AN UNWILLING RECRUIT
Morning of October 9, 3019
(Written by Wraith)
Greatly lessened in wealth and power since his removal as lord of the Southern Province of Nurn, Lord Lorthang's life has changed dramatically. No longer can he enjoy all the benefits that his position gave him, for he now fears for his life. When confronted with his misusing of gold and out-and-out thievery from the treasuries of the Mordor-owned plantation of which he had been lord in Nurn, Lord Lorthang had attempted to bribe Maugoth Vartang, a mistake which almost proved fatal for him. The price for embezzlement and thievery was punishment by dismemberment for himself and his family, and Lord Lorthang had only narrowly escaped that fate because of the fact that Maugoth Vartang fancied his daughter, Sirana. Maugoth Vartang funneled his own gold into the farm treasury, thus saving Lorthang's reputation and his life, but still, Vartang had decreed that Lorthang must be removed from his position as lord of the province. Not only did Lorthang have to relinquish his tenureship of the vast farm, but he also had to part with nine-tenths of all his wealth, personal property, slaves, cattle, flocks and herds and move to Gondor, which would be Maugoth Vartang's next station of duty.
Lord Lorthang was to be given the position as third scribe to King Varyon I, King of Forogondor, the Northern Province of West Mordor and allowed the use of a house on the first level of the city. Lord Lorthang found to his dismay and distress, however, that the house was not yet ready for him and his family to occupy and would not be for a considerable amount of time. He and his three sons, Bafowel, Randir and Balwin and their sister, Sirana, were forced to seek lodgings in the Blushing Maiden Inn, where the innkeeper, Tobir, informed them that the inn was very crowded, and all five members of the family would have to share the same room.
Irritated by their father and two brothers' usual show of boorishness and buffoonery, Randir and his sister, Sirana, went into the tavern section of the inn where Sirana ordered only wine, but Randir, being hungry from the long journey, ordered a meal. When their father and two brothers came into the tavern, their loutish behavior embarrassed Randir and Sirana and Randir tried to ignore his sire and two brothers. He was not successful, though, and a fight broke among the members of the family, which was soon taken outside. Randir drew a knife on one of his brothers, which was wrested from him in the fight, and his hand was trapped upon the ground by his brother's foot. Enraged and infuriated, Randir later attacked his elder brother Bafowel with a broken wine bottle inside the tavern.
Lord Lorthang, equally as enraged as his sons, vowed that he would see Randir put in the Mordor army and would escort him personally up to the Citadel, where he would present Randir to Vartang as a new recruit. Lorthang saw this not only as a way to get rid of his disliked second son, but also as a way perhaps to gain favor with Vartang by impressing him in his zeal for Mordor.
Randir, the resented second son, had only one friend, his sister Sirana, who, since childhood, had always protected him from his father and brothers as he protected her from them.
The next morning, October 9th, Lord Lorthang snores, sleeping in his bed in the Blushing Maiden Inn, while his two sons, Bafowel and Balwin, compete with him in noise. Lord Lorthang awakens with a snort, sitting up in the bed with his hands on either side of him. "What is that accursed noise!" he shouts. Hearing his sons, he exclaims angrily, "Bafowel! Balwin! It is past time for us to arise from bed. Go find your churlish brother. The knave has skulked off someplace with his sister. Today is the day that I have deemed that I shall freely give my son Randir to the Mordor army. Dress yourselves and let us hasten up the hill to the Citadel."
Lord Lorthang portrayed by Eowyn
Sirana portrayed by FreeFall
Balwin and Bafowel portrayed by Hobbitness
Narrator, Randir and Vartang portrayed by Wraith
Lord Lorthang: *Lord Lorthang quickly
gets dressed, choosing a parti-colored tunic and leggings, one
side blue, the other side green. After putting on his shoes, he
looks to his two sons* Well? We do not have all day!
Balwin and Bafowel: *Balwin and Bafowel were still sleeping and are awakened by their father's shout. They both have hangovers from all their drink the night before*
Balwin and Bafowel: *Bafowel sits up wearily and rubs his eyes* Father! *he whines* Must we rise so early in the morning?
Balwin and Bafowel: *Balwin groans, mutters something profane, and puts the pillow over his head*
Lord Lorthang: *Lorthang says impatiently* Of course we must! Today we go to the Citadel, where I shall present Randir to Maugoth Vartang and offer the wretched knave to the army. A firebrand such as he would be better suited for the army than he would as the son of a lord!
Balwin and Bafowel: *Bafowel brightens* Oh, Father, really? We will really be rid of that pompous fool? I can't wait! *he gets up and begins dressing*
Balwin and Bafowel: *When he sees that Balwin is still not moving, he drags him to his feet and hauls him over to his trunk of clothes. Balwin glares at him, then sighs and begins changing*
Lord Lorthang: Aye, tis a pity he did not grow to be an intelligent and steadfast young man like the both of you! *Lorthang looks at his dearest and most favored sons, and his heart fills with pride*
Balwin and Bafowel: *Bafowel smirks and puffs out his chest as he straightens the collar of his shirt*
Balwin and Bafowel: *Balwin blearily pulls on his clothes. Some of his shirt buttons go in the wrong holes. When he deems himself presentable, he shuffles over to Lorthang* Father, I'm sick! I have a headache?
Balwin and Bafowel: *Balwin* My head feels like it's about to explode! Why do I have to go? *rubs his eyes, groans at the light from the window*
Lord Lorthang: We must make a grand showing, in order to impress the Steward of Forogondor, so we all must be present. *he looks around the room* I wonder where Randir and his sister are? Probably skulking off somewhere, feeling sorry for themselves.
Balwin and Bafowel: *Bafowel* Pah! He always has to play the martyr, when he's really oppressing me! I can't believe he actually tried to kill me last night!
Balwin and Bafowel: My own brother, and I've never done the like to him! *self righteous heavy sigh*
Balwin and Bafowel: *Balwin* Oh.. I'm sorry I was too drunk to remember it!
Balwin and Bafowel: That must have been good! *he guffaws, more awake now, straightening out his clothes*
Narrator: *Sirana and Randir have just awakened after their night of sleeping on the cold ground under a tree in the courtyard. Now they enter through the back door of the inn and walk into the tavern.*
Randir: My sister, do you wish to change your garments or have breakfast first? Knowing you *he laughs* you probably wish to change. I must go upstairs and return these blankets we took with us upon which we slept.
Sirana: *She smiles* You know me so well dear brother. Of course I need to change after last night. Never did I think I would have to sleep on the ground, but I must say it was much more pleasant than to share the room with them
Randir: *Takes her by the arm and walks towards the stairway and leads her upstairs to the room. He opens the door for her and waits until she enters*
Sirana: *she makes her way inside the room and looks to him* How is your head Randir?
Randir: Greatly improved, sister... but *he hesitates* from the noise in the room, I think it has just gotten worse
Lord Lorthang: *Lord Lorthang turns to the sound of the door being opened.. he looks at them impatiently* Sirana! Randir! We leave soon!
Balwin and Bafowel: *Bafowel bristles when he sees Randir and Sirana enter. He sits on his bed and silently glowers at them*
Sirana: Yes, father *stamps her foot* I know! You all need to leave for a bit *raises head* I must change
Balwin and Bafowel: *Balwin saunters up to them and nudges Randir so that he stumbles* Ah, here they come! *he drawls* How'd you like your night out in the rough, eh?
Randir: *Glaring at his brother, he says* Twas indeed than spending the night with the three of you!
Lord Lorthang: Randir, you must get used to spending nights outside in the weather! Twill be commonplace when you are in the army!
Randir: *he releases his sister's arm and then walking past her, he takes the blankets that he has been carrying under his arm and places them on the bed. Then he leaves the room.*
Sirana: *She moves past Balwin and elbows him as she moves over to her trunk*
Lord Lorthang: *Lorthang walks out the door and waits in the hall for Sirana to dress. He looks to Randir and wonders how he fathered such a worthless fool.*
Balwin and Bafowel: Hey! *Balwin elbows her back, staying behind to argue with her* All high and mighty this morning, are we? But then again, that's no change from the usual! *smirks*
Balwin and Bafowel: You and Randir, always thinking you're so far above everyone else. Well, today we'll burst Randir's bubble for him! *laughs*
Randir: *Hearing the argument inside, he turns and walks through the doorway* Stop vexing our sister and get out the door before I throw you out!
Sirana: *she spins and faces him and glares as her fists clench at her sides. she looks to Randir and shuts her eyes tightly and breathes deeply*
Balwin and Bafowel: *Balwin* Hahaha! I could take you any day! You'll never make it in the army! I can't wait to see you try to do anything that requires any brawn!
Lord Lorthang: *Lorthang walks over to the door and calls in* Randir! Act like a grown man and quit tormenting your brothers!
Sirana: *she delicately ruffles through her things in the trunk and takes out a new gown and spreads it out on the bed and brushes her hands over it*
Randir: Can you give our sister no privacy when she dresses, you louts!
Balwin and Bafowel: *Bafowel rises stiffly, stalks past Randir and Sirana, glaring at them, and puts his arm around Balwin's shoulders*
Balwin and Bafowel: *Bafowel* Come, Balwin, it's not worth it dealing with these two *he sneers, then guides Balwin out of the room*
Sirana: *She moves over to her brother* I will be quick. Please do not give into their tormenting
Lord Lorthang: *Lorthang steps away from the door and stands near the wall, beaming with pride at his two sons.*
Randir: Sister, they have the manners of pigs in a sty! *He looks down at his wrinkled, rumpled clothes* Is there any reason that I should change? Tell me, dear sister
Sirana: *she looks him over* Actually brother...yes..you really should change
Randir: *sighs* I suppose I must. I will go out and wait in the hall until you dress, and then I shall go back and put on clean garments
Randir: *He turns away from her and walks out into the hall, closing the door behind him. He moves away from his father and brothers and walks down the hall several feet*
Sirana: *Her handmaidens voices are heard as they bustle in the hallway, talking amongst themselves. They bow to Lorthang and the brothers. They figured Sirana would need their assistance*
Balwin and Bafowel: *Balwin strides up to Randir, slaps him on the back, then begins marching him around the hall singing a raucous army song*
Balwin and Bafowel: *Bafowel breaks his scowl and laughs as he watches*
Sirana: *They knock on her door, announcing themselves, and Sirana lets them in...relieved that they will be here to help her fix her appearance*
Randir: *Randir struggles to control himself, clenching his fists*
Lord Lorthang: *Lorthang, his hands clasping his ponderous stomach, chuckles heartily at Balwin's song.*
Sirana: *They place sweet smelling fragrances upon her skin and they help her on with her new gown and pin her hair. Soon the door opens and the three of them come out. Sirana excuses the handmaidens and brushes her hands over the material and looks to Randir* Go ahead, dear brother
Randir: *He looks to his sister* You look lovely this morning, sister. Now if you will excuse me, I will go inside and change. I suppose I must be presentable for this ordeal. *He goes past her, opens the door, enters the room and slams the door behind him*
Lord Lorthang: *Lorthang goes over to the door and raps on it impatiently* Make haste! We must go!
Sirana: Father, you must be looking forward to seeing your good friend, Captain Vartang again
Lord Lorthang: Ah, Captain Vartang. A fine fellow. Good sort. He will be impressed by Randir. *I hope, he thinks to himself. I know I am not.*
Randir: *Inside the room, Randir puts on a clean tunic and breeches and puts his cloak about his shoulders. He leaves the room*
Randir: *He looks to his father* I suppose we get to eat breakfast before this ordeal, father?
Balwin and Bafowel: *Balwin and Bafowel both look hopeful at the thought of breakfast*
Lord Lorthang: No, there is no time. You have wasted enough time as it is, being the slowcoach that you are!
Sirana: *she gnaws on her lower lip...hating the constant name calling her father deals to Randir*
Randir: *Sighs with resignation and slips his arm through his sister's* Then let us depart for the unknown *he laughs sarcastically*
Balwin and Bafowel: *Bafowel regards Randir with utter disdain* Your pigheaded ways cause us yet another crisis, brother! No breakfast! *shares disgusted looks with Balwin, who is struggling to control his anger*
Sirana: *she snaps her head in Bafowel's direction* I suppose you do not want to meet Captain Vartang then?
Randir: It is not my fault, brother! I would not willingly have neglected breakfast!
Balwin and Bafowel: Of course I want to meet the great Captain, sister. *resigned sigh* I just wish we had a better...soldier to offer him! *eyes Randir up and down, biting back scornful laughter*
Balwin and Bafowel: But I will be glad to part from you, brother! As glad to part from you as you will be, no doubt, to part from me! *his voice is bitter*
Sirana: *she squeezes Randir's arm reassuringly*
Randir: I would fain never seeing the three of you again *he says and moves towards the stairway, his sister's arm in his*
Randir: *He looks back at his father and brothers* Since I must endure this, at least let me take comfort in your oath that you will take care of my sister
Lord Lorthang: Of course, she will be taken care of! She has done nothing to bring disgrace to this family.
Lord Lorthang: *Lord Lorthang follows behind Randir and Sirana*
Balwin and Bafowel: *Balwin* Well, we will take care of her if she will deign to let such unworthy slaves as her brothers come near her *sarcastically*
Balwin and Bafowel: *Bafowel* Aye! Only if she will let us! *laughs, slaps Balwin on the back and follows behind his father and siblings*
Narrator: *After going down the stairs, the Lorthang family goes to the stables, where Lord Lorthang orders five horses bridled and saddled for them.*
Lord Lorthang: *Lord Lorthang mounts his horse, and when atop its back, he shifts his girth in the saddle until he finds a comfortable seat.*
Lord Lorthang: Everyone mount up! *he orders in a loud voice, raising his arm into the air, his index finger extended* We ride to the Citadel!
Balwin and Bafowel: *Balwin stands next to his horse and looks up to the saddle, thinking how that jump will worsen his headache. He looks pleadingly to Bafowel*
Balwin and Bafowel: *Bafowel holds his hands for Balwin to step on and boosts him up onto his horse*
Balwin and Bafowel: *They exchange grins, then Bafowel mounts his own horse and brings it up next to his father's*
Randir: *He looks up to his sister after he has helped her into the saddle* You would think father were a general leading his host to the field!
Randir: *Then he gets on his own horse and says* Now like a condemned man, I am led to disgrace and humiliation! *He looks around at his father and brothers and says wryly* I trust you will enjoy my absence!
Sirana: He has only a shred of authority *whispers to Randir and laughs lightly*
Lord Lorthang: *He looks to Randir and says arrogantly, his chest puffed up a bit* Life in the army will be good for you, Randir! Will make a man out of you! Will make you into a son I can be proud of!
Randir: *He slouches in the saddle and rides forward, his head bowed* Then lead on, Father. I hope you are satisfied now!
Balwin and Bafowel: *Balwin and Bafowel straighten in their saddles and look down their noses at Randir, knowing that their father is proud of them*
Sirana: *She strokes the horse's neck and focuses her mind. Thinking....she looks over to Randir....dear brother...you will not lower your head for long*
Lord Lorthang: I will be satisfied once you have proven your worth in the army! Forward! *he exclaims, and then urges his horse forward, waving for the others to follow him.*
Randir: *Still slouching, his head bowed, he moves his horse beside Sirana's* I can only hope that you will not be mistreated by them
Balwin and Bafowel: *Balwin and Bafowel spur their horses heavily, galloping up next to their father, laughing when their dust blows in Randir's face*
Lord Lorthang: *Lorthang gallops towards Minas Artano, his bulk swaying in the saddle. Soon, they are at the gates of the city.*
Narrator: *At the gates, they are challenged by the guards* What is your name and your business in the city? *The guard looks towards Lorthang*
Lord Lorthang: I am Lord Lorthang, Second Scribe to King Varyon I! *he calls out* We have business with the Steward of Forogondor. Let us pass!
Narrator: *The guard looks him up and down and motions for them to pass*
Lord Lorthang: Onward! *he orders, and urges his horse through the gates.*
Balwin and Bafowel: *With great ceremony, Bafowel and Balwin follow their father through the gate and up the streets of Minas Artano*
Sirana: *she looks all around her...taking in every detail...her back straight...her head raised...she sighs deeply and looks to Randir*
Lord Lorthang: *Lord Lorthang and his family ride up the hill until at last they reach the sixth level. Leaving their horses at the stables, they walk through the tunnel to the seventh level of the city, exiting in what was once the Place of the Fountain. Passing that, they head for the Citadel, where they encounter the doormen.*
Narrator: *The doorman challenges them* Who might I ask are you and what is your business with the King's Steward?
Lord Lorthang: *Lorthang says proudly, in his most pompous air* I am Lord Lorthang, Second Scribe to King Varyon I. I have come to present one of my sons to the Steward, offering him up to the army for its service.
Narrator: *The doorman looks them up and down and then says* Wait here, I will go inside and see if you are granted permission to enter.
Balwin and Bafowel: *Bafowel thinks: I thought it was Third Scribe. Perhaps Father has been promoted!*
Narrator: *The doorman returns after a few minutes* You have been granted permission to see the Steward of Forogondor. *The door is opened for them*
Lord Lorthang: Thank you, my good man! *He says and then marches into the Citadel.*
Narrator: *Maugoth Vartang sits in his seat and watches them as they come towards him. He recognizes all of them from Nurn. Sirana, he thinks, we meet again. He smiles.*
Lord Lorthang: *Lord Lorthang leads his four children towards the Steward's chair, and then stops, bowing.* Hail, Lord Vartang!
Sirana: *she inhales deeply and seems to hold her breath as she steps forward and bows at the waist...her eyes looking to Vartang and then she straightens*
Vartang: Lorthang *he says and eyes him coldly* Why do you seek entry through the main passage? You are only the third scribe to the king and the back entry should be good enough for you!
Vartang: But *he says and looks at Sirana* the Lady Sirana is most welcome to make her way through the main door.
Balwin and Bafowel: *Balwin and Bafowel bow extravagantly and look up at Vartang with as much respect and admiration as they can muster*
Sirana: *her dark eyes shine brightly and she smiles and nods her head to him appreciatively* Thank you Maugoth Vartang
Lord Lorthang: *Lorthang clears his throat and stands there, tall and proud.* My Lord Steward, I wish to enlist one of my fine, strong and steadfast sons as my willing contribution to the Army of Mordor.
Vartang: *He holds his wine goblet in one hand and looks at Lorthang and laughs* Which one!
Sirana: *she chews on the inside of her cheek a little*
Lord Lorthang: *He turns to Randir and gestures dramatically towards him with his hand* Randir, my second son. He is a fine lad, and after a bit of training, he will do nicely serving Mordor.
Balwin and Bafowel: *Balwin and Bafowel grin and nod at their father's words, casting sidelong sneers at Randir*
Vartang: *He finishes his wine and extends his goblet to a waiting servant who fills it* Your generosity is most commendable, my lord Lorthang, but why not the three of them? *he says slyly*
Sirana: *She looks between her father and her two sniveling brothers and back to Vartang*
Balwin and Bafowel: *Balwin and Bafowel practically drop their jaws to the floor*
Balwin and Bafowel: *They desperately turn to their father with looks that say, "Save us!!!"*
Lord Lorthang: *Lorthang ponders on this for a few moments, and then says* One is my heir, and the other is too young to fight.
Balwin and Bafowel: Yes! Yes, that's right! *they nod vigorously*
Vartang: *Drinks from his goblet and looks at them imperiously* Should the heir be slain, the daughter will inherit and pass to her husband that which was the eldest's, and I have found *he laughs* that they are never too young to fight!
Vartang: And if there is no good reason, I shall accept them all for service in the army! Narnulublat, my lord, for your generosity!
Return to Third Age - The Aftermath
Return to Index