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The Dark Companion

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Review of chapter "You can run but you can't hide..." from DieselDriver
Review:
Methinks the dead are going to be going into battle sooner than expected. Since they are sworn to Aragorn's ancestor, would they not worn them of the trap ahead? or at least that there are strangers in their woods?
Comments from author:
Aragorn doesn't call the Dead into his service until they reach the Stone of Erech. And the Drow party includes a Priestess of Kiaransalee, Goddess of the Undead, and she can quell the Dead and keep them from interfering.
Review By [DieselDriver] • Date [11 Nov 14] • Not Rated
Review of chapter "And then the screaming started" from DieselDriver
Review:
I play Everquest, a fun, first person role playing MMORPG. I have a Wood Elf Ranger who has acquired the ability called "Endless Quiver". I need only carry one arrow and it is always there when I reach for a shaft. Pull and shoot endlessly until the battle is over or to close for distance weapons. To bad Cierre didn't have that ability. I think that they are beginning to see that the drow are not particularly nice in battle and it will boggle their minds when they find out what an aberration she is from the norm in her honor, even while she seems particularly bloodthirsty in battle.
Comments from author:
The supply of arrows is going to be a recurring theme in a world where magic repeating arrows are a thing only found in stories.

And they're going to learn more about the Drow.
Review By [DieselDriver] • Date [11 Nov 14] • Not Rated
Review of chapter "And I'll find strength in pain" from laara
Review:
Excellent story, I love it. Is there any chance of the next chapter being posted any time soon?
Comments from author:
Thank you! I'm working on the next chapter at the moment but making slow progress because I've been doing a lot of other things at the same time. I'm 4,500 words into the chapter but over the past week I've only done 1,000 words. At that rate it could take me another two months to complete it. On the other hand it took me only two nights to write all 13,500 words of the first chapter - I was really on a roll then. So the next chapter could appear any time between Monday and Christmas depending on how inspiration strikes me and what real-life distractions crop up.
Review By [laara] • Date [24 Oct 14] • Rating [10 out of 10]
Review of chapter "And I'll find strength in pain" from Marcel
Review:
Wow... Elladan has become quite important to the story. However, the situation seems to be getting worse for the main characters with each chapter - now Elladan has to figure out how to rescue Nathyrra and the rest of the team.
Comments from author:
Not just for the main characters. Two hundred armed Big Men are now heading for the Shire and the Time of Troubles might be somewhat worse than the one in canon - by about as much as the Battle of Stalingrad was worse than a punch-up in a pub car-park.
Review By [Marcel] • Date [4 Aug 13] • Rating [10 out of 10]
Review of chapter "And I'll find strength in pain" from Traszgo
Review:
I was wondering how you were going to deal with the Witchking of Angmar; that was awesome! Poor Imrahil, though!
Comments from author:
Thank you!

There are winners and losers in the changed Middle Earth that has resulted from Cierre's presence; Imrahil is one of the losers.
Review By [Traszgo] • Date [3 Aug 13] • Rating [10 out of 10]
Review of chapter "Through the past, and that quite darkly..." from Darksidhe
Review:
I really like this fic.
Comments from author:
Thank you very much!
Review By [Darksidhe] • Date [18 Jul 13] • Rating [10 out of 10]
Review of chapter "The Calm Before The Storm" from bookworm
Review:
Hmm. Sounds like Merry has something in mind to blacken Eowyn's fair skin. I wonder what they have that could work well enough.
Comments from author:
I'm meticulous about placing clues...
Review By [bookworm] • Date [18 Jul 13] • Not Rated
Review of chapter "The Calm Before The Storm" from HallowGreen
Review:
Without merry along, how are the Company and their allies going to kill the Ring Wraith at Gondor? Maybe Cierre will have a trick or two up her sleeve? Who knows, the more you get into this story the more things are changed by Cierre's presence...

Eowyn is the one who strikes down the Ring Wraith and gives Merry his chance to finish it, now neither will be present at the battle. Given the only other Companion likely to be able to stop a Ring Wraith is Gandalf, this is a major change. I look forwards to seeing what you come up with. Also, Eowyn's life is saved and she meets the man who becomes her Husband on the battlefield-none of that can or will happen now. That's just to begin with...

Aragorn may be the strongest Healer amongst the Rangers, but how can he prove that he is who he suggests now the others can heal as well? Legolas and Cierre make a very effective team, especially with Gimli and Aragorn added in, but what reaction will other Elves have to coming face-to-face with Cierre? Elrond's sons are exceptional and have fought alongside her, but few of the Riders of Rohan seem to actually trust her-and who knows what will happen when they reach Gondor and Lord Denethor claps eyes on her? In the books, even Gandalf really has to work to get through to the man. With a Drow Elf present, he might just declare them enemies of Gondor for Boromir's death...

I have to say, though, the one thing I ultimately didn't see coming was the attraction between Cierre and Eowyn. I actually hope this does come to something, Cierre fits well into the LoTR and a little unexpected happiness might just keep her there. On top of which, she and Eowyn are honestly a good match, warriors, brave, bold, smart and honest who can, and do if given the chance, keep up with the best of the men. Although that would have significant implications for the future, as Eowyn's children become important, who will not be born, most likely, if Cierre and she become "close"...

Keep up the good work.
Comments from author:
Thank you!

Cierre is *not* going to kill the Ringwraith. She could, certainly; she's immune to most of the things the Witch-King can do and her sword is even more powerful than she knows herself. But she's going to be several miles downstream when he needs to be killed...

Other than that I'm not going to say anything about the changes she makes to the canon story except that there will be significant deaths that don't occur in the book. And that Elladan will change things in Faerûn even more.
Review By [HallowGreen] • Date [7 Jun 13] • Rating [10 out of 10]
Review of chapter "The Calm Before The Storm" from SamDragon
Review:
Serious change from the book. Merry's sword carries the ability to break the enchantment that holds the ring wraith together. How will they kill it now?
Comments from author:
I did say that Cierre's presence would change things for the worse as well as for the better. Perhaps they won't...
Review By [SamDragon] • Date [25 May 13] • Rating [10 out of 10]
Review of chapter "Down the Valley of the Shadow" from bookworm
Review:
Ooh. Yep, that's a major blow to the canon...
Comments from author:
Indeed.
Review By [bookworm] • Date [22 May 13] • Not Rated
Review of chapter "Down the Valley of the Shadow" from AndreaMaine
Review:
A terrific update!
Comments from author:
Thank you very much!
Review By [AndreaMaine] • Date [18 May 13] • Not Rated
Review of chapter "Down the Valley of the Shadow" from Oxnate
Review:
Wow. You did say that she would make changes for the worse. And that certainly qualifies. Shocking, yet wonderful.
Comments from author:
Thank you very much!
Review By [Oxnate] • Date [17 May 13] • Not Rated
Review of chapter "Down the Valley of the Shadow" from Salric
Review:
Any time Halaster Blackcloak makes an appearance you know there's trouble. But you've captured the essence of his character perfectly - I don't remember whether he's actually listed as Chaotic Neutral, but he should be, as he's what they had in mind when they said that Chaotic Neutral is the alignment of madmen.
Comments from author:
Thank you! I tried to match my dialogue for him to the original dialogue from the game so that readers unfamiliar with the game wouldn't be able to tell which was Bioware's and which was mine. Of course you could say that Halaster isn't really mad; he just likes running live-action Dungeons and Dragons games with real deaths.
Review By [Salric] • Date [17 May 13] • Rating [9 out of 10]
Review of chapter "You can run but you can't hide..." from LaraBr
Review:
I read this story last night and was totally engrossed. Seriously well written and brilliant.

I have to admit to being curious as to how you changed Cierre's stats from the source book?
When I back-engineered Cierre for my own campaign I gave her str 17 and made her NG to fit in with 2nd ED ranger rules.

Looking forward to the update. Once again Brilliant
Comments from author:
Thank you!

I go way, way, back in D&D. I was playing in the days of the original little beige booklets and started DMing in that awful transitional year when the Players' Handbook had been published but the DM's Guide had not and we had to improvise with combat tables previewed in 'Dragon' magazine. I first encountered the Drow in the G1-G3/D1-D3/Q1 modules and by the time Salvatore messed things up by being unable to spell 'Lolth' I'd been running a Good renegade Drow NPC on the surface for ages.

I was utterly accustomed to the Drow being a very small people, 5 foot nothing being average and 5' 4" being exceptional, yet able to hold their own for strength with the larger races. The gradual tendency of the WotC writers to increase their height passed me by. Consequently, when I encountered Cierre and read the description 'She's 5'9", tall for a Drow' my first thought was "Tall? She's ****ing gigantic!" and that was how I treated her.

I took her as being the equivalent of a 6' 10" Olympic discus thrower, or Hulk Hogan at the very least, and decided that her strength would be 18.00 in 2nd Edition terms (or even 19, as 18.00 is legit only for fighters). And, as she's the size and build of Amanda Tapping but with the strength of a weightlifter, she'd have the weight/strength ratio to make her extremely agile.

This means that she is the direct equivalent of Tolkien's elves, who also have that kind of strength, and that was, in fact, the genesis of this story (although my original intention had been to use her only in 'Debt of Blood' and its sequels).
Review By [LaraBr] • Date [13 May 13] • Not Rated
Review of chapter "Out of the blue, and into the black" from Oxnate
Review:
I'm not familiar with D&D so I don't understand why Rangers would have an affinity for her magic. I understand Aragorn. If I remember the quote right it goes "The hands of the king are the hands of a healer." or something like that. Seemed like an odd way to tell the guy's your king back when I first read it.
Comments from author:
In D&D all Rangers can cast a limited selection of spells, all connected either with healing or with nature, and training in conventional medical techniques gives their healing spells greater power. For purposes of the plot I'm taking it that this is an innate ability that never cropped up in Middle Earth because the deities who first taught the Rangers how to do it, in Faerûn, don't exist in Middle Earth. Once taught the principles the Dúnedain Rangers are adept at the art - much more so than Cierre, who is no better than mediocre at healing spells. Aragorn, Elladan, and Elrohir will be significantly better than any of the other Rangers because of Elrond's teachings and because Aragorn bears the Elfstone which will magnify his healing spells still further.

This will confuse things greatly on arrival at Minas Tirith, of course; there will be loads of people (and one Drow Elf female) fulfilling the 'hands of the King are the hands of a healer' prophecy.
Review By [Oxnate] • Date [12 May 13] • Not Rated
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