Sunday, February 24, 2013

010 - Meet the Yocals

On the bank of the Isen River

October 4th, FA 15

Most of the company was arrayed in the eat-in tent to have breakfast. Araliniel was one of the last to get in. She scraped the bottom of the pot and sat at the end of the table. "I've had a powerful vision in a dream last night", she said. Galdor turned his sight away, uninterested. Finbert prompted for more information.

"I have seen a sword, under a few inches of dirt. It was in the cellar of a tower, in a ruined fort. Built somewhere on a wide river." She proceeded to describe the fort in as much details as she could. It became clear to Finbert that he had seen this fort in the ruined city of Tharbad. Further descriptions seemed to corroborate with descriptions of Tharbad that many other company member had ran into in their research. The company, satisfied that their path was leading directly into Tharbad, made a note to drop by the fort and check the tower out. "Did you say a Gondolin sword?", asked Galdor.

The company broke camp, which attracted the attention of the other craftsmen camping near the ford. They were most intrigued that the company was not going to wait for the Red Company to escort them through Dunland, but Arnadil failed to sway anyone to join them in the possibly dangerous crossing.

The company lined up by the ford, bid the Rohirim guards goodbye and entered the Isen. Arnadil, Halin and Galdor were on their horses, leading the cart which was driven by Kasper. Finbert and Araliniel were sitting on the cart's bench, beside Kasper. Quickly their attempt to cross the river was detected by a watch of Dunlendings. One of them left and came back with about a dozen other wildmen. They menacingly arrayed, arms in hand, across the road as it crept out of the ford.  The company was resolute that the wildmen would be swayed by a strong show of resolve, and simply plowed ahead. The wildmen, used to deal with cowed tradesmen got taken aback and let the leading horsemen go through by opening their ranks. However, the rank closed by by the time that the cart was pulling out of the water. Some grabbed the horses' harnesses, some inserted the butt of their spears through the spokes of the cart's wheels.

The leading riders realized that the assertive stance's success did not extend to the lumbering baggage. The largest and greasiest wildmen declared in a broken Westron: "Us no sign treaty. This is my home. You pay 12 small silver coins." Sir Galdor, in disbelief, smiled and declared that he would pay the toll and get on their way.

"No, we're not paying. We are the representative of the King of Gondor, and we are on the road, we are not paying any fare.", declared Arnadil in his best mission leader voice.

A lithany of confusion then erupted around the cart as most company members began to argue against Arnadil with varying conviction. Arnadil's opinion essentially was that the Dunlendings were in no right to charge a toll at the gates of their land, and that some 20 wildmen could be dissipated by a small contingent of  cavalery. The problem mainly is that there is no such cavalry, and that any delay would set the company back further into winter. The wildmen could not understand the argument, but were satisfied by the donation of the silver by Galdor and simply walked away. The agument was cut short when Arnadil fell like he was about to faint. He had to get off his mount and catch his breath. After about one minutes, the fog in his mind lifted up and all was back to normal.

Arnadil and Galdor prolonged the heated argument well into the riding day, and relented only by lunchtime.

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