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Posted on Tue Jul 5th, 2022 @ 10:21pm by Captain Shran dh'Klar & Commander Samantha Howard & Lieutenant Commander Shoniara T’ghann-Travis Dr & Ensign T'Plana-hath & Ensign James Phoenix

Mission: A Trip to Middle Earth
Location: Holodeck 1

Shran sat in a courtyard enjoying the peaceful serenity of his surroundings. It was early in the evening, the last gasps of sunlight hung in the horizon. A gentle breeze made its way through the trees while the sound of water flowing mixed with the music of the musicians. Shran awaited the arrival of those he had sent message to, and he was content to just relax until they arrived.

The huge black stallion clattered and pounded his way through the wandering paths and around the falls that let to the great House of Elrond. The woman astride the stallion was dressed in the leather and tresses of the land of Rohan. A great golden shield was across her arm and a large sword attached to her hip swung wildly as she moved. It was difficult to see where the horse ended and the woman began such was the fluidity of the pair as they made their way through the great Arch into the courtyard. The Elven guards made to stop her as she spoke.
“I am Shoniara shield maiden of the Rohirrim, I have come from the Riddermark at the behest of King Theodin to see the great land of Lord Elrond.” She swung off the stallion who nuzzled her cheek. “Take great care of him for he has carried me well and I will bear no harm to come to him.” She took her helm off and shook out her long black hair. Noticing Shran she walked over to him hand on the pommel of her great sword. “Are you My Lord Elrond? No Elven ears. She smiled.

Shran smiled. "No, I am not Lord Elrond, though he does call me friend. I am Shran the Blue, captain of the Elite Guard of Eriador. I am glad to meet you Shoniara, for I have never before met a member of the fabled Rohirrim. Were you part meant to arrive with the others? If so, I am afraid you have missed them. Gandalf has led them off on some quest to Mordor, or so the wind whispers."

Shoniara sat “Is there no ale here?” she questioned looking around for servers. “No Shran the Blue, Theodin King has tasked me with new adventures, to ride with whatever company I find, to seek honour for the Rohirrim.” She was passed a small glass of….something that looked tiny in her leather gloved hand. She took her gloves off and gently sipped the liquid. “The wind whispers into a mighty storm,” she lowered her voice, “for the Ring of Power has been found. My people ride to war to defeat Sauron and Saruman for the life of Middle Earth. This is much more fun Captain” Shoniara said laughing. “Are we to seek adventure alone Shran the Blue?” She asked.

Shran took out an elaborate looking pipe and placed it in his mouth, and slowly lit it, taking what looked to be several small puffs before blowing out a trio of smoke rings. "I am certain we shall find adventure, but I believe others will come to join on any quest we might undertake."

A small distance away a figure in a dark hood rushed through the rooftops, jumping from building to building, occasionally running in the streets. The figure carried a bow quiver filled to the brim with arrows along with a bow on his back. On his face was a dark grey mask. He wielded a small dagger that was attached to his hip. The figure jumped from another building onto a balcony and then jumped into the courtyard. The figure turned to face Shoniara and Shran. Recognizing them, he pulled his hood back and removed his mask. "I am Phoenix, the lone guard and warden."

Shoniara jumped up and smiled creaking leather as she walked. “Welcome Phoenix Lone Guard and Warden. I am Shoniara of Rohan the land of the Horse Lords. Have you travelled far this day?” She bowed.

Phoenix bowed in return. As he came up from the bow he responded to Shoniara's question. "I have not. I have been getting prepared the unknown mission that I will undoubtedly receive. From whomever that may be."

“I believe we are going on an adventure if my friend here is to be believed.” She indicated Shran, “This is Shran the Blue, Captain of the Elite Guard of Eriador. Please come, sit drink with us until our fellow adventurers arrive.”

He bowed respectfully to Shran the Blue. The Lone Guard took a seat next to the other two adventurers who had already assembled there.

Meanwhile Dr Sam Howard strode towards the holodeck, the outfit she had chosen to accompany her character remarkably easy to move in. The sword hung from its holster, the black tabard over her dress emblazoned with a silver tree. Hoping she hadn't missed the mark by too much she entered the holodeck and attempted to find the rest of the senior staff.

Shon saw Samantha and called to her “we are over here,” she turned to Shran, “It looks like the White Tree of Gondor will be joining us on our adventure.”

Shran smiled. "So, we have members of both great nations of man here. This is a good omen indeed. Long have I waited to quest with one from Gondor."

Shoniara handed Samantha a goblet of wine, “you look nice,” she whispered in an aside. Turning to Shran she held her goblet up. “So, what is the quest we will be undertaking Shran the Blue? I hope it will be full of danger and heroic deeds so songs will be sung about us through all the ages of this world, this Middle Earth.” She turned and winked at Sam.

"I have drawn inspiration from history. It wasn't that long ago that a small group did what was considered impossible, the Dwarves retook the Lonely Mountain from Smaug and then held it against legions or Orcs. I resolve we do something similar, and we retake the Dwarf Kingdom of Moria."

"So you know, quest to certain death with much drinking and suffering in between. Sounds like fun" Sam raised her goblet now filled with wine towards the Captain and the rest of the senior staff.

Shon stopped her drinking and looked at Shran the Blue. “Seriously, the realm of Khazad-dûm, under the Misty Mountains, where the demon Durin’s Bane lies sleeping under the Methril? That Is a mighty quest."

"It is" Shran replied, "and that is the point. We only need wait for a few others who have been invited before we embark."

“Phoenix Lone Guard and Warden what thinkest thou of this quest?” Shon asked smiling.

"It is quite interesting. But dangerous" the Lone Guard and Warden smirked. "Sounds like an adventure."

From a shadow clad walkway came a voice, "I will join such an adventure." Ayana came into the light, clad in clothing that looked like she was from Mirkwood. "I am Ayana, vassal of Lord Thranduil. I come as his son cannot."

Shran nodded. "Welcome. We await only one other."

T'Plana made her way up to the great Arch and into the courtyard where she had seen Captain Shran. She had the Holodeck suit her appropriately as a Ranger, as the program called it with a Trillpa (Vulcan sword) and a Khaiya (Vulcan Longbow) as her weapons. She was unsure what the captain had in mind for her, so she was going to treat this Holodeck experience as a training exercise. She approached the group and lowered the hood of her clock "Greetings" she said "I am T'Plana, of Mirkwood."

"Excellent, our last recruit has arrived" Shran said before taking another puff from his pipe. Breaking character he looked around, "Everyone, this is Ensign T'Plana-hath, our new Intelligence Officer. Welcome to this little holodeck adventure ensign."

Shon poured some wine and gave a cup to T’Plana then turned to Shran The Blue. “So, tell us more of this mighty quest, you do not perchance have a wizard up your sleeve? For it is a long way to the misty mountains and many dangers lurk on the road.

Shran shook his head. "The time of wizards is coming to an end. Alatar and Pallando haven't been seen in an age, Saruman has turned to darkness and will soon fall, Radagast cares only for beasts and nature, and Gandalf left with the Fellowship here as leader on a great quest. Our quest will be filled with hazards to be certain, but I trust that much of the great hazards can be avoided. I suggest we make any final gear checks we need and head off, following the mountain path."

Shon went to the stables to make sure her war horse would be well looked after, it would be no good journey for him although Shon felt naked without him. She sighed and filled her pack with some wine, a wheel of cheese a blanket and a change of clothes along with her only map. Finally she cleaned and sharpened her sword. Although it was no great sword of legend it was well balanced and had seen her through many a battle. She replaced it in its sheath and hid several knives up her sleeves and in her boots. ‘One can never have too many knives about one’s person her mother had told her’. She said a sad goodbye to Druil but was cheered at the warmth and cleanliness of the Elven stables then strode out to wait for the others.

Ayana was comparing weapons with Shran, both showing off rather interesting gear to be sure. "All of my weapons are of Elven build, though I think my bow is my particular favorite. It's a composite longbow, or at least that is what it would be equivalent to I suppose" she said as she showed it off. I had the computer do something special for me, and created an enchanted quiver, so I never run out of arrows."

Shran gave a hard chuckle to that. "Well, I suppose that makes sense. My sword is based on designs I have seen from the late 20th and early 21st century that the humans did of weapons from this series. It is also of Elf design, from the 1st Age. One of its special features is that it glows blue when Orcs or Goblins are near." Shran looked at the others, "Anyone else do anything special with weapons or other gear?"

T’Plana looked at the weapons her fellow officers were speaking of and a slight smile appeared on her lips. “My weapons are from ancient Vulcan times; the sword is a Trillpa, and the Khaiya a Vulcan longbow. I am a master with both weapons, in fact I mastered the Khaiya-tal or Vulcan Zen archery. If my weapons fail then I am more than capable of hand to hand combat trained in both Kareel-ifla and Ponn-ifla forms. As a master of my weapons I am more than capable of repairing them or even making arrows to refill my quiver. I believe you will find me more than capable in defending myself.” She smiled and added “Least I forget I am also very stealthy and have both superior eye sight and hearing. Will this meet your requirements for this exercise?” She asked turning toward the captain.

Shon laughed, “I might as well go back to bed, you have it all covered Ensign.”

Shran nodded. "It is fine ensign. Consider this a fun team building exercise. A bit unorthodox perhaps, but you'll find unorthodox situations happen far more often than the Academy makes you believe." He looked over at Samantha and Phoenix, "Are you two ready for this adventure?"

" Ready as I'll ever be" Sam replied as she downed the rest of her wine and set the goblet back down. Whatever it was that Shran had lined up for them, she was sure it would be a little unorthodox, and an adventure to boot.

Shran smiled. " Nothing to be concerned with Samantha. Just a mountain filled with goblins, orcs, and cave trolls, plus whatever we come across before we get there." He looked around, "Alright everyone, time to head out."


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