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Private A tale of lightning and magic

Discussion in 'Pandora, Year 1 - 7' started by Haldir of Lorien, Apr 4, 2018.

  1. Haldir of Lorien

    Haldir of Lorien Tolkien Legendarium

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    [​IMG]


    April 28th, Year 7


    @Thor Odinson


    [​IMG]
    The desire for journeys to distant lands and adventures beyond imagination had always emitted a soft call from the depths of Haldir's heart. This was, indeed, the reason he had chosen to often travel beyond the borders of his homeland. Leaving the Golden Woods and his entire family behind had never been to his liking but, unlike other ellons, he yearned to see different societies.

    Soon enough though, the flames of war had reached the sanctuaries of his kin and he became privy to the atrocities of the battlefield. The days when he watched the simple joys of human life began to fade away into nothingness, slowly and painfully. All the things he would not have experienced if he had decided to remain within the gates of Caras Galadhon started to haunt his mind.

    However, he would forever feel grateful for the amount of knowledge he had acquired. Moreover, the countless memories tended to offer a unique perspective of the life. Many centuries had passed, yet, he had finally understood the importance of being very cautious because the world was far from a safe place. Evil existed and was lurking into the shadows ready to unleash destruction.

    Over the ages though the marchwarden had learned that a situation or a creature was usually labeled as ‘dangerous’ when a large group of individuals were concerned about self-preservation. Perhaps a similar truth applied for the malevolent forces. Maybe people allowed dread to darken their souls due to the lack of open minds. For example, anything unfamiliar would ruin their comfort.

    Haldir though felt no fear in the prospect of change and the whole town of Misty Hollow would soon learn a lesson about adjustment to difficult circumstances. The citizens would either expand their horizons or they would perish, they would endure or they would meet their demise. The elf had served mankind for too long, ensuring the safety of those ungrateful, flawed creatures.

    It was time for a little lightning and magic. Slow footsteps carried him closer to one of the pillars that kept active the protective dome above a portion of the city. Earlier the same day the warrior had tried to enter but the barrier had repel him. Therefore, he was currently waiting for his companion to arrive. Together nobody would stand in their way. Their plans would surely meet success.

    Despite how identical their features might have seemed, this person was surely not Haldir. He had no common personality traits with the marchwarden of the Golden Woods. This was the exact opposite for every single characteristic that made Haldir a being of pure light. This stranger… was Haldir’s evil twin and it had appeared in Pandora for a specific purpose. To cause disaster.

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  2. Thor Odinson

    Thor Odinson Marvel Universe
    God of Thunder

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    [​IMG]
    Thor strode forwards with confidence, cape snapping in the wind. Years and years ago, someone had once asked him why he wore red when it only served to make him an easy target on the battlefield. That was the point, he’d laughed, and he grinned at the memory as he approached the shimmering barrier that kept out all the malevolent energies in Misty Hollow.

    Red was the color of strength, of danger, of conviction. Of war, of battle, of blood. Like the very blood that surged through his veins, that pounded in his head to the rhythm of war drums. Energy crackled between his fingers, but he clenched them together. Not yet, but soon. Very soon.

    “Haldir,” he greeted the elf standing just at the barrier’s edge, having arranged to meet with him earlier. “Though I guess I ought to call you Not-Haldir,” he added, grinning in amusement. More at his own words than at the elf himself, even though he found it amusing that the elf couldn’t even pass through the barrier.

    His gaze settled on the shimmering surface of it now, his reflection staring back at him. He looked exactly like his other self, his weaker self. His missing eye and shorter hair, smears on his honor that he’d already sought vengeance for, hadn’t bothered him until then. Not until coming face-to-face with a Thor who’d gone pale as a youngling at the thought of taking Loki down once and for all, at seizing power and showing this world what it truly meant to be ruled by a god.

    That would happen, eventually. Soon, if Thor could have his way. But the path to godhood took time, time and effort. It took making the right alliances, too. His weaker half had come to care for Misty Hollow so he would take it from him. Stumbling on Not-Haldir had been a stroke of luck, but a good one.

    “Let’s not waste time with idle chatter.” He reached for the barrier, inching his fingers towards the shimmering mass of energy. There was resistance, of course. Whatever enchantment was placed on the barrier considered him an enemy. But every enemy could be subdued, even one such as this. Sucking in a deep breath, he wasted no time in summoning a storm.

    Light flashed around him, followed by an ear-splitting boom that was strong enough to shake the ground beneath their feet. Lifting his other hand into the air and forming it into a fist, Thor summoned the full-blown strength of a thunderbolt. Energy crackled across his skin before he funneled it at the barrier with all the force he could muster.

    Even though his part of the plan was to be a distraction for the guards, he was curious to discover whether he’d actually manage to damage the barrier.

     
    #2 Thor Odinson, May 11, 2018
    Last edited: May 12, 2018
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  3. Haldir of Lorien

    Haldir of Lorien Tolkien Legendarium

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    [​IMG]
    The evil twin’s acute sense informed him about the Asgardian’s arrival but he did not move. Perhaps he was not Haldir himself but he was still an elf. He acknowledged his new ally with a nod. “Names are not of import, yet, he is the disgrace to the ranks of my kin.” From his point of view the real Haldir had made quite a few mistakes, for example misplacing his loyalty.

    Not-Haldir, as Not-Thor had called him, believed he was right to behave in a certain way. More than that, he knew he was. Logic spoke and nobody seemed willing enough to listen. He could easily explain his motives and the citizens would still fail to understand. “I agree.” He said and pulled the homemade bow. His rigid posture endured and regret had no place in his heart.

    Without any short of remorse he shot his arrow and took down one of the defenders who were guarding the tower near the pillar, clearing the path for the God of Thunder. They had to play their roles efficiently and effectively, otherwise the whole plan would collapse.

    Inside the barrier the original Haldir noticed movement on the perimeter of the barrier and ran. He was far but thankfully his legs carried faster than a normal human.

    “Sound the alarm.” He instructed the warriors on the nearby tower. “Defenders! To me. To me!” The marchwarden cried out, successfully claiming the attention of his comrades. Without further delay the group which had been patrolling answered the call. Mere seconds later four people arrived at his side and formed a line. He drew his bow and aimed at the figure of the attacker.

    Despite the distance separating them, his eyes could not be fooled. A familiar face with the power of lightning had turned into the current threat. However, the ellon recognized the difference between the Thor he grown familiar with and the one who was standing outside the barrier. Things got more complicated when he spotted the darker version of himself but he refused to falter.

    Two of his companions had weapons similar to his while the others had knives. “Archers ready!” The usual calmness in his voice had been replaced by determination. His fingers brushed against the feathers of the arrow and he pulled the string before giving the first volley. He avoided to glance at his warriors, for he was certain that pure fear would be written across their features.

    A nearly deafening boom shook the earth but none of the defenders fled. Frankly, Haldir was slightly surprised by the immense amount of force the God could summoned, yet, he would protect the town to his last breath. Just when Thor’s doppleganger prepared to unleash the energy of the thunderbolt upon the protective dome, the elf gave the order. “Release the arrows.”

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  4. Thor Odinson

    Thor Odinson Marvel Universe
    God of Thunder

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    [​IMG]
    Thor basked in the primordial energies coursing through him, opening himself to them. Above him, the night sky filled with stormclouds, hissing and spitting out lightning bolts at random intervals. Some struck the ground around him, kicking up flecks of dirt and stone, but they were nothing compared to the lightning already bathing him in its ethereal light.

    It crackled over his skin, seeped into his flesh and seared his bones, like the caresses of an old lover elated to see him again. It was a powerful sight. He was a powerful sight. Fearsome, terrible, unstoppable. Focused as he was on his task, he was only vaguely aware of Haldir -- Not-Haldir, that was -- loosing arrows at the Defenders atop their watchtowers.

    Bells sounded somewhere in the distance. Some sort of alarm, Thor reckoned. His gaze -- sparking with blue, otherworldly light -- took in movement from beyond the barrier. Haldir, along with several other Defenders. Thor couldn’t help but smile at the sight, smile at how they predictably focused their attention on the immediate threat: him.

    They didn’t lose time in firing arrows at him. Arrows, as if sticks made out of wood could stop him! Thor raised his forearm, wreathed in electricity, and smacked them aside. He couldn’t send any lightning through the barrier -- at least not yet -- but that didn’t mean he couldn’t protect himself. Another volley followed, and he used his other forearm to deflect them too. After a few more volleys, a collection of arrowheads growing on the ground by his feet, they stopped.

    But then Haldir loosed an arrow.

    Thor reacted on instinct, grabbing it in mid-air before it struck true. He stared at it, genuinely perturbed for a few heartbeats. If he hadn’t noticed it in time, it might have even pierced his heart. Haldir was not one to be underestimated, it seemed.

    He laughed, tossing the arrow aside before summoning more lightning, wreathing his fists in its blinding brilliance. “Is that the best you’ve got?” he taunted, slamming them down upon the barrier like twin hammers.

    It held, of course. But for how long?

     
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  5. Haldir of Lorien

    Haldir of Lorien Tolkien Legendarium

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    [​IMG]
    One volley after the other did not reach the target with the sticks made of durable wood getting either deflected or burned to dust. In all honesty, the more righteous version of the elf became aware concerning the importance of a physical confrontation. No matter his long history as an excellent archer, his weapon was not enough to defeat an entity of myths. Nevertheless, the marchwarden noticed how Thor’s twin seemed genuinely perturbed after catching his bolt in mid-air.

    Judging from the way Evil-Thor chose to taunt them, the attack had many aspects aside from simply destroying the town’s sole protection against the malevolent entities. The opponents were gloating over the violent outburst. The Real-Haldir though realized the need to stay concentrated and unaffected by the enemies words. Not losing his calm, he avoided to respond with aggression.

    Suddenly the good version of the elf spotted an arrow had targeted one of his comrades. Despite missing an opportunity to strike the God’s evil version to the head and possibly take him down, he released an arrow which cracked the other in half. He had saved the fellow defender but he also started to understand the possibility of failing to win the battle without further assistance.

    Then he noticed more lightning and recognized the sparkles of blue energy. Help was definitely coming, since the familiar figure of a blond man was running through the woods with incredible speed. Thor leaped several meters above the trees before landing between his other half and the protective dome. Thunderbolts kept bombarding the area but the barrier was holding up.

    “Defenders! Change the target.” With these words he shot once again, shifted his bow towards the more sinister version of himself. His bolt would have found a way if the dark-elf had not proved agile enough as to roll aside and the rest of his warriors failed too. Not-Haldir rose to his feet and straightened his back. “The pillar.” He instructed, almost certain that his ally was going to listen.

    [​IMG]
     
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  6. Thor Odinson

    Thor Odinson Marvel Universe
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    Thor -- the real Thor, the Thor who had been searching for Not-Thor for days now -- stopped in his tracks when he heard thunder boom in the distance. Whipping his head around, he finally spotted what appeared to be a lightning storm brewing above Misty Hollow. Almost impossible to make out at such a distance, at least for mortal eyes. He didn’t doubt the sight would attract attention from mortals, though he doubted that many would actually understand what it meant. He knew what his lightning looked like, knew what it was capable of. Knew what he was capable of, even if Not-Thor was unlike him in so many ways.

    Throat tight, he wasted no time in launching into a run, heading back towards Misty Hollow as fast as his legs could carry him. Not for the first time, he missed being able to fly, but now wasn’t the time to think about Mjolnir. Thor pushed himself to the limit, running -- and occasionally leaping into the air to cover more distance -- trying to reach Misty Hollow before it was too late. He didn’t know what Not-Thor was up to, but he didn’t expect it to be anything good.

    He finally burst through the treeline, and though Misty Hollow itself was a sizeable town, he easily spotted the column of lightning raining down on... shit, it looked like it was raining down on the barrier. Thor wasted no time in launching himself into the air, lightning crackling around him to give himself a bigger boost, spotting... spotting Not-Thor slamming his lightning-wreathed fists against the barrier, and Haldir next to him -- no, not Haldir, another Haldir, a Not-Haldir -- Haldir was inside the barrier, trying to defend it.

    Thor landed in front of Not-Thor with a deafening thunderclap, absorbing the majority of the lightning Not-Thor was producing before slamming Not-Thor aside with a mighty swing of his arm. Not-Thor swayed and almost lost his balance but recovered quickly, rubbing his chin and grimacing. But as soon as his eye landed on Thor, his face split into a wide grin.

    “So you do care about this town,” Not-Thor laughed, and the sound was so cruel and familiar, it made Thor’s hair stand on end just hearing it. “I was counting on it, you know, soft-hearted fool that you are.”

    “You will not harm these people,” Thor countered, raising his fists and falling into a fighting stance. “Not as long as I’m here to stop you.” His eye flickered to Not-Haldir nearby, who ducked into a roll to avoid a volley of arrows. Good, he thought. If the Defenders could focus their efforts on stopping Not-Haldir, then Thor could focus on Not-Thor without having to worry.

    “We’ll see about that,” Not-Thor said, and charged at him with fists raised.

    Thor raised his arms to deflect the blow, shoving Not-Thor aside before darting closer, punching Not-Thor in the gut. Not-Thor grunted, then grabbed Thor’s head and drove his knee into Thor’s face. Thor reeled from the blow, but managed to lurch out of the way before Not-Thor could make another grab for him. Only, Not-Thor didn’t follow after him. Instead, Not-Thor shot out an arm, sending a lightning bolt at...

    At one of the pillars, and Haldir along with it.

    “No!” Thor shouted, tackling Not-Thor to the ground, but the damage was already done. Haldir stumbled out of sight, but Thor had no time to see to the elf. Not-Thor tried to roll him over and grab him by the throat, but Thor grabbed Not-Thor’s wrists and struggled to keep him at bay.

    He didn’t know how it happened, grappling with Not-Thor as he was, but Thor saw the barrier ripple out of the corner of his eye, as if shuddering... and then its purplish glow diminished, peeling away like paint.

     
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  7. Haldir of Lorien

    Haldir of Lorien Tolkien Legendarium

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    [​IMG]
    Haldir was relieved to see the Thor he had befriended. His acute hearing allowed him to perceive the exchange between the good and the evil version of the superhero. Of course the conversation did not last for long, with a fight succeeding the previous comments. Seconds later he heard his own doppleganger instructing evil-Thor to aim for the nearby pillar. The marchwarden ran as fast as his legs could carry him without hesitation, almost stretching himself too thin.

    Arrows landed beside his feet and he realized that his darker version was not willing to accept defeat. Yet, he did not have the luxury to stop. From the moment he had chosen to become the Head of Defense the thought of exchanging his own life for the city’s safety had occupied his mind. In all honesty, from his perspective, a soldier’s duty included the greatest of sacrifices. Of course every single deed resulted from his devotion, instead of mere obligation to a cause.

    Upon reaching the magical column, the elf saw a lightning bolt stretching across the air. Suddenly, time gave the impression of slowing down a little and his instinct prevailed. Although he understood the dangers and the possible outcome of his decision, still he shielded the most vital element of the district’s survival with his body. No fear arose and no regrets existed. Quite the contrary, a unique sense of peace overwhelmed him while he just waited for the inevitable.

    His reaction was motivated by loyalty. Therefore, Haldir stood between the powerful attack and the one thing that prevented the malevolent entities from roaming freely the streets of the town he called ‘home’. Thunder struck his chest, lifting him off the ground. The force of the impact caused a massive wave of pain and the air got instantly knocked out of his lungs. Unable to land properly, his shoulders hit the soil hard before sending a plume of dry mud upwards.

    The unfathomable ache continued to burn his veins like an untamed inferno. Soon enough, the original sensation started to faded away, gradually replaced by an icy numbness. Black spots began to fill the edges of his acute vision while the sole sound he manged to discern was the rhythmical drumming of his own heartbeat. Swallow breaths provided the minimum amount of oxygen. However, the archer refused to surrender to the alluring call of the abyss.

    After the collision with the soil his bright gray eyes froze on the sky but he did not blink. Letting his head drop to his left, he watched helplessly as the dome’s purplish glow diminished. His muscles failed to respond, even when the runes which preserved the barrier’s enchantment began to peel away like old paint from a crumbling wall. Despite how futile his efforts to stir might seemed, the blond pressed himself beyond the limits and eventually he rolled to his side.

    His arm curled around his ribs with a small wince escaping from the back of his throat. Thick liquid oozed through his fingers, emerging from an ugly gash across his lower abdomen. He lowered his gaze to the wound and watched the stain upon his tunic growing. The crimson fluid moved beneath his palm and he noticed that it felt a bit warmer than his own flesh. Nonetheless, his rapidly paling skin did not discourage him. Thus, the ellon pushed himself to his knees.

    The corrupted double approached with the long sword at hand, wielding the blade with enough speed and experience as to deflect several flying arrows which came from the defenders. He froze on his heels and towered over his twin. Their eyes locked and they both understood what would follow. ‘Get up!’ The commanding tone echoed in the Not-Haldir’s voice. No matter the strain, the injured warrior complied and rose to his feet while drawing his weapon.

    [​IMG]
     
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  8. Thor Odinson

    Thor Odinson Marvel Universe
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    Thor gnashed his teeth together, trying to summon enough strength to shove Not-Thor aside, but they were almost equally matched. He couldn’t see where Haldir had landed, but the pillar had been destroyed and the barrier... gods, the barrier had fallen.

    They’d failed.

    “I can see it in your eye,” Not-Thor taunted, his smile full of teeth as he loomed over Thor. “How does it feel, to know you failed these poor townsfolk the same way you failed our people? To know you’ll be nothing but a failure, a has-been? You’re too much of a coward to take what’s rightfully yours, to do what has to be done. You always were.”

    Thor growled, lips peeling back over his teeth. “You talk too much,” he managed, then swung their joined hands — his left fist, Not-Thor’s right fist — into the side of Not-Thor’s head, using the momentary distraction to roll them both over and ram his elbow into Not-Thor’s face.

    And Thor followed the attack with an ear-splitting thunderbolt, rolling out of the way before it landed upon Not-Thor. He leapt to his feet and ran, ran towards the fallen pillar and the direction he’d last seen Haldir in.

    Only to find Not-Haldir looming over a bleeding Haldir, urging him to fight. But Haldir was in nowhere near enough shape to survive, let alone fight.

    “Step away from him or you’re dead,” Thor warned, lighting crackling over his shoulders, his arms, his entire body. His eye glowed with an otherworldly light as he stretched out a hand, electricity bright between his fingers. Now.”

     
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  9. Haldir of Lorien

    Haldir of Lorien Tolkien Legendarium

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    [​IMG]
    People often confused the word ‘faith’ with notions such as ‘entitlement’ or ‘snobbishness’. In actuality, those terms had nothing in common. The cornerstone of every pure soul were the strong beliefs free from selflessness and arrogance.

    Moreover, the marchwarden had learned the importance of upholding his moral code no matter the consequences. He had already rested his hopes upon the great values which bonded a community and tended to create a feeling of fellowship.

    History had taught the elf that in the days of tragedy, the lingering hope of an optimistic person had the power to inspire the members of a society. First and foremost, he strove to protect such virtues but also kept their spark alive in his own heart.

    Haldir never ceased his efforts to bring those wonderful qualities in the community because all the citizens should glance at the potential of a better future when darkness threatened them. The current situation challenged everything he fought for.

    Therefore, the warrior looked at his opponents eyes and how unnatural to see himself as the enemy. He ignored the pain and straightened his back. His legs could barely carry his weight, yet, the grip remained tight around the hilt of his sword.

    Before the confrontation began, the real Thor interrupted them. Although his loyal defender had the purest of intentions, still the archer had to face his foe alone. “Stand down.” An unearthly calmness tinged the order. “This is not your battle.”

    Simultaneously, the evil doppleganger smirked at the God of Thunder. After a mere second the two elves started to exchange blows. The sound of clashing swords echoed through the air. Despite his wounds, Haldir’s skills proved exceptional.

    With a swift motion pushed his blade through his opponent’s stomach and watched the life fading from the eyes of his evil self. He allowed a couple of calming breaths to enter his lungs before finally collapsing beside his dead double.

    [​IMG]
     
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