3: Threading the Needle

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3: Threading the Needle

Post  Kithrater on Mon Sep 22, 2008 11:52 am

The fate of Urfen Huleson hung in the night. The healers Limuial
and Iava both knew the wounds were severe, that they festered
beneath the skin and would not heal. The man passed fitful
nights, screaming in his sleep and blabbering fierce nonsense,
his face twisted by violence. Elsewhere, in the shelter of the
Outpost, the Huleson's confident Maicheneb passed a similarly
sleepless night - yet where Urfen was racked with pain, the
Brethil-man was racked by dreams. Orome, the Great Hunter of the
Valar, came to him. "The Ithilaicasse," the Great Hunter spoke,
Is no legend.

The Ithilaicasse. From generation to generation the legend had
been passed among the Folk of Haleth. From the tongue of the
High Elves, it was meant as the Great Pine of the Moon, and the
legend went that years ago, before the elf Finrod met the Beor
and earned the title of Man-Friend, there was an elven maiden
who lost her love. Forlorn, she turned her skin into bark among
the forests of Dorthonion, her tears turning her needles a
lustery silver.

Maicheneb knew that the silvery needles were rumored to cure any
wound, and that should the tree exist, they would bring life
back to Urfen. As the subsequent day wound into night, Ithil
rose brightly into the sky casting the highlands in a steady
light. The dream, the legend, the fierce moon, the constellation
of the Great Hunter bright in the sky: legend had become truth.

Yet others were not convinced. Maicheneb moved swiftly through
the tavern, instructing those around him to bind Urfen in
blankets, and used the belts of Kenir and Sighule to fashion a
makeshift gurney. The protests from Limuial and Urfen himself,
who feared that danger would beset the fellowship upon the snows
and forests, grew louder, until the appearance of the elf maiden
Cellewen. She informed that the Brethil-man was correct
Urfen
Huleson would die upon the morning. There was little time.

The Brethil-man Maicheneb led Sighule, Kenir, Iava, Limuial,
Forgin, Ruscnoth, and the bound Urfen through the highlands and
across the forests - guided by needles that came upon the
western winds. In their passage they came across a wolf,
eviscerated by blades. When Kenir found tracks alongside it,
they were assumed to be that of the elf Farogian who was in hunt
of the monster Rettlen.

As they continued in their passage west, the health of Urfen
Huleson grew dire-his cries filled the night air, as Limuial
attempted to quiet him with her whispers, but he was wracked
with memories of war that he shouted through his fever. The
fellowship continued past the Guardian of Rivil, when the party
spotted a tree, rising from a nearby glade, towering above the
rest.

Within the glade stood the impressive pine, yet its needles were
not the silver of legend, rather a deep green. Perhaps the elf
had cried all her tears and Urfen would be resigned to the halls
of Mandros in death. Yet Kenir spotted, near the crest of the
tree, a pack of silvery needles, and he, alongside Maicheneb and
Iava, began to climb its branches, as Limuial built a fire and
the rest stood guard.

Kenir reached the top of the pine, followed by Maicheneb, and
the two plucked the needles and withdrew from the branches,
keeping watch as Iava brought them to a boil. With the needles
boiled into a silvery broth, it was brought to Urfen lips, an
immediately upon drinking was healed, his wounds disappearing
entirely.

At that moment, a band of orcs, led by one known as Groga,
stumbled upon the camp. The orc grinned wickedly toward the
collective, speaking of his plans to enslave them, as Urfen
commanded his allies into a spear circle. The circle was broken,
however, by the bloodlust of Forgin, who charged towards the orc
who sent a broad, cleaving strike across the man's chest. Urfen
and Sighule moved to combat, with Urfen shielding blows and
Sighule striking. Maicheneb fired forth volleys of arrows from
the periphery, as Kenir lept from hiding, hacking out with his
axe. Groga and his ilk fled, slowed by their wounds and lodged
arrows, with one of the creatures brought down.

With Kenir clutching the abomination's head, the party returned
to the fort, their pace slow, baring the wounded.

Kithrater
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