A beaming full moon spread its pale light across a green hillside dotted with spots of brush and ferns while thick pines stood tall against it’s glow providing shade to the forest ground beneath them. To the north was a great wall of mountains and steep impenetrable hills and to the south a winding stream seemed to circle the forest and beyond it the wooded hillside gave way to the green rolling fields of Bree-land. To the west was the great Brandywine river and across it the Shire and to the east the waters of Starmere lake sat wide and silent as the image of the starry night sky reflected off it’s peaceful waters.
In the center of all this along the widest branch of the tallest pine rested a grim faced man hooded and cloaked in hues of olive and brown. He let a brief yawn escape him before spitting a much chewed upon twig to the forest ground below. It made the slightest of sounds as it struck the earth but this was lost to the many other noises of the forest by the small collection of men who had made camp a few hundred yards from the man’s perch high in the pine. He watched as the glow of their fire began to dim its flames turning to embers and embers to ash. They would sleep soon the man reasoned but not too soundly, for wicked men rarely do.
As the man began to make his descent onto the ground below he couldn’t help but let loose a faint smile at his success. Days of hard travel and close pursuit had left his quarry exhausted and careless in their actions. They had all fallen asleep one by one against the warmth of their fire without posting sentry or moving away and leaving dying flames as a false camp like they had done in the past. No, not this night for this night they had lost their edge to weariness and fatigue and that was the break this Ranger had been hoping to find.
Careful to avoid stepping on any loose leaves or fallen branches he moved silently, a shadow in the night. He was slow and methodical as he inched forward with each calculated step. There was no need to rush things now, he had them exactly where he wanted them. As the camp came into full view he pressed himself up against a smaller pine and looked upon them with sharp gray eyes. Confirming his earlier count of five he mentally marked their positions and began to scan the ground for weapons and matched each man to his nearest potential means of attack. He took a few moments to consider the best plan of action as he looked upon these dark and wicked men, Angmarim of Angmar servants of the self-proclaimed steward Zaphragôr and his band ofKallabân Tud. They were filth to him, worse even than orcs for they were mortal men and had the capacity to break away from their murderous lords. They chose instead to live as cultists, vessels of the Eye and the Iron crown, the hands that put into actions all their dark imaginings. There would be no trial, no counsel of judgment, Turchon had given them their sentence and it was to be a swift death as quickly as he could give it to them.
Taking a final deep breath the man gathered his nerves, it would be quick and violent once it started and there was no room for mistakes he being so deeply outnumbered against skilled combatants wearied though they were. Tightly gripping his spear he began moving toward them then at a steady jog, quickly closing the distance between he and the first man who had just begun to stir at the sudden noise. He did not have the time to discover its source because a sharp spear tip came crashing down into and through his forehead. The cracking of the man’s skull was loud and wrenching and the others began to become aware of their predicament. They had little time for action as Turchon yanked his spear free and sent it flying into the chest and through the heart of another foe that also died swiftly though he carried a look of pure terror to his grave, the features of the hooded figure being his last image, more devil than man. The other three were fully awake now and quickly scrambled for their arms as Turchon pulled his Greatsword from its sheath. The Angmarim furthest from Turchon lunged for his crossbow, pulled the bolt back and began to take aim. Turchon quickly sent the remnants of the fire into the archer’s field of vision with a swift kick and the bolt soared harmlessly into the night sky. As this Angmarim wiped the ash and grim from his eyes another nearer to Turchon razed his cruel blade and took charge. He was weary though and still disoriented from having woken so soon into such action, Turchon sidestepped his attack and as he went sprawling into the ground his tumble was aided by a powerful downward sloping slash of Turchon’s sword. He cried in pain as the third Angmarim ran past him, fleeing into the woods beyond.
Turchon took his first step in pursuit but out of the corner of his eye saw the Angmarim archer raising his crossbow for another shot. Quickly Turchon swung his sword up in a wide motion across his own form and by some miracle managed to meet with the bolt and throw it off course by only a foot or two. A surprised look donned the would be assassins pale features as Turchon closed the distance between them and gave a downward piercing thrust of his sword; one being so powerful that it penetrated through not only the man but several inches deeper into the ground beneath him. Gurgling blood the foe was left to bleed out as Turchon turned, leaving his Greatsword behind and drawing his dirk in the process. Starting at another jog he slowed briefly to reach down and grasp the other fallen man by his ill-kept hair, raising his head with this grasp Turchon brought the dirk across the foe’s neck and began to visually search for the fleeing man as the bright steel of the blade was stained with seeping blood.
Spotting the fifth and final foe Turchon gave pursuit though the man had some ground on him and in the skirmish Turchon had lost much of his wind he was able to close the gap quickly before any great distance was covered. He was about to raise his dirk for the final blow when to his surprise the man turned and met Turchon’s pursuit with a quick elbow to his jaw. Startled by the sudden blow Turchon was tackled and in the process lost his grip on the dirk as it flew to the ground a few feet behind him. The Angmarim kneeled straddled over Turchon’s form and sent another punishing elbow into his face before lunging over him to grab for the dirk. Turchon was still shaken but managed to wrap his arms around the foe and prevent him from getting enough distance to grab the weapon, his fingers just inches away. This struggle ensued for a few moments before Turchon rolled to the left with a mighty thrust of his body and managed to pin his struggling opponent beneath him. Thinking quickly Turchon forced the width of his forearm against his opponents chest and with his opposite hand reached down to grasp the large skinning knife at his boot but as he fingered for the blade the Angmarim glanced down and he too reached for the weapon, whilst his opposite hand wrapped around Turchon’s neck and began to choke the life from him with a deadly grip.
Perhaps spurred by the sudden lack of air Turchon beat the Angmarim to the punch and grasped the blade at his boot. He forced it up and then down towards the man but the strike was halted as the determined foe reached up to grasp Turchon’s wrist in a last effort to escape death. They struggled like this for a few moments and Turchon’s vision began to blur as he teetered on the edge of consciousness, the Angmarim’s grip wrapping harder around his throat. His own efforts proved enough however and as his knife pressed into the man chest the grip around his neck loosened and Turchon’s senses returned in time for him to watch the last moments of life leave the man. Blood poured from the wound at the edges of the point of entry and Turchon felt the last few pumps of his hated enemies heart as it vibrated off the steel of the knife and up through the handle. They locked eye contact with one another this whole time the Angmarim and the Dunadan and not once did the hate in their gaze waver. When the man had finally faded Turchon slowly rose and stood for a few moments catching his breath as he looked upon the corpse. “That was for Arelaith.” He spoke as he spit upon the dead man’s form and reached down for his dirk, sheathing his knife in the process.
Still trying to return his breathing to normal Turchon slowly made his way back into the camp and did not reply as the dying Angmarim began to curse him, pinned to the earth by the Greatsword protruding from his abdomen. “You… Dunadan… Filth…” he chuckled weakly between the bouts of gurgled blood. “Zaphragôr will kill… you… and… your people.” Chuckling once more he manages his last words before the blood filling his mouth overwhelms his attempts at speech “The Dunedain… will die… long live…” he coughs painfully “Kallabân Tud!” slowly crossing his fist across his chest the dark warrior made a final salute to his lord before passing into the next world.
Turchon did not appear to be all that affected by these threats as he gathered his arms and anything he deemed of value from his fallen foes. Taking time to rip the Iron crown pendant each one carried around their necks, a sigil of Kallabân Tud, and stuff them into one of the many pockets along his belt. He collected all their other jewelry, weapons and miscellaneous valuables in a weathered leather pack among their possessions and slung it over his shoulder. Making his way a few hundred yards from the scene he stuffed the bag beneath a large collection of gravel rocks and leaves and hastily carved a mark of his people into a nearby tree. The corpses of the Angmarim were left to whatever scavengers would have them and Turchon began trekking south towards the low country. As he walked he thought of his lost friends and the gruesome ends they had met and the hands of these wicked men and yet he did not feel so sorrowful as he may have at one time.“I will see them again.” he said aloud; visibly convincing himself of his statement he pressed on towards the distant smoke of Bree-town. He pondered treating himself to one of the town’s heated bathhouses before he went about the task of investigating rumors that had come to him of the passage of more of these pale north-men along the old east road.
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OOC: This is a Journal entry I plan to add to with the eventual goal to write off my character Turchon’s role in the LOTRO universe. If anybody still reads these forums feel free to create your own and join in the fun. I’m not sure I’ll ever have time to actively Roleplay in-game again but I’ll continue having fun with these in the mean time. Hoping to hear from my old friends again J