October 2, 3019

Frodo portrayed by Hobbitness
Maidens portrayed by FreeFall
King Varyon portrayed by Eowyn
Narrator, Vartang and Bridge Guard portrayed by Wraith

Narrator: *After Vartang gives the order for all to mount up, they are on their way again, their horses trotting towards the newly rebuilt Bridge of Osgiliath*
Narrator: *The travelers press on and by mid-afternoon, they are at the bridge. There are two towers, one on either side of the bridge. Guards hail their approach*
Bridge Guard: Halt! *the burly guard says as he moves from the guard tower on the east side of the river*
Bridge Guard: *He looks up at Vartang and asks* What is the business of your party in the City? Show me your pass!
Vartang: *Vartang looks down at him* Sergeant, my business is always the business of Mordor. You fool! Do you not recognize me?
Bridge Guard: *The man's face pales* Maugoth! *he bows* Forgive me!
Vartang: Your vigilance is commended, but your eyesight is deplorable! Now let us pass!
Narrator: *The guard backs away, bowing, and the entourage passes through the east gate. Their horses hooves clatter on the covering stones of the bridge. Vartang halts in the middle of the bridge*
Vartang: Shakh, look down. Do you know where you are!
Frodo: *Frodo brings his pony up to the bridge railing and looks over the side*
Vartang: *Vartang repeats his question* Shakh, do you know where you are!
Frodo: Yes...that is the Anduin *a little wistful*
Frodo: *He is remembering the journey down the Anduin with the Fellowship*
Vartang: Now let us ride to the city! *he raises his right hand up, digs his spurs into the horse's side, and the horse quickly moves into a trot*
Narrator: *They cross the bridge and go into Osgiliath*
Frodo: *He had longed to see the White City--he had even said so to Sam in Lugburz---but he never imagined this*
Narrator: *As they ride along the road, they can see on either side the ruins of Osgiliath*
Narrator: *The city had long fallen into ruin. In 1640, King Tarondor moved the King's House from Osgiliath to Minas Anor.*
Narrator: *In 2475, there was an attack on Gondor, and the city was razed*
Narrator: *As they ride past the ruins, they can see beyond them the outlines of structures, crude dwellings, hastily built, occupied by orcs*
Vartang: Shakh, our journey is half complete. We will not stop here, but ride on to the city
Frodo: *Frodo turns from contemplating the ruins and nods to Vartang*
Narrator: *Their party rides on. The afternoon sun soon begins to make its slow descent in the west*
Narrator: *The powerful strides of the horses of Mordor soon eat up the miles and shortly after dusk, they can see lights far ahead*
Vartang: Shakh, the City lies before us!
Frodo: *Frodo straightens in his saddle and gazes up at the great City, in awe and grief*
Vartang: Your arrival has been eagerly anticipated and long expected
Frodo: *It is like a second Numenor*
Frodo: *groans inwardly at Vartang's words...not more cheers and fuss over the "Friend of Sauron" title!*
Narrator: *He touches the spurs to his horse's sides and soon they are at the rebuilt gates of the city. Their arrival expected, men stand at attention waiting for them, torches held in their hands*
Narrator: *Soon Frodo can hear the familiar chants that he hates so much* Hail! Hail! Friend of Sauron! *they all cheer and bow to him as he goes by*
Frodo: *As in Nurn, he tries to keep his face expressionless*
Narrator: *Towering far above them, they can see the lights coming from the buildings of the seven layers, and the White Tower at the very top*
Frodo: *Never has Frodo seen such a sight. For once it is easy to ignore the cheers, because he is consumed with absorbing the splendor of the great City*
Narrator: *Men bearing torches lead up them on the road to the second gate of the city. They continue riding up through the gates of each level, until finally they are at the top of the Mundburg*
Vartang: *When they arrive at White Tower, Vartang commands* Halt!
Vartang: Take the three women to the King's House. Quarters await them. The servants are ready for them. Carry the three men, who are fatigued from their journey, inside. Provisions have been made for them too
Narrator: *Guards help the still drowsy Aldir, Ceolwulf and Vardamir from their horses and lead them to the King's House. Other guards help the women dismount and take them inside*
Frodo: *The malice of this profanation of the King's House pierces Frodo's heart*
Frodo: *So does the sight of the men's condition*
Frodo: Vartang, what is wrong with the men?
Vartang: *Vartang dismounts from his horse, instructs one of his men to take it to the stables*
Frodo: *dismounts from his pony*
Vartang: Shakh, they are exhausted from the journey. Is that not obvious to you?
Vartang: They have fallen asleep while riding. They are weak and could not stand the journey
Frodo: Why are they weak?
Frodo: *he cannot keep from an accusatory tone*
Vartang: Slaves are weak, lower men. That's why they are slaves!
Frodo: *He cannot remember what happened at Minas Morgul, so he cannot know what happened to the men*
Frodo: You know these men have never been in this condition before and they were weak for as much as I can remember of the journey but I cannot remember what happened to them
Vartang: *When Frodo's six slaves are taken to the King's House, the women are given rooms in connecting doors. Ceolwulf is taken to Frodo's room and Vardamir is taken to another room*
Vartang: Shakh, do not ask foolish questions! They are weak slaves. It is to be expected
Frodo: *glares, but cannot argue....he clenches his teeth and looks away*
Narrator: *The guards carry the now unconscious Aldir into a room, which he will share with his wife Lilandra*
Narrator: *As they all go to their rooms, the doors are locked behind them, and guards stationed outside*
Frodo: *As Frodo watches everyone enter the King's House, it suddenly occurs to him that this is probably not a temporary resting place....they are staying in the rightful home of the Kings of Gondor!*
Vartang: *Frodo's pony is led away by another guard and taken to the stables. Vartang turns to Frodo and says* Shakh, you will soon meet the king!
Frodo: What?
Vartang: Aye, Shakh, I know it is a great honor for you
Vartang: As it is for me
Frodo: Who is this king?
Frodo: *It cannot be the rightful king, he thinks*
Vartang: *Guards wait to usher them through the door and into the throne room of the White Tower*
Vartang: *Vartang walks through as the guards bow to him*
Frodo: *follows Vartang through the door*
Vartang: Come, Shakh. Try to summon any possible manners and courtesy they might have been able to teach you by design or by accident in the Shire
Frodo: *flushes, then regains control of himself*
Vartang: Do not make a fool of yourself again!
Narrator: *Before him, Frodo can see a large, torch lit hall. The statues of the Kings that once stood on either side of the great room have been replaced by tall pillars, each capped with an image of the Great Eye*
Narrator: *Lit by torches on either side ahead of him, Frodo can see steps leading to a dias with a great throne at the top. On the lowest step is a smaller chair*
Narrator: *Tapestries in red and black embelished with images of the Great Eye hang behind the large throne. High up on either side of the hall there are windows*
Narrator: *On the throne sits a figure, with guards on either side of him. In front of him, lounging on large black and red cushions are three beautiful Gondorian maidens*
Narrator: *The guards proclaim* Bow to the King!
Frodo: *Aragorn's usurper! Frodo's mind screams*
Frodo: *quickly inclines his head, not wanting to do any obeisance at all*
Vartang: *Vartang bows low* Hail, Your Majesty, Varyon, son of Varnir, King of the First Province of Greater Mordor, Forogondor and Lord High Governor of Minas Artano
King Varyon: *the figure on the throne smiles, his perfect white teeth gleaming in the amber light of the torches* Hail, Maugoth Vartang.
Frodo: *Frodo's eyes close and he lets out a slow breath*
King Varyon: *he rises from the throne, walks down the steps, goes to vartang, clasps him about the shoulders* Hail brother!
Vartang: *He claps him on the back* My brother! It has been so long since I have seen you!
Frodo: *raises his eyebrows...so they are brothers*
King Varyon: *he keeps his hand around vartang's back and leads him towards the dias* come, younger brother, sit in the chair of the Steward
Frodo: *is painfully reminded of Faramir and Boromir*
maidens: *the maidens bow to Vartang slowly*
Frodo: *They should have been Stewards of Gondor*
Vartang: Brother, I am honored! *he says as he takes the seat of the Steward of Gondor*
Vartang: *Vartang turns his head and looks around around towards the women, looking them up and down. His half-closed eyes survey every curve of the women and he smiles lazily*
King Varyon: *varyon grins at vartang* ah, i see you appreciate my concubines.
maidens: Is there anything we can fetch for you Shakh Vartang?
Vartang: Wine!
maidens: right away
Vartang: Bring me wine! My throat is parched from the journey!
Frodo: *Women of Gondor, made to be concubines! Frodo's horror is heightened even more*
Vartang: Elder brother, I see you do well here
Frodo: *He has never heard that word, concubine, before, but from knowing Vartang, he can guess its meaning.*
King Varyon: the Great Eye has blessed me much.
Vartang: I see, my brother.... I see the spoils of war.... *he keeps his gaze on the women*
maidens: *one hurries away for only a moment to retrieve 2 more globlets and another bottle of wine and she scurries to them and fills the goblet for Vartang and refeshes the King's*
Frodo: *Guilt and fury course through Frodo like lightning*
King Varyon: *he leans towards vartang and says in a low voice* not too spoiled...
Vartang: *He takes the goblet from her hand and winks at her*
Vartang: Maiden, what is your name?
maidens: *she bows her head and looks to him* Alana..Shakh
King Varyon: *he straightens back up and speaks louder this time* our father fares well in khand.
Vartang: *He nods to her* Alana, that is a fair name.
Vartang: And what of our younger brothers?
Frodo: *stays silent, not wanting a part in any of their dealings*
King Varyon: they are in the army.
Vartang: Ah, brother, I almost forgot to introduce you to your illustrious guest
Frodo: *If only he HAD forgotten.*
King Varyon: *he whispers to vartang, his dark eyes looking towards frodo* you mean the dwarf?
Vartang: *he laughs* It is not a dwarf, brother. It is what is called a halfling
Frodo: *stands before them, his hands at his sides, watching their conversation*
Frodo: *"It" is?*
King Varyon: *he looks to frodo, smiling warmly* come forth, great shakh.
maidens: *a maiden named Brennil walks over to Frodo with Goblet and bottle* Wine Shakh?
Frodo: Ah...no thank you *he says to the maiden*
maidens: *she is a bit bewildered as no one ever denied offers of wine*
Vartang: *he takes a drink from his goblet* Alana, with my brother's leave, come sit on my lap
Frodo: *He is thirsty, but his revulsion to the scene before him is too great to even accept their wine*
Frodo: *He approaches Varyon*
King Varyon: *varyon nods to vartang* of course i will share. i am quite generous. *he smiles, his perfect white teeth gleaming*
Vartang: *He looks up at his brother, his own perfect white teeth gleaming in the torch light*
maidens: *Alana moves with haste towards him and lifts herself gently and sits on his lap*
Vartang: *He raises his wine goblet* To my brother, King of the First Province!
Frodo: *now Frodo is very glad he did not accept that wine*
King Varyon: *he points to the floor* There are cushions for the comfort of guests, take one, shakh.
Frodo: Thank you *sits on a cushion*
Vartang: *He puts one arm around Alana, and holds his wine goblet with the other*
Vartang: You are a pretty little thing, aren't you? *he whispers in her ear*
Frodo: *looks at Vartang with disgust...and he wanted to do that to Elfhild and Elffled!...but where ARE the girls? and what is happening to them?*
maidens: *she blushes slightly and looks away with small giggle*
Frodo: *At least Rian is safe with him...as safe as they can be*
Vartang: *he strokes her under the chin with his hand*
King Varyon: *he looks down at frodo sitting upon the cushions* i wish to welcome you to the city of minas artano, most illustrious guest, the friend of sauron.
Vartang: Care to share my wine with me? *his other hand with the goblet goes up to her mouth*
Frodo: *quick polite smile*
maidens: *Alana eyes move towards King Varyon and the she looks to Vartang and smiles and she drinks from his goblet*
King Varyon: *he nods at alana, giving her his permission*
King Varyon: shakh, i understand that you will abide with us until spring.
maidens: *the maiden, Ladiel sways over to the King and smiles seductively..her eyes move to Frodo and her hands move on the King's arm*
Frodo: I w--? *looks to Vartang, then back to Varyon* Ah!
Frodo: ah..yes
Vartang: *He takes the goblet back and drinks from it, the hand on his other hand kneading her shoulder*
maidens: *Brennil stays between both men awaiting any order*
King Varyon: *he flashes ladiel a wolfish grin and winks at her. then turning back to frodo, he says* i know you are speechless to be in the city that you helped liberate from the descendants of the sea-kings.
Frodo: *flinches*
Frodo: I am quite speechless *he says to save face*
Vartang: My brother, the Great One does us high honor
maidens: *Alana looks to Vartang's hand and then to his face..she then focuses her eyes on Frodo...as do all three*
Frodo: *feels his face grow hot*
King Varyon: your humility is known far and wide, shakh. you are quite renowned.
Frodo: *coughs nervously, smiles politely, then looks down*
Vartang: *Vartang shares his goblet of wine with Alana until the brew is consumed. Then he says* More wine! My thirst is great!
maidens: *Ladiel, thinking she was the King's favorite, and most brazen of the three, feels freedom to move her hand over his chest and bend her head closer to his ear*
maidens: *Brennil hurries off and gets the bottle of wine and refills goblet*
King Varyon: *he leans towards her head, his eyes half-closed, a lazy smile upon his face*
Vartang: *He nods to Brennil, then takes the goblet, first offering it to Alana and then drinking from it himself*
maidens: *she wipes a droplet from her lip and laughs lightly*
Vartang: *He looks up and back at his brother* Ah, brother, you were always generous
King Varyon: *he mumbles* aye...!
maidens: *Brennil moves behind Frodo and places her hand on his shoulder* are you weary Shakh..may i rub your shoulders?
King Varyon: yes, brennil, take care of the small shakh. he must be exhausted from his journeys.
Frodo: *Frodo has opened his mouth to protest but when Varyon speaks he doesn't know what to do*
Frodo: Ah...it's all right...not necessary...*another nervous polite smile*
Vartang: *He drinks from his goblet of wine, then turns his head to Alana and kisses her earlobe*
maidens: *brennil feels he is tense and begins to knead his shoulders...thens he stops*
King Varyon: *he drinks from his goblet of wine, swishing it about his mouth slowly, savoring its sweet taste*
maidens: *ladiel wipes the drop of wine from his lips*
King Varyon: shakh, there is no need to be humble now. you deserve the highest honors and best possible treatment!
Frodo: *pauses, trying to think how to handle this and not betray Aragorn*
Frodo: *...anymore than he already has been forced to do*
King Varyon: *he flashes ladiel a beaming smile and winks at her... then turning back to frodo he says* the wine of the house is excellent... and so are its maidens!
Frodo: *weak smile* Aye
Vartang: Yes, brother, I agree to that *he says as he kisses Alana on her cheek*
maidens: *she leans into his nuzzling face* pleasure to meet brother of our King
Vartang: *he tightens his grip upon her shoulder and kisses her again* And you are indeed a pleasure, Alana *he says, his voice deep with meaning*
King Varyon: *he looks down at the small, bewildered hobbit below him* shakh baggins, would you like one of my maidens to keep you company as a friend?
maidens: *her slightly blushed cheeks run against his as she whispers something in his ear*
Vartang: *Vartang smiles and closes his eyes at the words she speaks into his ear. He says in a low voice to her* I would like to find out...
King Varyon: i have many more of them! *his dark eyes twinkle*
Frodo: Um...that is all right, thank you....I have brought some friends *he feels terribly awkward*
maidens: *Alana takes the goblet from his hand and gently raises it up to his lips for him*
Vartang: But the shakh must be exhausted after his journey. Perhaps, brother, he should retire...
Frodo: *yes, yes, let me retire, PLEASE.*
Vartang: *he drinks from the goblet* Yes, the Shakh has his own maidens....
King Varyon: ah! *his face lights up in understanding*
Frodo: *Frodo's face fills with dismay*
Frodo: *not like THAT! he wants to cry*
King Varyon: yes... yes... the shakh should retire. the journey must have been taxing and he needs to take his "rest."
Frodo: *brightens*
Frodo: Yes, I am very weary
Frodo: it has been a long journey
King Varyon: *he chuckles softly* then my guards shall escort you to my own house, where you shall have a fine room.
Vartang: But, brother *he says and sadly shakes his head* I have no maidens, as you know
Frodo: *looks down to hide the crimson flush rising to his cheeks in anger*
Frodo: *The King's House it is to be, then*
King Varyon: *he looks at vartang, an expression of sincere sympathy upon his face* then i shall give you as many of mine as you want, brother.
Frodo: *At least he will trouble Rian no more now*
Vartang: Then, my King *he says as he takes another drink from his goblet* If it pleases you, I will take this one
King Varyon: *a friendly smile is upon his handsome face as he says* she is yours, for as long as you want her.
Vartang: My brother is most generous *he says as he pulls Alana's face over to his and kisses her lips*
maidens: *Alana words of thanks are interrupted with kiss and she blushes more*
King Varyon: guards! *the king summons* take the small shakh, the friend of sauron, to his room in the king's house.
maidens: *ladiel kisses behind the King's ear as smiles and looks to Alana*
King Varyon: *two guards, in shirts of dark mail and black surcoats, approach frodo, bow to him and wait for him to rise and come towrds them*
maidens: *ladiel says to him* she is fitting in nicely
Frodo: *His shame complete, he goes to the guards*
King Varyon: *his eyes are half closed as he mumbles something to her, smiling lazily*
Frodo: *He follows them out of the throne room*
Vartang: My Liege, the journey has been long, and I become weary *he says, his eyes beginning to gleam*
King Varyon: *the guards take frodo across the courtyard a small distance and into the king's house, where he is shown his room. ceolwulf lies unconscious upon a small bed*
Frodo: *Frodo lets out a cry of joy when he sees Ceolwulf, but quickly becomes grave when he realizes Ceolwulf is unconscious and will not wake up* Ceolwulf! Ceolwulf? *he gently shakes him*
maidens: *brennil's fingertips brush lightly over the King's hand..the other smooths over alan's locks...then she hurries off to clear the empty bottle of wine*
King Varyon: i give you leave to retire, my brother. one of the guards shall lead you... to your room.
Vartang: *He whispers in Alana's ear* Come with me, fair one
Vartang: *After Alana gets off his lap, he turns and bows to the king*
Frodo: *When Ceolwulf does not respond, Frodo paces the room, frustrated. If only he could remember what happened!*
maidens: as you wish Shakh *the blush never leaving her cheeks*
Vartang: Goodnight my brother, and goodnight to you ladies
King Varyon: *he nods at vartang* goodnight, my little brother... the steward of gondor! *he chuckles lightly, then looks to the women*
maidens: *ladiel bows deeply..her eyes and smile seductive as she looks to him..brennil bows as she smiles*
Frodo: *Perhaps he is just in a deep sleep...but with such dark webs woven around them at all times, can Frodo really hope for that?*
Vartang: Sleep well, brother *he says, his arm around Alana's waist, as he follows the guard out*
maidens: *they stand at his side and rub his arms and kiss his face*
King Varyon: *he sighs deeply, a lazy smile plastered upon his face, in total bliss*
Vartang: *The guards open the door for them and they walk across the courtyard to the King's House*

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