The Ride to Rohan

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The Ride to Rohan

Post by mysterymax on Mon Jul 16, 2018 2:27 pm

Umar woke before dawn eager for her again. He drank in her beauty, her flowing hair, her lithe form, her small breasts and her wide hips as she rode him like a stallion on the plains, galloping for home, and he cried aloud as his seed erupted into her belly.

She lay down on him and they caressed , panting and bathed with sweat as his passion slowly faded.

“There will no doubt be messages to take back to the Mark that are not yet written,” he spoke quietly into her ear. “I doubt we will get out of here today, and I for one will enjoy another night in your company. I know you will be called into higher level planning sessions than I, but let us meet again this evening, upon the wall where I kissed you.”

He left her then, washing in cold water from the bucket as was his habit and shaking himself dry like a dog. Out in the hallway she heard him call for a hot bath for her.

Back in the council chambers of Elessar, it was as he had predicted. The opportunity to send messages back to the Riddermark with Umar and his war band was too much for Eomer and his other chieftains to pass up, but those messages needed to be written and in some cases encoded to avoid prying eyes learning their content if they should fall into the wrong hands. Umar was busy all day collecting scrolls and folded slips of parchment.

Selethriel was also busy. Others of the fair folk had arrived late the night before and wanted to speak with her, pass along their own messages and ask her advice on this or that. Also king Elessar begged her indulgence in offering her wise council on the general state of the lands he and his armies would be passing through.

Altogether it was two more days before they moment of departure came, and two more nights spent in each others arms.

Umar introduced Selethriel to his war band. He knew each man well and joked easily with them about the ride to come. Yet his easy way masked a firm authority and he left everyone in no uncertainty that her safety was paramount above all else. When it came time to set forth, they galloped across the great plains whooping with joy for the men of the Riddermark were not happy within tall walls and preferred the open grasslands to any mountain scenery.

He rode alongside her with one six ahead of them scouting the road and one behind as a rearguard. It would take them several days to reach the hill fort of Edoras where Umar would deliver the dispatches he carried in a satchel across his back. The White Mountains marched along their route to their left, and they spoke of the days long gone when they had hunted the rumors of an Oracle rousing the dark creatures of this hills against the rule of men. That had been a series of close calls, but the dangers had driven them into each others arms and neither regretted the risks.
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Re: The Ride to Rohan

Post by mysterymax on Wed Jul 18, 2018 2:49 pm

They rode north at first, following the sweep of the Great West Road around the eastern end of the White Mountains, passing into the Realm of Anorian, and then settled into a steady canter heading a little north of west. The horses, eager for the run after their lazy days in stables, made easy work of the miles and they passed merchant's wagons and tinker's carts, hay wains and mule trains laden with goods moving in both directions freely without fear of banditry or unjust taxes. The day was fair, with a hint of spring rain in the distant clouds, cool and ideal from riding.

Umar estimated it would take them eight to ten days at this pace to reach Edoras, some three hundred and fifty miles distant. They all knew they could do it in less, if they pushed their mounts to their limits, but there seemed no haste under the pale blue sky, and they rode on into the day at the same easy pace.


The Great West Road Skirts the White Mountains

The war band had its own routines for scouting the land, riding at the point or in the van, setting up camp and assigning the various chores required for a troop of warriors to live out of the saddle. Serethiel was very familiar with the ways of the Rohirrim, had ridden at various times with these men's grandfathers and great grandfathers over this very same road, but today, with Umar at her side, his great laughter and loving gaze to buoy her up, she felt as if it was all as fresh and as new as when Elendil had first sailed east to this land after the fall of Numenor. Ancient songs came to her lips around their campfires at night, and the men of Umar's war band considered it a wonderful thing that their Captain should have gained the love of such a fair one.

After a week of vigorous travel the Great West Road turned north again to skirt the encroaching mountains, and the riders began to speak excitedly about their own loved ones at home. They crossed the River Snowbourn at a shallow ford that grown up into a small market town and Umar declared that they would sleep in the halls at Edoras the next night.

As they purchased supplies at the small market town they noticed a disturbing sight. Two men hung from a gibbet in the town square, crows flocking around them to peck at their rotting flesh.

“Who are they?” Umar asked the farmer's wife selling them meat and vegetables for the pot.

“Bandits!” she spit on the ground and made a sign to ward off evil spirits. “Horse thieves from the north, they said. Things ain't going well up in the Wold, they said. But that don't give them the right to come here and steal stuff from honest folk. Good riddance, says I!” She spit again and hurriedly finished her transaction with Umar, bobbing her head at Serethiel. “Meaning no disrespect, mum,” she mumbled awkwardly.
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Re: The Ride to Rohan

Post by Admin on Wed Jul 18, 2018 5:00 pm

For Serethiel those nights in Minas Tirith before they left for Edoras were to be treasured. She was back in the arms of the man she loved and she knew that this time nothing would separate them. Despite the fact that she was over a thousand years old, those five years had been the longest of her life. Every hour that passed their bond grew stronger and stronger. She had lived far too long without love and true happiness. She was determined not to lose it now that she had it. Although no official announcement was made, they no longer took pains to hide their relationship and those around them began to notice. Only King Elessar and King Eomer were told personally. Elessar seemed genuinely happy for her. The pair had known one another for a very long time and she trusted his judgement as he trusted hers. Elessar approved of the match, although he knew very well that Serethiel didn't truly need it.

When the time came to leave, Serethiel mounted Beleg, her large, black stallion, and rode out side by side with Umar. Serethiel enjoyed getting to know Umar's men and found that she had known many of their ancestors. Many of them already knew about her, not just because of her heroics during the War, but also because stories about her time in Rohan had been passed down through the generations. In the evenings, Serethiel would regale them were stories about the war and, if they urged her enough, would sing as well. She was highly respected by the men for her skill at arms and her ability in the saddle. She rode with very little movement of her hands or legs, but controlled Beleg perfectly.

Finally, they began to near Edoras. They were beginning to run low on supplies so they decided to stop at a small village for a few more items. It was there that they discovered the rotting corpses of two men hanging from a gibbet in the square. Serethiel listened quietly as Umar first spoke to the woman they were purchasing food from and asked her about them. She glanced back over at the bodies before looking at the woman again.

"Has their been an increase in the number of bandits your village has seen?"

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Re: The Ride to Rohan

Post by mysterymax on Thu Jul 19, 2018 3:42 pm

Umar frowned at the bodies and the noisy squawk of the carrion birds. Horse thieving had long been a capital offense in Rohan, and he saw no reason that the men should not have been hanged if caught, but he disliked the idea of such a thing so close to the capital city, and he listened closely as the market wife replied to Serethiel's question.

“Been hearing dark things from up north,” she nodded, happy to be the bearer of bad tidings. “Horse thief's and murderings, they say, up along the Wold way. Them what lives there ain't really Rohhirim, if you know what I mean. Wildlings more like. Living in mud huts and such. Marrying their own sisters and having monsters for children.

Umar scoffed. His own holding was between here and the Wold, and he knew the Riders around him were decent folk who lived every bit as civilized a life as those closer to the capital. This was the talk of racial hatred and dissent. He wondered how it had crept into the working class way of looking at things so quickly.

“Let us ride on, my lady,” he urged Serethiel. “We can deliver our dispatches and perhaps ride north on our route to see for ourselves what is happening.”

He tossed the old woman an extra coin for her trouble, though he disliked her tone, and spurred his mount across the shallow ford, eager to leave the slowly twisting bodies and the cackling crows behind.

OOC: Feel free to back post if she has any other interactions at the ford

They camped that night at a well used site along the road, beside a fresh stream of cold water, melted from the side of the mountains that afternoon, it seemed. Other groups were there as well, and it seemed there was a very guarded mood about them. Umar and his war band were used to being hailed as heroes and looked up to by boys and young men, but these farmers and drovers looked sullen and afraid as if they worried that the warriors would steal from them or attack their women.

“I don't understand this,” Umar confessed to her as they sat at ease by their campfire while the men prepared a meal and pitched their tents. “I did not ride through here when I answered the king's call for Riders to muster at Minas Tirith. Indeed it is two years at least since I was in Edoras, but much has changed. The people seem sullen and uncouth, afraid and beaten down somehow. There is something happening her I do not like.”
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Re: The Ride to Rohan

Post by Serethiel on Thu Jul 19, 2018 8:33 pm

Serethiel said nothing more to the old woman and stepped away as Umar paid her. She could sense Umar was not happy with much that she said, but she decided that it was not the time to speak about it. Once the supplies had been purchased they re-mounted their horses and continued to head towards Edoras. That evening they made camp at a site that appeared well used. They joined several other groups, but the general mood of the camp seemed off. After unsaddling her horse and making sure he had water and feed she joined Umar at the campfire. She sat next to him and looked over at him as he spoke.

"I sense that as well. I wonder if what is happening here is connected somehow with what might be happening at Isenguard. There is an increased number of orcs in that area and I feel that something dark is stirring."

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