Daughter of Arnor

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Ranger of Arthedain
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Daughter of Arnor

Postby Ranger of Arthedain » Thu Jan 20, 2011 3:12 am

I decided to finally post my story I began working on a few nights ago. :) It's no wheres near as brilliant as most of the works on here, currently, but I wanted to share it with you guys none the less. Criticism is greatly appreciated, as I'm striving to improve my writing skills.

I would also like to make a suggestion before I post my story; What do you guys think of Round Robins? For those that do not know, they are similar to roleplaying, I guess you could say, but they are more detailed. It's more like collaborative writing. Basically, you come up with a plot line for a story, and you take turns with other writers developing and progressing the story. What do you guys think?

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"Lacho calad! Drego morn!"

The battle cry of her people rang out clear and loud, piercing the cold twilight in what is called the Angle, a place situated in the old kingdom of Rhudaur, between the rivers Hoarwell and Bruinen. Her head snapped up, her instincts causing her tired body to move of its own accord. Sword unsheathed from his worn scabbard, her father moved past her hastily, dashing towards the few other male Dunedain who were quickly making their way towards the faint cry for help. The young ranger in training reached for her own sword that lay sheathed in the newly crafted leather scabbard above the fireplace on the mantelpiece. Her mother's slender fingers wrapped around her forearm firmly, before she could even touch the smooth brown leather of her sword's sheath.

"Stay where you are, let the men handle this."

Grey eyes narrowed into slits, her outstretched hand clenched into a tight fist.

"But I can fight!"

"Nay, you are still weary from your journey!" Her mother's sharp tone cut her to the bone, but she did not falter. "You will only get yourself slain, Aeron!"

The young woman winced at her mother's words. It had been a reflex, upon hearing the battlecry of old, to reach for the first weapon in sight. Aeron knew the words meant danger was close at hand. Her arm went slack, falling to her side when her mother released it. She did not want to admit to such things, but her mother was right; she would surely be slain if she rushed out to help the others defend their small settlement. She did not think it fair, however true the words may be, because the male Dunedain never had time to rest after their own journeys, why should she be any different? All Aeron could do now was wait idly by the door for them to return; be it alive or dead. The orcs were becoming more fierce and persistent these days, always attempting to penetrate the walls of the small Dunedain settlements that were situated in the Angle. The small population of Dunedain that resided there was beginning to dwindle; only a handful remained in each tiny settlement.

This was Aeron's home, though, since the day her mother Aerian gave birth to her. Her father had expected a son; an heir to the Northern kingdom of Arnor, but instead he received a daughter. Still, he was joyous for being blessed with her, and loved her just the same. Daeradan never regretted having her, albeit he was disheartened that he (or so he thought) could not pass down the ways of the ranger to his offspring. As the young girl grew, she learned this. Wanting nothing more than to make her father proud (by giving him the son he never had); Aeron decided that she would not become like a caged beast, locked away inside a house in the kitchen for the remainder of her life. She would become one of the heirs, or in her case, an heiress to the Northern kingdom of Arnor; she would become a Ranger of the North.

"They come!"

A flash of forest green and rusty brown flew pass Aerian, the cold winter air entering inside the cozy warm house for the second time that night. Small balls of glowing orange light could be seen bobbing through the night as women carried them, rushing towards their menfolk who were just passing through the gate of the settlement. Two men were being carried on make shift stretchers, while others were leaning on their brethren for support. Aeron could make out her father's tall, broad shouldered figure in the front, one arm cradling the other. Her mother had joined her at this point, using the torch she held to examine her husband's arm when he came to them.

"Two were slain," his face seemed more haggard in the light glow of the torch, "Five wounded including me." His eyes followed the two rangers that lay lifeless on the stretchers, being carried inside the small healing house they had built just last summer. "They were not of our brethren here in the Angle, but of those belonging to the encampment settled in the North Downs."

"Two of Halbarad's men?" her mother asked, one hand on the small of her father's back, ushering him back inside to the warmth of their fire. Aeron's father did not answer her until he was seated in his favorite chair that sat next to the fire place. Aerian had already been heating a bowl of water, with the medicinal herbs close at hand, just for this very purpose. It was only after his arm was bandaged, that he nodded his head in reply.

"Aye."

"What business did they have here in the Angle, then?"

Aeron piped up from her spot on the hearth, back to the warm fire.

"Delivering a message to me."

Aeron watched him pull out a bloodied, crumpled piece of parchment from a pocket on the inside of his brown leather duster. He handed the letter to Aerian, closing his weary, brown eyes. Aeron turned attentive grey eyes towards her mother, watching the woman's delicate fingers smooth out the parchment paper, unfolding it.



To: Captain Daeradan of the Dunedain
The Angle
South of Rivendell, between the Hoarwell and Bruinen Rivers


I pray this letter finds you, brother. We here in the North Downs are in need of your assistance. The men of the Iron Crown have allied with a segment of the hillmen and orcs in Angmar once more. Some Iron Crown have even travelled into the northern part of the North Downs and allied with the band of orcs there. They've already begun to build war machines, the likes of which we have not seen before. I have sent word to the Captain of the rangers of Evendim, but they too are fighting the forces of the Angmarim. I do not know if they will answer to my call of aide; but I beseech you to listen to me. I have too few men here to send a full sized company into Angmar, I myself cannot go for I must remain here incase counsel is sent from our Lord or one of our allies. Make swift your actions, friend, the forces of Angmar waits for no one.


Halbarad of the Dunedain, Ranger of the North





Silence engulfed the house for a moment, Aerian staring at the letter, Aeron gazing up at her father, and Daeradan still sitting with his eyes closed. For a moment, the two women thought he was asleep, but his eyes slowly opened, glancing in the direction of the letter. The crackling of the fire all most completely drowned out Daeradan's reply.

"I cannot answer his plea for help."

His voice was strained and quiet, his face haggard but taught. Daeradan was angered at the fact that he saw no hope for his brethren in the North Downs; there was no hope, even, for his own men here in the Angle.

"What do you mean you cannot answer?!"

Daeradan's head snapped in the direction of where his daughter sat next to him, eyebrows furrowing.

"Be silent Aeron. I cannot answer his plea because we are in need of aide here; if you have not noticed, we too are low on men here in the Angle."

Aeron's lips formed into a thin line, grabbing her knees and drawing them closer to her chest. Her mother refolded the letter, handing it back to her tired husband. He held it in his hands for a moment before laying it in his lap, still staring at it.

"Father, send word to Lord Elrond in Rivendell! Ask him to dispatch elven sentries here at each of our small settlements. Send out the quickest rider here amongst the Rangers."

Daeradan looked at his daughter once more, sighing in frustration.

"Even if I sent out the fastest rider, what would we do until aide arrived? Who will protect the women and children until then? The wounded cannot."

Aeron grew silent once more, glancing away from her father; he had raised a valid point.

"We cannot ignore his plea, father. We take a few men from each village; enough to make a small company. Those that remain, aside from the wounded, can surely defend our homes against the orcs. I am sure Halbarad can afford to spare only a few of his own men to complete our company."

"Our company?"

Daeradan arched an eyebrow at her causing her to be taken aback by his question.

"Father, please. You have to let me go with you! How am I to become a ranger if I'm never allowed outside of these walls?"

Silence again. Daeradan glanced up in his wife's direction, his eyes pleading for her to rescue him. He truly did NOT want to have this conversation with his daughter at the present moment. He was much too tired and aggravated.

"Aeron, please, it is a long journey from here to Halbarad's encampment. You are inexperienced still, and-"

"I will not be a hindrance to you or your men if that is what you're hinting at, father."

Her voice raised slightly, eyebrows narrowing in the same manner as her father's had previously.

"Mind your tongue, woman, and do not interrupt me again."

He silently watched her turn her head away again, glaring at the wooden floor beneath her. Not only was she still inexperienced, but she was still young; though she was of age, and very much immature still.

"Forgive me father, but all I'm saying is this would be good experience for me."

"Aeron this is not your normal everyday trek through the woods! We will be heading deep into enemy territory; enemies that are not your normal everyday orc or hill troll! Some are more deadly than others because they possess sorcery; dark magic! You WILL die if you are not careful! I cannot be there to guide you all the time, my daughter." His voice began to soften, as did his expression.

"Then at least I will die honorably beside of my brethren! I am no longer a child, father and I am not THAT inexperienced! I can handle my own! You've taught me well, father, the ways of the ranger; no matter how inexperienced you still think I am."

Daeradan's eyes narrowed into slits at his persistent daughter, sticking the letter back inside his pocket. He did not relish the idea of having his only child ride alongside him into battle. It would surely be the death of him; having to worry about her safety and his men, rather than his own.

"Very well, then, since you are so adamant about going. Mark my words this journey will be an arduous one and I will treat you no different than I do my men."

Aeron gazed up at her father whom was staring at her, clearly upset that he had made this decision. She simply nodded her head muttering a yes sir to him quietly.

"Off to bed with you, we gather the men from each village at foredawn and form our company. We ride for Halbard's encampment in the morn."

Aeron nodded her head, standing up and walking into her cool, dark room. She did not bother with changing out of her current attire, plopping herself down on her soft bed. She kicked off her boots, laying back with her hands resting in behind her head. She stared at the star dotted sky out her window, sighing. The young ranger was too excited; anticipated for the journey that lay ahead of her, meaning no sleep came to her that night. Aeron closed her eyes, resting them after a while, her ears picking up on the faint murmurs of her parents' voices. Finally, she drifted off into slumber, dreaming of forgotten kings and ancient, ruined realms.
Last edited by Ranger of Arthedain on Fri Jan 21, 2011 11:26 pm, edited 3 times in total.
When the snows fall and the white winds blow, the lone wolf dies, but the pack survives. Winter is almost upon us, it will be long and hard, but the North remembers and the wolves will come again.
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Re: Daughter of Arnor

Postby Ernildir » Thu Jan 20, 2011 5:46 am

Thanks for posting this! I enjoyed it. Particularly the implementation of Shadows of Angmar.

As for "Round Robins", I like the idea. Although they need to be carefully and determinedly formed. I once participated in a lotr themed "Round Robin" (on the lotro forums, actually), but it moved ever so slowly and eventually died due to inactivity and participants dropping out. Such collaborative stories needn't, in my opinion, necessarily have frequently writing-and-posting participants, but they at least need to have participants who will be devoted to the end. Or participants who are prepared to kill off their characters when they no longer have the time to continue. 8)
And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.
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Re: Daughter of Arnor

Postby Peter Remling » Thu Jan 20, 2011 2:06 pm

Enjoyed the story and it looks like the rest of the tale will unfold over time.

Regarding a round robin, I've contributed in several, either people dropped out or the tales' direction got turned around until no one wanted to participate. Having a predetermined start and end point, while ideal for maintaining the direction of the story, detracks from individual artistry.

Instead of a round robin, how about something along the liness of "Tales from the Vulger Unicorn"? For those of you unfamiliar with the series, a group of well known authors after a sifi conference got together and thought it would be nice to work in some other authors established "universe" so Robert Lynn Aspirin invented The Vulger Unicorn, a tavern in a history established city, staffed it with a few charaters and all the interested authors contributed. The guidelines were that any author could use any other authors characters in their stories provided they didn't kill, maim or permanently alter the other character or locations in the storyline.
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Re: Daughter of Arnor

Postby Mirimaran » Thu Jan 20, 2011 5:30 pm

Very good, Beth, I liked it quite a bit.

Regarding round robins, I've done it many times over the years and it is a great training aid for new writers; I do not like rigidity in that form, though. Stories should be able to flow freely, not locked into some preformed course, imo. I think Peter has a good idea with perhaps replacing the Unicorn with the Pony, and we'd be set. Now, if you want to open your premise to the group, Beth, just write "Open" in your next post and we can go from there. In our writing group, we use Open or Closed to denote if we wanted contributions or not.

Peter, I remember Thieves World and the Hell series from the 80's, wow that has been a long time now....
"Well, what are you waiting for? I am an old man, and have no time for your falter! Come at me, if you will, for I do not sing songs of dastards!"
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Re: Daughter of Arnor

Postby Cleddyf » Thu Jan 20, 2011 8:32 pm

its really good, i like it
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Re: Daughter of Arnor

Postby Ranger of Arthedain » Thu Jan 20, 2011 11:11 pm

Thanks for your comments, guys :) I greatly appreciate them!

Ernildhir, 8) I simply love the epic quests from that game. I use them and my other numerous adventures to write in my character's journal she is suppose to carry with her on her journeys.

It seems the rest of you have either had the same thoughts or problems happen to you concerning round robins. I participated in quite few, not lotr related, and they all either ended in disaster or well, didn't end at all. As both Peter and Ken have stated, having a predetermined start and end (which is why I think most tend to drop out of the stories due to lack of interest after a while), doesn't leave room for creativity.

Ken, Peter you may have to explain it a little more to me, if you can and you don't mind. I think I may understand it to a degree, but I'd like to be sure as it sounds interesting. Currently I'm use to posting in an Inn (the Golden Perch Inn to be more precise), we're given a set time and what event is happening during that time in ME, and the rest is up to the players (they claim it to be RP, but it's a bit more extensive than that, imo). But I don't think this is the same as what you're describing.
Last edited by Ranger of Arthedain on Thu Jan 20, 2011 11:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
When the snows fall and the white winds blow, the lone wolf dies, but the pack survives. Winter is almost upon us, it will be long and hard, but the North remembers and the wolves will come again.
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Re: Daughter of Arnor

Postby Ernildir » Thu Jan 20, 2011 11:56 pm

Ranger of Arthedain wrote:
Ernildhir, 8) I simply love the epic quests from that game. I use them and my other numerous adventures to write in my character's journal she is suppose to carry with her on her journeys.




They are simply *beautiful*. Volume 1: Book 14 and the revelation of Mordirith's true identity is tear-inducing, in a tragic sort of way.

Just wait until you see the session play "Sons of Isildur" in Volume 3. :mrgreen:
And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.
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Re: Daughter of Arnor

Postby Ernildir » Thu Jan 20, 2011 11:58 pm

Oh, and Amdir. So sad. *cries for Amdir*

The quest chain involving Amdir is really one of my favorite plot lines, though. Heart-wrenching, captivating...
And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.
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Ranger of Arthedain
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Re: Daughter of Arnor

Postby Ranger of Arthedain » Fri Jan 21, 2011 12:10 am

Ernildhir wrote:

They are simply *beautiful*. Volume 1: Book 14 and the revelation of Mordirith's true identity is tear-inducing, in a tragic sort of way.

Just wait until you see the session play "Sons of Isildur" in Volume 3. :mrgreen:



I'm currently stuck on book seven in volume 1 (I think is the one). It's the one where you and your fellowship have to invade Carn Dum to search for Golodir, Lorniel's father (*whistles innocently* :P ). I've read about what happens and watched a view videos, but it's not the same as experiencing it. I like working alone so I have to break over eventually :\ I'm stuck on the third book in Moria too right now, due to needing a fellowship! D: But my toon is lvl 56 which is barely enough to do some quests in Lothlorien.

I know! I was reading about Volume 3! I have been working my tail end off on that game just so I can start working on it. :mrgreen:

Ah yes, Amdir. *sniffs* I was helping a friend with their book quests and had to relive it all over again!
When the snows fall and the white winds blow, the lone wolf dies, but the pack survives. Winter is almost upon us, it will be long and hard, but the North remembers and the wolves will come again.
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Re: Daughter of Arnor

Postby Mirimaran » Fri Jan 21, 2011 12:16 am

It's not too hard, someone will start a post (and there might be a vague idea as to what it is you are writing) and then the next person picks up the thread and adds to it. Some folks don't mind some using their characters, others don't want any dialogue used unless they write it. Here's an example:

A Shadow over Bree (open post) (anyone)

Night fell upon the village of Bree with the closing of the main gate. Slowly people filtered from the duties of the day to their small, gabled homes to attend to family and meals and then to bed, but others made their way up the worn cobbled street to the great inn of the Prancing Pony, where warm golden light spilled like ale from the open door. Inside many made merry, but sitting beside the roaring fireplace sat a man in worn and dirty garb, his tattered cloak wrapped around him like a shadow. His eyes scanned the room, as if he was waiting for someone to show up.

*********

Then the next person picks up the thread and posts.

Re: A Shadow over Bree (open post) (Tag:Ken)

Brackle Bingleberry, a hobbit late of most everything except dinner, made his way through the crowd, his nimble fingers testing coin purses and unwatched plates alike. He wore a smile as bright as the yellow vest he wore that had seen better days, and when he approached the stranger beside the fireplace he bowed and asked,

"Bingleberry at your service, sir! I hear you are looking to put together a Company of Adventurers. Am I wrong?"

He waited for the man's reply.

Does any of that make sense?
"Well, what are you waiting for? I am an old man, and have no time for your falter! Come at me, if you will, for I do not sing songs of dastards!"
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Re: Daughter of Arnor

Postby Ranger of Arthedain » Fri Jan 21, 2011 12:29 am

Makes perfect sense, Ken! Thanks for clearing that up for me. We do it similar to that on the Downs. :) I'm going to start a new thread for it though.
Last edited by Ranger of Arthedain on Fri Jan 21, 2011 11:27 pm, edited 2 times in total.
When the snows fall and the white winds blow, the lone wolf dies, but the pack survives. Winter is almost upon us, it will be long and hard, but the North remembers and the wolves will come again.
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Re: Daughter of Arnor

Postby Mirimaran » Fri Jan 21, 2011 12:38 am

Ok, sounds great!
"Well, what are you waiting for? I am an old man, and have no time for your falter! Come at me, if you will, for I do not sing songs of dastards!"
kaelln

Re: Daughter of Arnor

Postby kaelln » Fri Jan 21, 2011 5:07 pm

Beth, I quite liked it. A very good start! As for constructive criticism, I have a couple of comments. I found the parenthetical asides distracting, and I would replace the parenthesis with paired commas. The word "passed" should be "past". The difference goes like this: "I passed her going 90 miles per hour" and "It's just past the house with the big silo." "Passed" indicates an active state, the act of passing, and "past" indicates a passive state of being, ie, a location. Finally, there was one sentence that I had to read a couple of times to get clear with what it meant. It was the sentence where someone was upset because he had made the decision. At first I thought she was upset, which didn't make sense, and then I realized *he* was upset. That sentence could be a little clearer.

A very good build-up of tension and setting the conflict. I can foresee lots of room for growth in both the daughter and father. It would be great if she learns that maybe she's not as ready as she thinks, which would make for some very tense and exciting action scenes, and he learns that maybe he's a little too fast to judge her by her gender rather than her capabilities. It also seems likely to me that he's going to be harder on her on the road than he intends to be, because he would really rather have her just "be a girl" than do this dangerous Ranger stuff. Really just an awesome start, and I look forward to seeing more!
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Re: Daughter of Arnor

Postby Ranger of Arthedain » Fri Jan 21, 2011 11:23 pm

kaelln wrote:Beth, I quite liked it. A very good start! As for constructive criticism, I have a couple of comments. I found the parenthetical asides distracting, and I would replace the parenthesis with paired commas. The word "passed" should be "past". The difference goes like this: "I passed her going 90 miles per hour" and "It's just past the house with the big silo." "Passed" indicates an active state, the act of passing, and "past" indicates a passive state of being, ie, a location. Finally, there was one sentence that I had to read a couple of times to get clear with what it meant. It was the sentence where someone was upset because he had made the decision. At first I thought she was upset, which didn't make sense, and then I realized *he* was upset. That sentence could be a little clearer.

A very good build-up of tension and setting the conflict. I can foresee lots of room for growth in both the daughter and father. It would be great if she learns that maybe she's not as ready as she thinks, which would make for some very tense and exciting action scenes, and he learns that maybe he's a little too fast to judge her by her gender rather than her capabilities. It also seems likely to me that he's going to be harder on her on the road than he intends to be, because he would really rather have her just "be a girl" than do this dangerous Ranger stuff. Really just an awesome start, and I look forward to seeing more!



See what happens to you when you've been out of English class for far too long ;) Thanks for the advice and comments, Kaelin! :) Haha, you'll have to forgive me for using the word passed as such. A little bit of my southern twang slippin' through there ;).
When the snows fall and the white winds blow, the lone wolf dies, but the pack survives. Winter is almost upon us, it will be long and hard, but the North remembers and the wolves will come again.
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Re: Daughter of Arnor

Postby Eric C » Sat Jan 22, 2011 2:16 pm

I'm not against the round robin story that is being written. I'm just trying to read it and get the hang of it. I am also trying to come up with a suitable character. We've got a ranger, so we really don't need another one. We have a Dwarf, a bard and a few others. So, I may have a go at it with the rest of you if I can come up with something.
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