Joined: Thu Sep 05, 2013 1:15 am
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Hearts swell as the grand company now makes its assault on the West Hall proper.
Elindir and Legandir lead the way, dagger-point arrows ready upon the white limbed greatbows of Rivendell. The half Elves tread lightly up the broad stone stair, avoiding the dusty corpses of ancient Dwarf and Orc warriors, and also the scattered rubble.
Behind them march the pair of vigorous Dwarf heroes, Sili and Norin. The Dwarves can scarcely be held to a steady march, such is their vim. Their boots thud, their mail shunks, and their bold voices boom -- or so it seems to the Elves.
But it matters little, for there is no disguising the racket made by a score of heavily armed Men and Dwarves, not even withstanding the quieter Elves and Hobbits among them.
The climb continues steadily into the deepening gloom without sign of the vanquished Trolls. 60 broad steps, Ardenbard counts, then 80, then 100, and still the stair climbs as it begins to round a broad bend to right.
By now, the sunshine permitted by Hollin Gate is vanished entirely, and only the torches carried by Vestri and Hepti, and the lantern carried by Soval at the van, illuminate the way. Voices grow quiet, and even brave hearts now wonder what evil the oppressive dark might hide...
The stair seems to rise ever upward, and so the company climbs and climbs. After 160 steps even the stout are beginning to tire, while the less fit struggle to continue on. The way ahead now curves broadly to the left, and the steps continue up, unabated, the tramping of the company's many feet and rattling of their arms echoing disturbing off the hard walls around them...
But still they climb.
Hirelings: Georges; torch[/f]