrasively?"

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Gandalf
 Posted: Aug 11 2014, 08:08
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Gandalf the Grey, at that moment heavily feeling all manner of grey and old and weary and tattered (yet underlain by a hot smoldering of his sorely-tested temper), watched and listened with well-concealed bemusement the young woman who came forth to greet him. What her words and the manner behind them might have lacked in proper courtesy was atoned for by their spiritedness. It was no safer to treat Gandalf the Grey rudely than any of his fellow Istari but, fortunately for this young woman of Rohan, he had far more sense of humor than his peers and was slower to take offense.

In this instance, for several reasons, he almost enjoyed this young woman’s unconventional greeting. It certainly made him curious about her, about who she was that she would feel daring and spirited enough to address a wizard so, and why she seemed to be trying to protect the soldiers from him rather than them protecting her.

Unfortunately, his visit here required such urgent haste that he might not have time to satisfy his curiosity, but it should not be improper to ask who she was. He had caught what she almost said and could only think of one word that would complete “My Un-.”

“I am Gandalf the Grey, My Lady,” he replied with a bow, sweeping off his wide-brimmed hat to reveal hair that had suffered a great deal from both wind and rain for the past two months, not knowing whether such gesture improved or worsened his tattered appearance.

“I ask pardon, for any abrasiveness or alarm was unintended, but I am come in great haste on urgent business. Otherwise, I assuredly would present myself more properly. May I ask who you are, My Lady, that you, er, intervene before Theoden King?”

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Éowyn
 Posted: Aug 30 2014, 06:07
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She almost grinned at his taken aback expression. Almost. Barely avoided it, with good courtly manners all that kept it truly at bay. It was a difficult thing to do, to catch an old wise one off their guard, and she had the distinct impression that this particular old wise one was even more difficult to throw off than the usual. A victory, then, though she would perhaps spare him the teasing for the present. Tempting as that was, too -- did he not know of the boldness of the Rohirrim? It did not escape even their women, as their men would readily -- and with an oft. smile of irony -- tell you.

His words elicited more of a smile of grimness anyway, and as Eowyn digested his words -- his name -- her fair, merry countenance regained a distinct sombre note to it, a trace of all that was so pale, so cold, so composed kept at bay only by the twinkle that still lingered in her eyes. Her moment of play and mischief had passed.

"Theodon-King has been...unwell, as of late. But if you will come in from the cold, and allow me a moment to go change so I might present myself in a more favourable light before you, I will take you to him myself, Grey One." Eowyn's lips pursed slightly, grimmer still on such a young face even as she attempted to force a smile, and offer him her arm freely.

"I am...Eowyn, Eomund's daughter. If you had ridden over the Riddermark, you might have encountered my brother, Eomer. We are both of House Eorl, and that is why I intervene on behalf of the King with such impertinence."

And because she was perhaps protective of him, her family. Just a little.
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Gandalf
 Posted: Sep 7 2014, 07:13
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Even before the Lady mentioned her King’s illness, Gandalf the Grey perceived that there was trouble in Rohan which weighed on the heart of this beautiful woman. Her present less-than-courtly appearance could not lessen her beauty, just as her composed and guarded countenance could not hide her worry.

He wondered then whether what Gwaihir had reported were true, that the shadow of the Dark Lord lay already upon Rohan enough to demand a yearly tribute of their beloved horses. Such a burden and threat would easily explain why this Lady felt so troubled. Yet, he supposed it would be more prudent and diplomatic to broach the dangerous subject with Theoden King himself, so he held his tongue and merely thanked her for inviting him in out of the chill wind, appearing to accept Lady Eowyn’s arm without actually leaning at all, since as bone-weary as he felt he still possessed a vigor quite belied by his outward appearance.

“You and your brother are the King’s niece and nephew?” he asked directly, unsure whether she were trying to evade stating that fact when she introduced herself, but in any case he asked directly for he wished to understand plainly who was most in authority here, and by what connection, before venturing the delicate subjects he must broach with Theoden King.

“I do hope the King’s illness is not serious? If such healing skills as I possess could help, I am at your service, Lady Eowyn. But first, I will certainly wait for you, and if it is no trouble might I request a basin of water and soap to wash the weather from my face? Alas, that is all the improvement for which I can now afford time.”

His quick grey eyes thought they glimpsed, for a brief moment, a very pale face in a dark cloak in the shadows farther inside the torchlit building, but whoever it was moved out of sight quickly. Although not alarming, somehow that pale face added to the sense of heaviness and drear. Something was wrong in Rohan… something, for a healthy royal hall should not exude such an atmosphere, and a young lady like Eowyn should not seem so somber.

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Éowyn
 Posted: Sep 27 2014, 01:17
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ooc: i'm so sorry this took so long, my dear. it's not that i had no muse -- just a lot of life things. i'm also sorry if this seems rushed, but i wanted to move it along for you a little. feel free for Gandalf to have been taken by a servant to clean up himself in the time Eowyn takes to change and find him again, and let me know if it doesn't work for you. <3

Directness. It would have made most uncomfortable. But to those of Rohirric blood? Never. Not truly. Or...it had not, once. Once, once, once, such a word had been used too often lately. And perhaps that was why after her initial start of surprise at the wizard that the girl -- young woman -- blinked a moment, and then smiled at him. It was a brisk thing, barely there for longer than a moment, but it was a proper smile -- dimpled and toothy and warm and almost grateful, a smile that transformed her features to gay exuberance and sweetness and pure, open-heartedness. Things that were kept hidden far too often and should never not be, though it was so.

"We are such, yes, and I tend to the King's household" she said, though she held her tongue for the moment against much more else, tempting as it was and all too easy to speak with this ageless man that she had already termed almost permanently in her mind Grey One. Was it a charm or a spell perhaps, to make a mortal such as herself wish to speak with such open ease? Eowyn almost wished to ask him so, but again, she knew she must hold her inquisitive tongue for the moment. And thus, she did just that -- for now -- and gave her beloved Windfola over to one of the guards (the bay gelding fluttering with sweet forgiveness through his nostrils when she promised to see him later, bless his heart).

Then she took Gandalf's free arm, and led him into the great golden halls so famed throughout the lands. Even she, child of them though she was, failed aptly to describe them and could only say that it was best for one to see them, so that they might truly appreciate their splendour. Asking herself would perhaps be a folly as of late, anyway, for she did not find the comfort in them that she once did. They were too large now, too lonely, too cold, too dark -- shadows flickering in the light and praying upon her mind.

"He is...not well. It is difficult to explain." That was said quietly, though more akin to the evasiveness of before -- mostly because Eowyn herself could not quite explain what it was that ailed her beloved Uncle, and certainly not so with so few minutes to spare doing so.

"Gallia, take our travelling guest to the rooms down the hall from mine. Ensure he has what he requires. I will be but a moment, and then I shall come back to you here," she said softly to Gandalf after summoning the maid, even deigning to pet with a briskness that was almost fond the arm she had taken in hers. That done, she disappeared so that she too might settle herself into something more presentable -- skirts of green and white and the softest hint of gold, heavy enough to be warm on such a brisk day without the threat of overheating her. Her hair, when she finally trotted back to where she might meet Gandalf, was free of the confines that had held it when she rode, and it tumbled golden down her back, bouncing gently with her movements -- brushed enough to be neater than it had been, and yet swiftly enough that there was still a touch of the wildness to it.

"I would have given you more time to find your ease after your journey, but you do insist on seeing my Uncle." And so that I might question you more so. Eowyn's tone was almost teasing as she said this, thought these things, these glimpses of the warm countenance under her reserve not dimmed despite the change to more formal attire. But it was that teasing too which made the change in her all the more pronounced when it occurred -- the moving shadow that was somehow as pale as it was dark, the one Gandalf had taken note of before or during her absence, noticed by the lady too. Too subtle to be seen by the common and distant eye was her reaction, but it was there despite her best attempts to conceal all of it -- a stiffening of her shoulders, the engaging smile stripped from her features so that they were pale and drawn across her bones once more, and less subtle...the manner in which her hand had tightened when she took Gandalf's arm again, and the way in which she drew a little closer to his presence. As if somehow, inexplicably, she preferred the presence of a man that was really a complete stranger, compared to the presence of one she surely would know better.

"Come," Eowyn said, and her voice was soft now for entirely different reasoning. "Let us go to the King."
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Gandalf
 Posted: Oct 13 2014, 07:22
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Bemused and curious was Gandalf at the subtle plays of emotion across Lady Eowyn’s features – mostly very subtle indeed, yet here and there a flash of pure glimpses of what seemed to him to be a good-natured, merry boldness underlying her formal manners. Underlying also, he perceived, some sort of shadow… a tension – a fear? Though Lady Eowyn was as yet a stranger of only the tentative beginnings of acquaintance, the old wizard suspected that she would not be easily overshadowed by fear, and yet that was the word his instincts stubbornly ascribed to whatever troubled her.

Her very brief yet warm and enchanting smile, which came at a puzzling moment, caused a small corner of Gandalf’s mind to wonder why dozens of love-besotted men weren’t following this charming young woman about pining for her favor, though almost entirely the question in his mind continued to be what darkness was troubling her natural spirit. There was a lively spirit along with a kindness in her, he suspected, also perceived by the manner in which she held his arm, yet that same touch offered additional subtle clues – sometimes gentle, sometimes formal, but just before she left him her touch suggested – what? a desire for safety or even a friend, perhaps?

Such were his thoughts as he inclined his head respectfully when she took her leave, and she continued to dominate his musings as the maid Gallia showed him to a room and quickly brought the requested basin of heated water and some soap, considerately also bringing several towels wrung in hot water and a comb for his grungy tangle of long grey hair.

He was perfectly courteous to the woman, both on general principle (which would have been enough reason) but also in hopes of gleaning extra information from her. Unfortunately she proved to be either too nervous or too well-trained (or both?) to tell him much, though he did learn that Theoden King was a widower with only one child, a son named Theodred, and was the closest thing to a living parent that Eowyn and her brother had left in the world. Gallia also told him that the King’s chief advisor was a man named Grima, and although Gallia offered not one word of opinion, he got the impression that Grima was not well-liked at least by some.

He pondered the potential complications of a king’s unwise choice of chief advisor (if such were truly the case) and the charming puzzle named Eowyn while he hurried to scrub his face and hands clean of two months’ worth of grime, then running two wet towels over his long hair and beard in an effort to make them a bit less disagreeable before combing out the worst of the tangles, and using the last towel to try and tidy up his tattered grey robes, which lamentably had suffered worst of all from two months in a bar-less, roofless cage atop the Tower of Orthanc. He soon abandoned that effort, for his robes resisted all attempts at improvement. Leaving his distinctive and equally grimy hat in the room, he hurried back to where he was to meet Lady Eowyn again, expecting that she would be quick. She was; he just barely got there first.

Again he was struck by her loveliness, and again responded with friendly heart to the light hint of good-spirited teasing in her voice. He smiled at her, not widely but with twinkling eyes, but it faltered quickly when that nameless yet unmistakable shadow snuffed all cheer from her features, leaving them more pale and drawn than he had yet seen. It was such a quiet change, yet he could not possibly fail to notice it, or the way her hand through his arm tightened and she shifted slightly nearer. As one might do in fear, he thought. Was she afraid of something, and if yes, did she quite realize it?

What was wrong here in Rohan, in the King’s halls, were the words in his mind as he inclined his head respectfully once again and replied properly yet with an effort to convey some small, unaimed encouragement.

“Thank you most kindly, Lady Eowyn.” He let her set the pace through the torchlit halls of the Horse Lord King, which would surely have impressed him with their splendor were it not for the nameless shadow casting an invisible pall.

As they walked within sight of the throne, though still the length of a long hall away, he saw a man in dark robes with an exceptionally pale face standing on the dais near the king’s throne. Was he Grima? He believed he had glimpsed him once before and wondered, glancing at Lady Eowyn with an unspoken question.

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Éowyn
 Posted: Nov 11 2014, 10:34
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If you had asked Eowyn when her own home had begun to haunt her, she would actually be hard pressed to define for you the moment exactly. Only that once upon a time that seemed so very long ago, she had enjoyed the curiousities that had come with growing into womanhood...and then she had gradually began to rebuke them, and not, like some might think, because she wished to do all the things her male siblings were allowed to do. Once, she hadn't felt the need to watch her every step like an animal hunted by something indefinable, and that though her uncle's advisor had never greatly enamoured her, she had not felt the need to pay him any particular attention. And perhaps that was the mistake she had first made, somehow (though she didn't know how) -- the turning of paying him attention into the impression that she was not paying him any particular attention at all. He seemed only more fascinated by her movements about the Halls than ever...only, never quite enough for her to truly wonder if he was there at all. And that...that played games with her mind more than anything else. The knowing but not knowing.


He was despicable, and it took all of the resolve her kin were so known by for Eowyn to keep the urge to flee (or fight outright, there and then) at bay. She was not a coward. These were her halls, her home, and the man she wished to see was not him, was someone she would gladly suffer any ill ease if she was able to spend a moment in a day with him. This was the man whom she had not always agreed with, and yet had loved him all the more for it. He was the only family she had left that was not her brother, and though they did not see eye to eye about everything, though he did not understand some of the things she said or felt, she adored him nonetheless. He had been protection and safety her whole life.


“Uncle?”


Had been. The past tense was the only kind of thing she knew now to bring a lump so thick in her throat. Even looking at him now, waiting patiently for him to meet her eye, was pain rather than reassurance. The worst of it was, was that she didn't know what to do. She only knew that something beyond her comprehension was very wrong. It had only been small things at first, decisions made and tributes paid in the kind of manner that only one of Rohan would understand. And then it had grown into a slow sort of apathy, noticeable to those closest to him only because they knew apathy and lethargy to not be traits Theoden-King tolerated in others, let alone in himself. In the end though, it had been enough for her. Even now, when her uncle finally fixed his gaze upon her, did Eowyn feel the inexplicable chill in her heart that came with that gradually glazing expression that had nothing to do with the old familiar hue of his pale grey eyes.


It was a move made in vulnerability even as it was calculating of her, to call him thus in the hearing of others.


But it seemed the only thing that would prove effective. It did prove effective, for though Theoden-King looked upon her with something approaching apathy, he looked upon her regardless.


“What ails you so that you must disturb the quietest moments of my day, little one?” The King spoke with something approaching a rasp, and Eowyn felt her own heart thud with something tight and indescribable – though she knew it was borne partly from not knowing if he ailed with something else, or if this was simply part of the exacerbated process in which Theoden had begun to age in recent months. But little one. It melted her heart even as it tightened with that cold vice, and for a moment, all of the ills of the recent months between herself and her beloved kingly relative were forgotten. He had not called her that in just as long.


“Milord. I have brought one who wishes to speak with you.” The articulation on the you was not an accident, and though her heart still beat erratically, Eowyn’s chin was tilted upward and her grey eyes hot with wordless defiance when she glanced at Grima Wormtongue, before turning her gaze back to the King once more. In doing so, the heated look softened, and though she stood firm, the look in them became something almost pleading.


“I have made a friend of him already, and I believe in the need he expressed to be here.” Well, Gandalf hadn’t exactly expressed a need to her outright, but Eowyn was willing to embellish the truth in this case. More than willing -- she felt almost as though it was needed too, though she could not entirely say why.
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Gandalf
 Posted: Nov 24 2014, 00:04
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Gandalf was less deeply familiar with the culture of Rohan than of the other kingdoms and settlements of Men, but he knew they stood on formality in such meetings as this, which was why hearing Lady Eowyn and King Theoden address each other so familiarly in a stranger’s presence added heavily to his already strong impression that something was troubled in Rohan, in the halls of Edoras.

He wished he had met King Theoden before, so he could guess better at the nature of the illness Lady Eowyn mentioned. The King sat heavily in his throne chair, giving the impression of slowness, ponderousness. He exuded no sense of royal energy, no hint of vigor, and how had he failed to notice the tall stranger standing by his niece’s side? His pale grey eyes looked dull and disinterested, as if he might look upon a sight but fail to notice what he saw. Indeed he seemed ill, not merely old. It crossed Gandalf’s mind, too late, to wonder how many years the man had behind him, for that would surely provide an important clue.

The strict formality of the situation did not permit him to turn to Lady Eowyn and study her or, even better, ask her the questions he dared not ask the King directly, but it was clear that she was making extraordinary effort to capture the King’s attention and focus. He heard how she emphasized "you" but could not guess whether she meant "you, not your advisor" or "you, not your niece." She might have meant either, or both, and how he wished to know which! For the answer might be enough to save him from committing a costly misstep. His message was a grave warning, and the welfare of Rohan would depend heavily upon whether King Theoden heeded it, but already a dark shadow seemed to loom over this audience.

Before King Theoden’s pale eyes had yet seemed to focus on Gandalf, the sickly-pale, dark-robed man hovering near the King stepped forward in what almost seemed a furtive glide. After his sharp dark eyes had flitted to Lady Eowyn for perhaps a heartbeat longer than seemed justified, he addressed Gandalf in an artfully-modulated, smoothly-flowing voice that nonetheless struck him as unattractive.

“You present yourself in a rather vagabond way to Theoden King of Rohan. Why should you disturb his peace?” he said reproachfully, standing almost as if to shield his sovereign but also with a quality that put Gandalf in mind of nothing so much as a fawning dog.

“I ask pardon for the untimeliness of my arrival,” Gandalf replied with a formal and very proper bow of his head, directed past the pale man to where the King sat. He did not dare – at least not yet – be dismissive of this man who was speaking ahead of the King, but by shifting his eyes Gandalf made it clear that he was addressing only King Theoden. Fortunately, in his very long years of dealing with various Free Peoples, he had developed some skill in showing humility toward those who might not deserve it, though in this case it was more an exercise in concealing the dislike he already began to feel toward this impertinent and disrespectful man. Already his temper flared inwardly, impatient lest this man make an interfering nuisance of himself.

“I am Gandalf the Grey,” he introduced himself, deliberately though only slightly shifting his long staff in his hand to emphasize that he was indeed a wizard. “I come to deliver news of great importance – and urgency, else I would have tidied myself more properly first.” He still spoke directly to the King.

He thought he glimpsed a flash of worry or uncertainty in the pale man’s dark eyes when he gave his name, but it was very brief before the man swiveled his head, again in an almost fawning manner, toward King Theoden, who seemed uncertain and after a moment looked to the pale man as if seeking help. Seeing that further irritated and worried Gandalf.

“I am Grima, chief advisor to Theoden King. He wishes you to deliver this news to me.” Fawning toward the King, but bordering on impudent toward a wizard. Gandalf’s struggle with his temper worsened, though still he hid it.

The King wishes? I only perceive that Grima wishes, Gandalf thought to himself silently. He met Grima’s keen eyes, neither quite staring nor challenging him, but he still refused to address Grima directly. Instead he fixed his gaze again, intently, on the King’s eyes, but the King’s gaze in return seemed uncertain and perhaps apathetic, and soon drifted away.

Finally Gandalf offended decorum by turning his head to Lady Eowyn, wordlessly asking her to try again to rouse Theoden King’s attention and hoping she knew some method of avoiding Grima’s interference, for Gandalf’s business was indeed urgent. He had no time for an extended diplomatic visit.



This post has been edited by Gandalf: Nov 24 2014, 00:08
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Éowyn
 Posted: Nov 28 2014, 06:37
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“If the Grey One represents himself in a way that physically displeases your sensibilities, then the fault lies with me, Grima.”

Her gorge near rose to suffocation with the idea of bringing his attention to her willingly, but Eowyn refused to succumb to cowardice and veil herself away from that which would try to cow her. Veiling herself away, secreting herself from the world, that was a worse fear than drawing shadows to her unwillingly. In reality, it was her worst fear – veiling, locked away, the suffocating panic of being caged behind bars until resignation set in, and desire for Life had fled.

“He wished for swiftness, and I took him literally for his word. The King knows of my impatient nature, so I can only hope he would forgive me for it.”

Strange, how formality reasserted itself in the face of what almost seemed to be light-hearted and ironic self-deprecation – impatience. She certainly was in some aspects, and yet in others, wonderfully, terribly patient. But even then did Eowyn break her gaze from Grima so she could look upon Theoden-King with those apologetic words directly, but do so too with the same pleading that had clouded her great grey eyes before. It seemed, for an instant, that he comprehended it too, and Eowyn’s heart flickered in a moment of hope when she realised that despite Wormtongue’s hovering presence, her Uncle’s eyes were watching her and watching closely. For a moment, she almost swore there was normalcy again to him, whatever that was these days.

But then they slid away from her, almost ashamed it seemed, and when the rest of his body shifted ponderously along with his eyes – shutting her off -- did Eowyn’s heart fracture again, and she almost screamed at the well of frustration rising in her. She wanted to scream at him suddenly, scream at something, anything, and it was this of all things that levered her temper when even Grima’s fawning insolence to both King and guest had failed to incur such a heat in her. This time, when Eowyn looked back to Grima, she took a step upward on the dais so that she stood the equal in height to the pale-faced man despite the grip she had had previously on Gandalf (and the safety it had provided).

And when her eyes found those of the Chief Advisor’s were they fearless and hard as the set of her fine jaw despite lingering uncertainty, the most searing of cold heat shifting soft grey to steel despite the almost pleasant impassiveness of her expression. Daring him, almost, to defy the thrall she held for that brief moment, to chide and insult her even with his most honeyed words for bringing to Theoden-King a man less than presentable in demeanour, even as her tone in response until that moment had been light and reasonable. He insulted the wizard already – vagabond, what a notion --, did he dare to insult her in such a manner too? Scold her for greeting the Grey One muddied and windswept? Chide her too, for leaving her hair to drift hastily combed and free of restraint?

I am the Lady of these Golden Halls, Chief Advisor, whispered the impassive, unspoken threat, forced to silence by that thing she considered an evil in this moment -- diplomacy. The King’s heir should brother and cousin fall. Do not do yourself the disservice of forgetting that.

Only, the thought of speaking it aloud seemed almost to promise the drawing in of demons, whether it was right or no. As if by doing so, she would bring about the death of beloved Eomer and lovingly teasing Theodred, and some other nameless horror she could not comprehend, but knew as horror regardless. And as if by doing so too, she risked the reminder to even herself that if the King commanded thus, then even the Lady of Meduseld must step down. But the King's will has not commanded yet, has he, Grima?

“The Lady wishes to speak with the King, Grima,” Eowyn stated quietly.
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Gandalf
 Posted: Dec 15 2014, 07:57
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Gandalf much appreciated Lady Eowyn’s efforts to aid him in this awkward, strange audience. How much he wished to thank her for so trusting his word that his business was of great importance and urgency, for he suspected that without her help, his visit to Edoras would have been an effort in futility. Something about the way the King’s gaze shifted away from his imploring niece yet again, without yet speaking a word, he could see caused her great pain and wrenched a sympathetic grimace from his own heart as well.

Without comprehending the true nature or cause of Eowyn’s distress and fear, he wished to repay her valiant efforts on his behalf – if he could divine how in the short time before he must hurry back North.

When the sickly-looking yet bold-speaking Grima did not immediately counter Lady Eowyn’s challenge, Gandalf instantly took advantage of his hesitation. Without the least appearance of movement except for a veiled hardening of his grey eyes, Gandalf called upon the power of both his staff and his ring Narya to strike Grima an invisible blow. Not a hard smite, nor a pointed nor painful blow. Indeed, likely Grima noticed nothing, for the blow was only a dull thump of power against him, best compared to using the broad surface of a shield to bump an opponent out of one’s path. The intent of Gandalf’s strike was simple – to push Grima back a step, make him hesitate to interfere again for a short time, but without realizing he had been influenced.

It seemed to succeed. Grima had apparently felt nothing, other than remaining silent and shifting his dark eyes once. Providentially, they shifted downward for the timespan of one very slow breath, during which Gandalf took several quiet steps closer to the King’s dais. He stopped just shy of the first step, directly in the King’s line of sight. A part of his awareness was alert to any unexpected result from his use of power, but nothing registered except that this Grima had an unexpected toughness about his mind. Though Gandalf would remember that in future encounters, if there were any, he paid it no further thought.

Were this audience more normal, without the hidden dark shadow seeming to hang over it, with a King of alert and engaged mind, he would not hastily rush forth with the meat of his message, but as things were, he suspected that his window of opportunity would remain open only briefly and he must wedge it open immediately, so he dispensed with any artful diplomatic preamble.

“Theoden King,” he said in a stronger, more imposing voice than before, and was rewarded by the King’s pale gaze actually turning to him, if only perhaps startled by hearing a loud voice. “I bring dark news of Isengard, your near neighbor to the north. I have discovered secret events underway in Isengard which pose a danger and a threat toward your kingdom of Rohan. I entreat you, listen to me, Theoden King.”

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