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Banks of the river Iden

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1Banks of the river Iden Empty Banks of the river Iden on Sun Oct 16, 2011 3:46 am


The letter was crinkled and worn, as though it had been stuffed into the lowest recesses of a pouch in order to keep it from prying eyes. The penmanship spoke of learning, but was hurried and sloppy. No wonder, too. The contents would, if discovered by the wrong eyes, be enough to send to their deaths several very important people.

Moridin glanced through it once more, looking for any details he missed. Satisfied, he opened a drawer in his work desk and removed a folder. Marking a sigil on the letter, he placed it inside the folder, which he then returned to the desk drawer. He turned to the waiting messenger.

"Very well," he said, "I shall take this contract. You may assure your master that the Black Swords will ensure that his wishes are met."

The messenger nodded jerkily, eyes darting fearfully towards the exit. He clearly wanted nothing more to do with Moridin, or this place. Moridin eyed him with disdain for his open expression of fear, yet realised that he was probably wise to wish to be far away from what would amount to open treason.

"Well? Is there anything else you require?"

"N-n-no. No." The messenger took a step towards the exit of the tent, and when Moridin made no move to stop him, fled. One of the tent guards poked his head in to check that all was well, but Moridin waved him aside.

He turned back to the desk and eyed it thoughtfully. In truth, the contract he had just taken up charged him with a task the Dark Lord had already given him. The payment Mordor was willing to give him for it was alone more than enough to make him and his company rich for the rest of their lives - this payment was a pittance in comparison, but since he was going to complete the task anyway, it didn't hurt to accept and collect two bounties.

He picked up a report from his spies in Gondor and leafed through it. The current war in Osgiliath was troubling - there were reports of a powerful Orc warrior there, possibly the same Uruk-hai captain he had been hearing stories about. That raised some complications, for he was too far to reach the battle in time to have any real effect, and there was a real danger that this Orc upstart might steal his quarry.

'Perhaps we should make a move towards the South. If nothing else, we could come in at the tail end of the battle.' He considered this idea, before dismissing it. He had more pressing concerns - there were other contracts that were closer, and far easier to complete, and he didn't want to go chasing what was a mere possibility only to lose the targets here that were open and clear.

Besides, it was far more enjoyable to slaughter the dogs of Rohan and watch them squeal.

As he mused on this, he heard some words being exchanged outside. Shortly after, one of his guards entered and said, "Sir, Multarion has returned and wishes to report." Moridin turned in interest and gestured with his hand, and the soldier withdrew. Multarion was one of the Swords' finest scouts, and had been expected over a day ago. Whatever had kept him away was sure to be a tale to hear.

The scout entered the tent. He was sweaty and dishevelled, and Moridin raised an eyebrow at his appearance. Had the man not even taken the time to clean himself? This was becoming more and more interesting.

"Sir, I have two things to report. One is that the Rohirrim are gathering their forces. It is unclear who is behind this militarization, as Theoden remains in a stupor, but many suspect his nephew Eomer. There seems to be growing support for Eomer to supplant the king and take up the throne."

This was odd. Moridin had thought that the Rohirrim would be too loyal to their old fool of a king to openly move against him, and Saruman's machinations had ensured that Theoden would not be a problem for some time. Moridin doubted that Eomer would go so far as to take the throne, however. From what he knew of the man, he would stall, and perhaps gather military support on the sidelines, but would shy away from outright rebellion.

"And secondly, sir, I found a Rohirrim patrol a short way south of our position. They are moving towards the west, but slowly enough that we can hit them tonight. They have a fair number of..."

As the man spoke, detailing the patrol, Moridin smiled. He was already formulating a raw battle plan, but his heart was already beginning to sing a war song, demanding blood. Tonight, the Black Swords would dye the ground red.

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