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Author Topic: Above Hoarded Gold  (Read 2002 times)


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Above Hoarded Gold
« on: February 17, 2015, 03:31:00 AM »
Ori slipped in and out of consciousness every time a healer poked his back, probing for the bloodless wound that afflicted him. Between panic and blissful darkness, between agony and sleep. He almost felt like a rag doll until The Dwarf healer from the Iron Hills poked just the right spot in his ribcage where a rib should have been - and that jolted the Dwarf again into sitting up with a curse in Khûzdul. “Be…!” he gasped; Ori did not have enough air to say Be careful, for Mahal’s sake![/color] His breath was still shallow, and the sounds of the battle would have still drowned out his plea to the Dwarf woman. In either case, she murmured out something in Ancient Khûzdul, like Bifur would have, and called a nearby Woman of Dale for aid.

His vision blurred often, between his confusion and lack of concentration, but he was sure he was somewhere far in Dale, where the wounded, the women, and the children, hid from the Orcs. Oh, at some point Ori would have loved to wander Dale on his on, to observe the ruins faithfully, but this was the worst moment possible, not only with a rude and pushy healer trying to save him from suffocating - but because somewhere in this wasteland of a city, his two brother were waging their lives in a battle! And all he could do - was - cough and bleed his thrice-cursed life away!

“Stay still, boy!” commanded the healer to Ori, this time in perfectly understandable Khûzdul. “And lie on your chest!” The lad couldn’t even fight back; from the kneeling position he was in, it was easy to lie down on the icy stone floors, all cracked from the destruction caused by Smaug ages ago. The woman yanked one of his arms behind his back, and Ori cried out. The cut in his face was now facing the floor, and he could feel the blood beginning to floor again. At least the rubbing she was doing just around the rib didn’t feel so bad - “Try breathing deeply,” she instructed.

And despite how ridiculous it sounded, he tried his best. Breathe in - the sight of Dori with his bolas, looking so fierce and yet so afraid at the same time - breathe out - the fearless Nori, for once not so eager to face a challenge - breath in. If it wasn’t hard to breathe, he would be asking the healer every question, had she seen an older fellow with a goatee-braided beard with a sword and a bolas, from the Erebor warriors? Or a Dwarf with spiky, three-pointed hair...oh, he would have been at a loss of words. All he could do was - Ori inhaled sharply when the air rushed into his lungs all at once, and then began coughing uncontrollably.

“You’re the worst patient I’ve had in decades, child.” muttered the healer, who helped Ori up when he was having trouble. “Now you stay - “ but she had not time to finish her thought. He was already looking around like the desperate Dwarf he was, for any familiar face. If they’re hurt, they’re here, and they’ll be fine, he tried to calm himself with the thought, but more images of either one of his brothers on the battlefield, dying or dead, began to hyperventilate. “I need to patch you up!” stated the healer, as harsh as she could, but then she regressed into more ancient Khûzdul out of habit. And the lad did as he was told, trying his best to shout out the sound of clanging steel not that far by - and the cold - and his dark thoughts -

Was that - ? “Bifur!” wheezed out Ori, at the sight of a Dwarf with no helmet, an unkempt black and white beard, and an axe, just at the entrance, fighting off Orcs. He couldn’t see very well if that was the axe-shard in his head, or if was just his sight playing tricks with him. “Bifur!” he called out, stronger now. It was difficult to speak anymore, and he could feel the pain on his side growing more until the healer forced him down again, insisting that she needed to bandage him up, else the rib would dislocate again. But Dori - and Nori - ! Just the familiar sight of the toymaker was good news to Ori. He couldn’t just let him pass!

Played by Jo

Bifur (Smalls)

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Above Hoarded Gold
« Reply #1 on: February 25, 2015, 08:01:00 PM »
Bifur ducked, avoiding the cutlass of a leering Orc. Head low, he pushed himself against the Orc's legs until it tumbled over him, growling. Bifur drew a knife and sunk it deep into the Orc's back, pressing his boot against the body to pull it out again. The creature gurgled and groaned, but it would not rise again.

For a moment, respite. Bifur sighed as he straightened and wiped the Orc's dark blood from the blade. He re-sheathed the weapon and glanced around, one hand gripping a spear. Orcs still swarmed the ruined city of Dale, littering the once beautiful roads with bodies of Dwarves, Men, and Elves. These armies had fought bravely, and well, and innumerable Orcs added their blood to the river flowing down into the valley. But the day was not won. Even if the battle turned in their favor, the allies against evil could not call this day won. Too much had been lost.

Bifur turned to face the valley, littered with his kin. He watched as a few straggling fighters locked arms and struggled wearily. He could see the entrance to Erebor, the great city they had reclaimed. Or rather, that they had occupied. Bifur would follow his King to the end, indeed, followed him into battle, but there had been strange tensions there he could not understand. There had been none of the merriment there he had expected, none of the peace rightfully won. Instead, there were sullen silences and sidelong glances. Whispers. Secrets.

At least he had his family. Bofur and Bombur had done their best to keep everyone cheerful, as was their wont, but even their songs and food did little to lift the mood. There was something lurking in the deeps of Erebor, something that lingered even after the death of Smaug. Bifur only hoped that after the battle things would return to normal. He liked being underground again, and he hoped to find peace with his family. Bofur, and Bombur...he shook his head, his hair even more wild than usual. He had lost sight of his cousins almost immediately after they charged from the gates, and he had not seen them since. He could not bring himself to imagine the worst. He had been busy fighting his own demons as well as Orcs and goblins, and even now he had difficulty separating the battles in his mind. It did not matter one was long ago, and the other still in progress...the smoke hovering above Dale mingled the memories until he was unsure of where he was.

Shouts rang out above him, higher up in the streets of the city. Bifur blinked slowly, came to, saw Orcs running deeper into Dale. He found some strength within him and began trotting along, following the sounds. He could not ignore the bodies laying carelessly in the streets, the women clutching dead children in their lifeless arms. This was nothing like Azanulbizar. This was far, far worse. Even the stench of his brethren's burning bodies could not compare to the sight of families sprawled in the street, their bodies torn and desecrated. It would be many years before Bifur would be able to sleep soundly.

Just as he could hear the distinct clatter of battle, Bifur heard a grunt behind him. Turning quickly, spear down, he managed to skewer the goblin that had come up behind him. The spear he had found in Erebor was a lovely thing, strong and sharp, but it was shorter than the boar spear he had become accustomed to, and he was finding it hard to adjust. He tugged the spear from the goblin's corpse and watched it fall back down the street. But three more Orcs took its place, sneering at him with malice. Transferring the spear to one hand, he pulled an axe from his belt. He was not as proficient in close combat, but he was glad that his cousins insist he carry it. It had saved his life numerous times that day.

The Orcs rushed him, and with a quick jab he dispatched one with his spear. The Orc stumbled backward and the spear's handle was ripped from his hand. Leaving it, he turned to the other two. He ducked a swinging blow from one, stepped nimbly to the side, and sunk the axe into the other's leg. The Orc howled in rage and cut him across the arm. Bifur growled, pulled out the axe and swung it quickly at the Orc's neck. At least he had the high ground.

In the midst of this fighting, a call. Bifur paused for a fraction of a second, and the Orc twisted out of the way of his axe. The first Orc descended upon him, weapon raised, but Bifur bend forward and plowed into him, pushing him back into his companion. The Orc brought his sword down but his aim was bad, and the blade glanced off Bifur's armour. Bifur slowed and stepped back, swinging his axe quickly and slicing the Orc's throat. He fell on his companion, who wriggled uselessly for a moment. "Bifur!" There. His name. There was no doubt someone was calling for him. Bifur reached around the Orc's body and sunk his blade into the pinned Orc, who cried out in pain. Retrieving his spear, Bifur turned away, leaving the Orcs for dead.

He began searching the ruined buildings, peering into doorways and through murky shadows. Finally he saw a row of pallets, the wounded groaning on the ground. He stepped inside, scanning the rows of injured for a familiar face. And there, near a window, was Ori, bathed in light and face contorted in pain. But he was alive. Bifur rushed toward him, kneeling beside the Dwarf lad in relief. "Ori," he murmured in rumbling Khûzdul, "Are you all right? What happened?"


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Above Hoarded Gold
« Reply #2 on: April 01, 2015, 04:02:00 PM »
It couldn’t be the worse moment to distract Bifur from his battle, but Ori did not register that until he saw the cuts on Bifur’s arm. The old toymaker had become a fearsome warrior in the course of the Battle, and while Ori was surprised, he had somehow always known that deep within, the toymaker had always been the fearsome warrior. So was proven by his fierceness when he was assailed by three different Orcs. At the sound of his name, Bifur stuck his blade into an Orc he had pinned against one of the Orcs. Even the Dwarf woman widened her eyes in wonder when it walked away from the carnage of the three Orcs without so much as a single glance backwards...but that might have been because his eyes were always glassy. But it was difficult to say that they were unthinking now. He was very much thinking now.

It registered on Bifur’s face when he came across his frined. Ori sighed in relief when he finally found someone he knew in this bloodbath. He found in his excitement a reason to try and stand - and almost fell on his feet again when the botched state of his toes bothered him again. The Dwarf healer began calling out in Ancient Khûzdul, not unlike how Bifur might do, but Ori could barely concentrate on her words, which were all probably variations of sit down! and I’m not done with you! He was far more concerned about Bifur himself. “Ori,” called out Bifur. Now this was the time to pay attention to Ancient Khûzdul, “Are you all right? What happened?”

Only then was Ori struck with the stupidity of his plea. Was he even meant to disturb a fellow soldier only to ask - for everything! How long had he been out? Where were his brothers? Had any of them fallen? But Ori was not given a chance to ponder much a reply. Just then, another horde of at least six Orcs was making the way to the stone doorway with leering faces and long scimitars. Fear paled the young Dwarf’s face, but he crouched down back on the floor only to grasp his spear in his hand for oncoming struggle. Then he ignored the growing pain on both his back and his feet - not to mention the cut over his face - to run forward and fight the menacing troop that meant to go into the safe places of Dale.

Other wounded, with less damage (and sometimes even more) than Ori, sprang from their places themselves and rushed to greet the Orcs. Ori’s first strike at the neck of the head Orc - he always had to aim high - was fatal from the start, what with Ori bearing down on the tip of the spear with more strength than he had before. Another tried to attack Ori from the side, but the blade of the scimitar luckily hit the metal plating on his shoulder. It was not pleasant, but at least he could shrug it off and retaliate with his even-more dirty spear to harm the hand of the Orc in question. And when it  cringed from the pain but still wouldn’t let go of its blade, Ori spun on his good foot and aimed the tip of his spear on the Orc’s face. And even then did the thing resist, since it had only done in the nose. It was almost as if in hours, Ori mastered tuning out his pain, and the gurgling cries of dying Orcs and wails of misery from the innocent all over the city. In truth, it was just a matter of resilience. Of survival.

The others - Bifur, Men, even an Elf - had done in the rest before he could finally shrug off his own opponent. So much went for resilience, but there was nothing like the heat of battle to wipe away the embarrassment of bothering someone to ask a question. “Bifur,” he said in Khûzdul, for he did not want the Men and the Elf to hear him, “Have you any word of the others? Your cousins? My brothers?”

Played by Jo

Bifur (Smalls)

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Above Hoarded Gold
« Reply #3 on: May 27, 2015, 07:48:00 PM »
Before Ori could reply to his inquiry, the young Dwarf's eyes focused over Bifur's shoulder. Bifur turned to see another band of Orcs peering into the building, faces contorted in gruesome grins. Without a moment's hesitation Bifur rose and trudged toward the doorway, joining a small group of less injured individuals to take down the enemies.

The seasoned warrior lowered his spear and increased his speed for the last few steps, skewering the foremost Orc immediately, who fell back into the others. The wounded on the inside had the advantage of the bottleneck, and none had to work too hard to dispatch his foe. Bifur let the spear fall from his hands; he would retrieve it later, and it would do no good in these close quarters. Nor would his axe, which he had left by Ori's pallet anyway. Now he quickly drew his knife and plunged it into the thigh of the goblin to his right, causing it to double over in pain. An Elf delivered the final blow and the goblin fell, lifeless at their feet.

Bifur and the Elf looked at one another for a moment, while the remaining Orcs were finished off by their allies. Bifur himself had no particular grudge against the Elves, although the long-standing feud was a culturally familiar feeling between them. The Battle against the Orcs and goblins had brought the disparate races together, seeing them fighting alongside one another with Men, another strange allegiance. But they fought for their lives, not for a common purpose, and Bifur and the Elf turned away from each other again.

Bifur turned to see Ori recovering from his own fighting. Although they had spent months together, traveling the long road to Erebor, in truth Bifur knew little of the Dwarf lad. He seemed to be cared most for by his brothers, and although each Dwarf held himself responsible for all the others, they had little time to interact one on one. Bifur knew him to be a gentle Dwarf, more given to paper and pen than weapons of war, but clearly he knew how to handle himself on the battlefield. An Orc lay at his feet, cleverly slain. Bifur nodded to Ori in acknowledgement, and they moved back into the relative safety of the room, while others cleared the bodies from the doorway.

“Bifur,” Ori began, speaking in Khuzdul, “Have you any word of the others? Your cousins? My brothers?” Bifur gave him a sidelong glance as they settled back onto a pallet. Bifur allowed a female Dwarf to glance over his wounds as they sat. He knew he could not lie, although the truth was a burden. Slowly, he shook his head. "I have not. I lost sight of my kin soon after we joined the battle, and have not seen them since. Nor your brothers." It pained him to bear the unfortunate tidings, but if he had found Ori even after all seemed lost, there was still hope the families would be reunited. Bifur gazed about at the wounded, some lightly, some not. There would be many broken hearts before the day was done "We were too few, in the midst of the vast hoards of friend and foe. We were blown apart like leaves in the wind."

Bifur turned back to the young Dwarf, and allowed a small sad smile to crinkle the edges of his eyes. "But the day is young yet, Master Ori. We will rest here a while, and then we can begin our search for the rest of our party. Is there food and drink here?" He tried to remain light-hearted, for the lad's sake, but he could feel the weight of the day churning in his mind, darkening his thoughts, and threatening to overcome him.

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