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Author Topic: Campaign: Unsung Heroes  (Read 24946 times)
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jdizzy001
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« Reply #30 on: July 24, 2015, 09:49:14 PM »

Once the company had settled, Belok took to his tent, "It brings too much hurt to be here," he stated. Radagast and May agreed to remain behind to comfort Belok and ease his growing fury.

"Beowdil, go to the market and replenish our supplies," stated the wizard. Use the skins we received from your father-in-law. And what coin you have."

Beowdil nodded in agreement. From nearby Beowdil heard Yusraa, "I will go with you, husband." Beowdil smiled.

Back through the golden city of Abrakhan, hand in hand, Yusraa lead Beowdil. "The king acquired his gold from many long conquests and trades. Abrakhan was placed along the way of many important trade routes. Countless traders passed through, and countless amounts of gold were traded in its walls. At least that is how the story goes," Yusraa explained.

"However," she paused," Abrakhan's greatest source of wealth is the huge lake beneath it. They say the Golden King has large wells in his palace which he uses to haul water to the surface so he can sell it to surrounding nations."

"Do you believe it?" asked Beowdil.

Yusraa shrugged, "I don't know. I have never seen such large amounts of water. Do they exist?"

Beowdil looked skyward and thought back on the journeys he made to the ocean as a boy. His father was a trader and would go to the sea from time to time in search of artifacts not found in Dale or Erebor. Finally, Beowdil spoke, "Yes. There are large bodies of water. Larger than you can imagine."

Yusraa smiled.

They entered the busy market. Beowdil was fascinated by the number of people. Canvas tents and merchants peddling wares stretched out from wall to wall. The people were noisy and loud, trying to attract the attention of passers-by. A heavy dust hung in the air as streams of people poured into the city. Beowdil paused under the archway leading to the market.

"Come, Beowdil," urged Yusraa, "we have to buy supplies."

Beowdil scanned the sea of people and nearly stepped into its tide before pausing. across the throng of people and upon a raised wooden platform Beowdil spied the form of two young boys. They were bound and next to them stood a grown man in a tunic. He was shouting and pointing to the lads. The man from Dale recognized their manner of dress, for he had dressed them! "My sons," he uttered in disbelief.

Yusraa turned, "what?"

With a voice of thunder Beowdil yelled, "My sons!" Releasing Yusraa's grip, and dropping the skins he held, Beowdil ran through the crowd with great haste. He pushed passed many people knocking some to the ground, but the calamity vanished from his eyes. Only one thing mattered to him, his children, "bar Beowdil! bar Beowdil!" he yelled as he ran, "Sons of Beowdil, sons of Beowdil!" He reached the raised platform only to be blocked by a number of the King's guards. Their faces were obscured behind head wraps and around their necks hung a thick golden chain. A large curved sword hung from their hips.

"Let me pass! Those boys are my sons! They were taken from me. Return them to me!" he yelled at the nearest guard.

"Do not interfere with the auction," responded the guard.

"Auction? Those boys are not property. They are my children. Stand aside!" Demanded the fighting man. From the platform the young boys yelled for succor. Tears rolled down their face as they realized who authored the commotion below.

"Calm down outsider or we will be forced to remove you from the city!" demanded the guards.

"Let me pass, or I shall take my sons by force," Beowdil withdrew the sword at his side. Many in the crowd quickly moved away.

"That was a poor decision, stranger. In this city, weapons may not be brandished. I will give you one warning to sheath your weapon, or face the consequences of our harsh laws." stated the guard. He grabbed the massive weapon at his side.

"There is no force in this Middle-Earth that can keep me from my children. I have passed through war and an endless sea of fire to find them. You shall not hinder me, stand down." His voice was cold as iron as he spoke.

Two other guards moved in on Beowdil. He fought to keep his burning rage contained, but too hotly it burned. He lunged forward with a speed immeasurable and with a flash of bare metal severed the swordarm of the guard. The weight of the massive weapon could not be held up with a single hand and the first guard fell to his knees. The fighting man side stepped and ducked below the swing of the second guard. With the pommel of his sword Beowdil dug deep into the second guard's stomach. He lost his breath and fell to his knees. The farmer struck the man on the top of the head with his pommel knocking him unconscious. The third guard swung his mighty sword in a great overhead chop! Beowdil spun and dodged the blow. The heavy sword dug deep into the sandy earth. With a quick stroke the man from Dale severed the guard's hands just above the wrists. A howl of pain filled the air, the smell of blood filled his nostrils and a spray of fluid streamed across the sandy street.

The fight was done. Beowdil leaped up the steps of the platform. The auctioneer fell to his knees, "Don't kill me outsider. I am but an auctioneer."

"You are a slaver and not fit for this world. But I will allow you to live on one condition. Where is the mother of these boys!"

"I regret to tell you , oh mighty swordsman, she has been sold. To the king," the auctioneer answered quickly from his prone position. Beowdil's joyous reunion was suddenly cut short as he realized his beloved Ariel was in the clutches of the Golden King of Abrakahn. 
« Last Edit: August 16, 2015, 07:18:53 PM by jdizzy001 » Logged

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« Reply #31 on: August 16, 2015, 08:09:53 PM »

Despite his growing prowess, Beowdil knew, even atop the raised platform, he could not contend with the gathering force. From a gilded arch on the far end of the street the man of Dale could see another group of city guards rushing through the crowd to meet him. His mind raced, "Yusraa! Yusraa! Come for my boys!"

"Da, no!" the boys begged.

Beowdil quickly knelt down and looked into the eyes of his children, "I will not let these men take you. Go with Yusraa. She will take you to Radagast. You can trust her, she is my..." Beowdil paused unsure of how to explain his relationship to Yusraa in such a short amount of time, especially to boys so young.

"Who is she, Da?" the eldest asked.

Beowdil embraced his sons, "Go with Yusraa. She will protect you." The fighting man stood as Yusraa reached the wooden platform.

"Come with me! I will take you from here," Yusraa reached for the boys who leaped to her arms. She gazed up at Beowdil, "You, my man, are a fool." There was a grin at the corner of her lips. Without another word Yusraa and the sons of Beowdil vanished into the commotion.

Beowdil stood up, the guards were nearly upon him. He did not resist. He dropped his sword and raised his hand, "I yield, take me away." he said in near perfect Haradish.

Half of the company arrested Beowdil, binding him with shackles, while the remaining tended to the moaning wounded left by the farmer.

-----------------------------------------

With haste Yusraa urged the boys onward. The youngest wept as they moved. They were both speaking quickly, from the way the words rolled Yusraa could tell they were speaking Beowdil's native tongue, but despite having spent a good deal of time with Beowdil, she never mastered his language. Yusraa offered a few words of comfort, but the boys did not seem to comprehend Haradish.

The closer Yusraa moved to the visitor's sector the thinner the crowds became. Before long she found herself standing at the company's campsite. May, Belok, Radagast stared at the young women. Even Alatar, despite being blind, seemed to stare in disbelief.

Belok stepped forward and with a thick dwarven hand touched the boys' faces, "Bless my beard. They look just like Beowdil. Where did you find them? Where is Beow, he'll want to see them," the dwarf said to Yusraa.

From afar Radagast could see the youth's distress. He rushed to their side and in the common tongue, spoke, "I am Radagast the Brown. I am a friend to your father. Do you know where he is?"

The boys both talked at once. There story was disjointed and blurry. Radagast couldn't make sense of what they were saying. Yusraa finally spoke up, "He and I went to market to sell the skins for some gold. Without warning Beowdil started screaming and he rushed the auction stand. He attacked three guards, recovered his children then sent me away with them. The last thing I saw was a company of guards moving in on Bewodil."

Belok and Radagast started speaking frantically, and at the same time. They were as incoherent as Beowdil's sons. Before their questions could be answered Belok had already vanished into his tent then emerged with his axe. He was muttering as he went, "Stupid man, gone and got himself captured by the Golden King. Now they'll kill him. When I find him, I'll kill him!"

"Belok, calm down. We will find our friend and rescue him," stated Radagast.

"Wizard," began Belok, "When you and Beow saved me in the desert, I made a promise to myself. I swore I would never go back to the arena. Ever. Do you know what the Golden King does to his captives? He puts them in the arena. Do you know what we are going to have to do in order to save Beow? Get into the arena. Do you have any idea where the one place is that I never want to go? The arena! Now I have to go back into the arena to save my friend! Are you coming or not?"

Alatar could be heard laughing from afar.

While Radagast worked to calm Belok, May approached her sister. With her calming expression and gentle demeanor she placed her hands on the boys' shoulders then spoke to Yusraa, "Have they told you there names?"

"If they have, I do not know. I don't speak Beowdil's language," explained Yusraa.

May knelt in the sand to be at the same level as the boys. She placed a hand on her breast, "May," she said. She then placed her hands on the boys' chests then back on her own, "May," she repeated. She pointed to her sister, "Yusraa," Then placed a hand upon her breast once more, "May," she reached out to the boys one last time and waited for them to answer.

The eldest nodded as he understood. "Ranulf bar Beowulf," he touched his brother's arm, "Lif bar Beowulf," May smiled and pulled the boys in. With both arms she held them close for a long time. The boys whimpered and sobbed quietly. May held them quietly, Yusraa stared unsure of how to respond. May took a deep breath and smiled. The boys smelled like their father. She felt a love for them blossom in her heart. She gently pushed them to arms length and in Haradish said, "I am so happy to meet you."

Radagast moved in close to the boys. He leaned down steadying himself with his staff. In Dalish he said, "boys, stay here. We are going to find your father. Stay with May, she will take care of you. She is your father's," Radagast paused as he tried to think of a way to explain Beowdil's relationship to May, "just stay with May until we return." He then turned his attention to Yusraa, "grab your father's spear. We need you to show us where you and Beowdil were when he found the boys."
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« Reply #32 on: April 13, 2016, 09:41:39 PM »

With a quick gasp of air Beowdil lurched awake. Almost immediately his head began to throb as he recalled what had happened. It was unclear at first, like murky water, but soon returned to him. Yusraa took the boys and ran. Beowdil was surrounded by guards, but his the skills he had developed on his journey combined with his burning rage for the slavers served him well in the defense of his offspring. The guards proved an easy challenge. After confronting the slaver about Ariel Beowdil recalls slipping into a stupor realizing he was no closer to finding his spouse.

Everything slowed down after that.

The farmer shook his head as he tried to recall what happened next. He reached up gently feeling the sore spot on the top of his head. His fingers were greeted by a stiff crust. He moved his hand down and glanced at his fingers, dark crusted blood told the rest of the tale. In his quiet anguish another guard must have clubbed him on his head. Beowdil sighed. He stood up. As he did, the metallic sound of metal on stone were tell tale signs that Beowdil would bound. He glanced down at his ankle to see an iron cuff around it, I guess gold isn't the only metal in this city, he chuckled quietly to himself.

"You won't be laughing once they finish with you," someone said in Haradish.

Beowdil looked up. He finally took note, he was bound to the floor of an iron cage, just tall enough to stand in. Outside the cage were a number of large cages. Some held captive, some held wild animals, and all of them sat below a stone roof. The sounds of distant cheering could be heard from above. Aside from the scant piles of straw in each cage they were remarkably bare.

"What?" responded Beowdil. He looked over at a filthy man bound in a similar iron cuff sitting in a neighboring cage.

"I said, 'you won't be laughing once they finish with you,'" he repeated.

"Who are you? Where am I?" asked Beowdil.

The dirty man looked surprised, "An outsider who speaks Haradish? I'm impressed. Very well, I'll tell you. You're below the King's arena. It is Endurance Day," he explained.

"Endurance Day?" questioned Beowdil.

"Yes, Endurance Day. The day when the Golden King pits his prisoners against his beasts. Last man standing wins."

"Wins? What do they win?" asked Beowdil.

"It changes like the wind. Sometimes it is freedom, sometimes a night in the Harem, sometimes nothing."

"It sounds like the festivities have already begun," stated Beowdil, he was looking at the stone roof towards the sounds above. Distant cheers and the sound of combat bled through.

"They have been going at it for awhile now. The guards come down between rounds to pick the next fighter. I'm just waiting my turn," explained the man.

"You don't seem nervous. There is some fierce competition down here," Beowdil glanced at some of the other cages. Lions, Tigers, men, even a moping half troll on the far end of the prison caught his gaze.

The filthy man huffed, "That is because I am going to win."

"You seem awfully confident."

The prisoner gripped the bars of his cage and leaned forward, "I am the greatest hunter in my village. When I go out, I will grab a bow and arrow and slay every man and beast I fight."

"Then it is truly my unlucky day," began Beowdil, "To be captured on Endurance Day and to die at the hands of an unfed, dingy hunter."

"I'll remember those words Outsider," said the prisoner.

A loud clank caught their attention as two guards walked in to the prison. Outside all Beowdil could see was a ramp, dust, sand, and sunlight. He squinted. The guards walked towards the filthy man. One of them spoke, "that one. He should be be an easy kill for the beasts." The other guard agreed. With a set of keys they opened the hunter's cage, grabbed him, unchained him, then hauled him out and up the ramp.

"I'll see you in the arena Outsider!"

« Last Edit: October 15, 2016, 06:04:55 AM by jdizzy001 » Logged

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« Reply #33 on: July 26, 2016, 08:36:00 PM »

Yusraa rushed quickly back to the market place. Belok and Radagast were close at hand. They stopped in the crowded street at the foot of the slaver's auction stand. The rostrum was empty but streaks of fresh blood were still visible.

"Beowdil fought off the guards," Yusraa explained.

"I can tell," stated Belok. With the butt of his staff he moved one of the disembodied hands which remained behind from Beowdil's fight.

"But where is Beowdil?" Radagast pondered aloud. As in answer to his plea, a dull roar was heard over the hustle and bustle of the market place.

Belok sighed, "He is in the arena."

"What? How do you know?" asked Radagast.

"It's June. All the prisoners are sent to the arena for the sport during June. It is how the Golden King reduces the cost of maintaining a prison. Every June he sends the prisoners to the arena for the sport. Normally he only uses arena fighters such as myself, but every June he empties the prison," Belok explained, "The final prisoner standing becomes the King's newest arena fighter."

"Let's get him!" urged Yusraa.

"The most we can hope for is to watch him die in the arena. Either now or, if he wins, during his next fight. Beowdil is a worthy opponent, and I don't doubt he will succeed today, as the prisoners are usually no more than thieves and tax evaders, but the veteran arena fighters, they're real warriors." responded Belok.

"And so it my Beowdil," retorted Yusraa. A warm breeze crept by causing a strand of dark hair to fall out of place as she spoke.

"Let's go and see if Beowdil is even in the arena. We can devise a plan once we know if he is even in the battleground," said Radagast.

The three outsiders hustled to the arena. A set of merchant guards stood watch by the entrance. Belok kept his head down. The guards stepped out with hands outstretched, "Halt!" they ordered. The three stopped.

"Kindly let us pass," stated Radagast, "We only wish to view the sport."

"No weapons," hissed the first guard. The second guard motioned to a pile of weapons just behind him.

Belok dropped his axe on the pile of weapons. Yusraa sighed. She reached up and removed the shawl from her head and wrapped it around her father's spear, "I want this back upon my return." The guards scoffed.

Radagast smiled. The guards did not smile back, "Your staff."

"Oh please, it is merely an old man's walking stick. Do not part me from it," Radagast began to lean heavily upon his thick, oaken staff.

Belok chanced a glance up a Radagast. The wizard moved his mouth but words did not part from his lips but in soft whispers.

"Very well. Take your walking stick, old man. But be warned, if you make a scene, I will kill you myself." stated the first guard. The second guard chuckled.

"Oh, thank you," Radagast gushed, as he walked passed the guards. The crowd cheered in the distance. The wizard smiled and the three walked into the arena up a ramp towards the seats.

As they walked into the bright arena the scene opened before them. They glanced at the filled stadium. It was a large bowl made from brown sandstone. Much like the rest of the city veins of gold ran across the entire structure all leading to the throne of the Golden King. His section was pillared, separate, and completely gilded. The monarch sat in a golden throne draped in silky robes with a guard on each side. Additionally, he was surrounded by women and bore a golden mask upon his face.

"And there he is," began Belok, "The Golden King."

Yusraa gasped, "I have only heard tales of his majesty."

"Do not distract yourselves. We are hear to find Beowdil." Radagast chastised his companions. They then cast their collective gaze onto the arena floor. It was littered with bodies. Radagast ceased counting once he reached fifty. Weapons of all kinds were strewn across the ground, at one end a woman in a tattered dress was tied to a post, she appeared worn and tired, but still moved attempting to escape her bonds. Not far from her were a few prisoners fighting. The crowd cheered with each blow. The sound of metal on metal was drowned by the spectators. The companions continued searching for Beowdil but could only spot a second group of fighters trying to kill an archer standing near a wall. He was a talented shooter, a pile of bodies with arrows lodged in their chests attested to that.

The smell of sweat and blood filled the bowl. A haze of dust swirled about as the fighters moved kicking up sand which was caught by the wind. As they watched the match unfold the far door opened and two guards pushed a dark haired man into the ring. Yusraa spotted him first, "Beowdil!" she screamed. Some anxious spectator, unknowing of the situation, responded in kind, "Beow-dil! Beow-dil! Beow-dil!" Soon other spectators joined in.

------------------------------------------------

With a mighty shove the guards thrust Beowdil into the arena. He senses were immediately consumed by the chaos. Screams of pain filled his ears as untrained fighters swung deadly weapons at one another. The farmer looked about but suddenly paused as he heard the crowd chanting, "Beow-dil! Beow-dil! Beow-dil!"

"By the Valar," he whispered. He was brought back to the severity of his situation as an arrow whizzed past his head. He flinched. From the other side of the arena he could see the dirty prisoner from before. The man smiled at Beowdil, but it wasn't welcoming.

Beowdil reached down and grabbed a scimitar from the ground. As if that was some sort of cue, many of the other fighters turned their attention to him and charged. With a skill beyond his competitors Beowdil swung his weapon in wide deadly arches. It was clear that many of these fighters were more of a rabble than actual fighters. For a moment, Beowdil felt a pang of guilt. When he downed the final competitor of the first mob he gripped his blood soaked weapon and glanced about. The dirty prisoner was on one side of the arena fighting a mob of his own, to include a lion. He appeared as competent as he boasted from his cage. The farmer scanned from the dirty man to the other side of the arena, there were a few skirmishes. The half-troll caught his eye for a moment, but it too was surrounded by a mess of fighters. He settled his gaze on the large wood pillar sticking out of the ground on the opposite side of the arena. There were a few fighters near it. The flow of battle moved them to one side and Beowdil finally saw who was tied to the post.

It was a women.

Immediately his heart froze, her dress was familiar, her hair was familiar, her form was familiar, "Ariel!" He yelled over the din. His vision narrowed and his face grew hot, a fire uncheck raged in his chest and stomach. With a fury undaunted Beowdil charged into the fray. No challenger could halt his charge, many of them were cut down before they could strike. Ariel grow closer with each step, Beowdil felt as if his journey was finally coming to an end, "Ariel!" he cried again, this time, she could hear him. She ceased to struggle and cast a glance at her man. Their eyes met.

"Beowdil!" she screamed. This caused a few of the fighters to suddenly band together and challenge the new-comer. There was a clash of steel and sinew. Beowdil ducked and rolled under a number of spears and swords. The man fought with vigor renewed, each stroke found a mark, disarming another foe man. As quickly as the gang had assembled, Beowdil had thwarted their attack. He reached Ariel's side and with a mighty strike, smote the chains which held her bound. They snapped beneath his force and his scimitar dug deep into the wood post. A loud roar came from the audience.

In a quick duck Beowdil scooped up two bloody swords. He handed one to Ariel, "Get to one side!" he ordered, Ariel moved closer to the wall of the arena. Beowdil watched as she retreated and as he looked back the man was surprised by a club which struck his chest and sent him flying into the wooden post. Pain blossomed in his back as he slid down the pole. Through blurred vision he could see the half troll approaching. Its club was high above its head. Beowdil rolled to one side as the club smote the ground. A cloud of sand rose upward.

Speed, Beowdil thought, Speed is the key! He quickly rose to his feet and before the creature could recover, the man hacked at the beast's arm. The half troll let out a terrible cry and swung his weapon again. Beowdil ducked, the sound of crunching bones was heard as the beast connected with another fighter. The farmer ran around behind the troll and stuck again. The troll bellowed a second time, followed up with another missed swing which connected with another advancing fighter. Beowdil moved in close and plunged his blade deep into the monster. For a moment their eyes met and Beowdil could see the shock in his opponent's face. The troll slumped over dead.

An arrow then sank deep into the troll. Beowdil jerked his head to one side as the arrow pierced through his ear before puncturing the troll's flesh. He gasped and turned. The dirty prisoner from below was stepping closer, nocking another arrow as he moved. Beowdil squirmed out from under the dead troll and grabbed another nearby, blood-soaked sword. Another arrow whizzed by Beowdil, he ducked to be safe, the shot went wide. Beowdil charged. The dirty man nocked another arrow and fired. The shot went wide. Very wide, Beowdil was surprised, but he continued his charge. Another arrow raced towards him, this one was more true than the previous, Beowdil dropped to the ground. The arrow sailed over. As quickly as he fell, the farmer jumped back on his feet. The dirty prisoner groped for another arrow at his side, but quickly realized he had fired his last lance. Beowdil raced across the stadium floor. Between he and the dirty prisoner lay a mess of dead bodies, many of whom were pierced by arrows. The dirty man raced to a nearby fallen body, in an attempt to recover an arrow, but Beowdil was too close. The dirty prisoner grabbed an arrow, nocked it and pulled back on his string. Beowdil raced in, raised his sword above his head and cleaved. With a puff of air Beowdil fell to his knees. The charge was long and difficult, but his blade was true, from his knees Beowdil looked down at the dirty prisoner's dying body, a large, open slash stretched from his shoulder down to his navel.

With great difficulty the dirty prisoner spoke, "You many have won, Outsider, but you get no prize," and with his last breath, he expired.

Beowdil paniced. He stood up and peered across the stadium. He was indeed the last man standing. He looked over to the post where Ariel had hid but could not see her. He turned and raced back across the stadium, "Ariel," he screamed has he ran. The crowd cheered as he ran.

Breathless and tired Beowdil reached the far end of the stadium. To his horror he found Ariel laying on her back with an arrow lodged in her stomach, "Ariel. NO! NO! I just found you! Don't leave me again!" he fell to his knees and cradled her head.

"My husband. You came for me," she smiled weakly. The crowd had not ceased cheering.

"Or course I came for you, I would die for you!"

"Where are our children,"

"I found them, "Yusraa has them." Answered Beowdil.

Ariel cast a side-long glance at him, "Yusraa?"

"My," Beowdil paused, a pang of guilt seized him, "my friend. One of the people who helped me find you."

"I thought I would never see you again," Ariel stated.

"The thought never crossed my mind," Beowdil reached into his shirt and withdrew his wife's medallion. It clanked against the wedding tokens from Yusraa and May.

"My medallion. You found it," said Ariel.

"Yes. Here take it," he said.

Ariel gasped for air, and coughed. Blood streamed from her mouth, "I don't think I need it any more, dear."

Beowdil closed his eyes tightly as he tried to push back the tears, "Yes you will," he lied, "Ariel, don't go."

"I don't think I have a choice," she said, "You and the boys will do fine without me. Find a good mother to raise them."

"They already have a mother. We have to get you home, back to Dale. Back to our farm," said Beowdil.

"Our farm," whispered Ariel. Her voice was growing faint, "It's summer back home, you'll need to hire someone to help with the harvest... I can't... I can't even move right now."

Beowdil began to cry, "Let's go home, I hate this desert."

"Home," whispered Ariel, "It's summer back home, you'll need to hire someone to help with the harvest..."

"Ariel, Ariel!" Beowdil shook her shoulder.

"The harvest," she whispered. Her breath was slowing.

"Ariel, don't leave me! I love you, don't go!" Beowdil pleaded.

"Harvest..." she whispered, "Love..." she gasped, and with a quiet breath Ariel died.
« Last Edit: October 15, 2016, 06:22:10 AM by jdizzy001 » Logged

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