View Single Post
Old 06-23-2006, 10:39 AM   #50
Hilde Bracegirdle
Relic of Wandering Days
Hilde Bracegirdle's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: You'll See Perpetual Change.
Posts: 1,488
Hilde Bracegirdle has just left Hobbiton.
Hilde's character - Carl

NAME: Carl “Nibs” Cotton

AGE: born SR 1389, has yet to turn 51 toward the end of the year.

RACE: Hobbit


WEAPONS: Short knife, a small axe of utilitarian nature and a hunting bow with quiver at his belt. No armor.

APPEARANCE: Thickset and well tanned; Carl’s rough and calloused hands tell of hard work. He has a homespun appearance, wearing trousers of a sturdy brown fabric and open vest of the same. His shirt is a buttery yellow and around his neck is a bit of brightness, a twisted a handkerchief, the color of spring leaves.

Carl is of average hobbit height, with a clean shaven face and an abundance of wavy brown hair, which he keeps cropped so that it falls just short of his earlobes. His eyes are hazel and his lips less than generous and without much color.

A stout Shire pony with the peculiar name of Stumps is his traveling companion, and despite the name and having all his limbs intact, the pony carries Carl’s leather pack, blankets and the rest of the hobbit’s gear. Stumps is a well fed and well muscled creature, reddish in color with a light mane and tail.

PERSONALITY: Carl has a dry sense of humor and is friendly enough. Among his own people he would best be described as a dependable and practical sort. But his close friends know of a well hidden slightly fanciful streak, his suppression of which is to be expected given his place as the youngest son of a farmer known for his common sense.

STRENGTHS: Any strong points are related to his occupation and include agricultural experience, physical strength, endurance and a guarded optimism. But Carl also possesses some skill in hunting, thus having learned the use of a bow.

WEAKNESSES: Chief weakness, besides a sometimes disabling appetite (with its attending ill humor), would be Carl’s obliviousness to, and so apparent disregard of subtle diplomacy.


Carl Cotton was born in Bywater in the Shire country, where he has lived ever since. He was a fourth son, the fifth and last child born to farmer Tom Cotton and his wife Lily.

As a boy Carl, (who is known as Nibs), as well as his three brothers, developed an abiding friendship with the son of his grandfather’s colleague, a gardener’s son. And together they had shared both in youthful antics and in a love for the land. Though they hadn’t thought on it at the time, these two families had intertwined in the past and were destined to in the future as well, with their friend Samwise marrying Carl’s sister Rosie upon his return from traveling, and Carl’s eldest brother, Tolman, likewise marrying Sam’s sister Marigold.

Now Carl was still in his tweens when Sam had gone off to help Mr. Baggins, and he was there to see it when the Shire was turned on it’s head too. And though his father left him as guard over his mother and sister, rather than have him join in the battle which had quickly followed Sam’s homecoming, he never forgot how fast the tables had been turned once the Shire folk had set their minds to it.

That was in the past, Sam had since become the Mayor, and Carl had turned his thoughts back to working his father’s farm, with his thoughts staying there, for the most part, until a few years ago. Perhaps it started when King Elessar traveled to the northern kingdom, or resulted from the serious talks the Cotton brothers had had with Sam, when the Mayor had begun speaking somewhat wistfully of visiting Gondor. Carl couldn’t be sure.

He did know however, that he had begun thinking about the greater world and it worried him. Deciding it was time to settle down proper, lest this curiosity grab hold of him, he planned to buy a little plot of his own and tie himself securely to it. But confiding his thoughts to Samwise one evening, the mayor suddenly grew thoughtful and requested Carl to hold off a bit, as he had an errand he would like him to undertake first. Thus began another long round of discussions between Sam and the Cottons. And it was during this time that Carl’s eldest brother commented sharply that a Mayor shouldn’t go gallivanting off on long trips when his term was not yet over. Sam looked him squarely in the eyes. “Look here Tom,” the Mayor said. “If the king of Gondor and of Arnor can make a trip to the Brandywine to visit his old friends, I don’t see why the Mayor of the Shire shouldn’t return the favor!” Tom was silent after that, but the roll and gamble of events cast Carl in the role of message runner, and placed his feet on the road to Minas Tirith, with an errand to see if the mayor might pay an extended visit there in the next year or two.


Hilde Bracegirdle's post - Carl

It had been two weeks now since Carl had hand delivered a rather bulky packet of papers to the Citadel at the top of the city. As it turned out Sam Gamgee’s carefully folded message to King Elessar had also included a letter of introduction for Carl and, as the hobbit also saw, a note addressed to the king and queen in his niece Elanor’s fine script. Carl was surprised when the King had bid him stay as he took his time over their contents, and after exchanging a few words with the hobbit, to ask Carl questions regarding The Thain for the most part, he smiled his gratitude, telling a tall fellow who stood nearby to make arrangements for this special messenger. He was to be made comfortable and stay as long as he wished before returning home.

Perhaps it was the easiest victory that Elessar had ever had, having won the hobbit over unknowingly within minutes, the monarch’s good-natured ways and Sam’s high regard largely contributing. And so Carl was happy to stay, though he asked if it might be on the Pelennor rather than in the city, for the grandeur of Minas Tirith, with its high white walls of cut stone, had nearly taken his breath away when his pony Stumps emerged from the fields to plod up the causeway. And the hobbit had waxed wide-eyed and apprehensive, upon approaching the tall gates.

After having had those two weeks among the farms in the shadow of Mount Mindolluin, Carl had grown somewhat accustomed to his surroundings, settling in nicely. Truly he enjoyed walking through the fields spending his days learning about new crops and the methods used to propagate them. And his host seemed to enjoy showing the newcomer around, slowly loading the hobbit’s baggage down with hardy and exotic seeds to try once he had returned to the Shire.

But at the end of two weeks Carl naturally began wondering just how much longer he should stay. He had half expected that he might be given some message to take back to the Shire, though the King’s response to Sam’s had been quite clear without it. He knew Elessar would be only too happy to have The Mayor and his family make the long journey south to Gondor. And so Carl sat on a stone outside the farmer’s house, figuring, after his large breakfast, just what he should do, when a fine young man in a heavily embroidered uniform appeared, walking briskly up the road. Heading straight for the hobbit, he stopped with his polished boots just within the shadow of Carl's seat. “Master Nibs?” he inquired.

Carl looked up from the boots, amused that the stranger knew the name, one which Sam no doubt had used in his letter of introduction, he replied, “Yes, that would be me,” as he slid off the large stone. He had noted a scroll in the fellow’s hand from a distance, and was feeling rather more cheerful now. The decision over his departure evidently had been made for him. “Is that for me?” he nodded in the direction of the man’s right hand.

The Gondorian handed Carl the scroll. “A message from the King.”

“Ah, I have been waiting for this!” the hobbit announced, taking the missive and placing it in his trouser pocket.

The man’s expression quickly clouded. “You knew of it? But how could you?”

“I’ve eyes and ears you know. It wasn’t hard to put two and two together,” the hobbit remarked. “To be honest, I thought it might have arrived a bit sooner than this.” At that the man looked puzzled.

“But it is still early,” he murmured.

“Never mind,” Carl said hurriedly. “You may assure the King that I will leave just as soon as I gather what I need for the trip.”

“You needn’t trouble yourself, all preparations have already been made,” the messenger informed him, brightening. “I don’t know the full details, only that you will be traveling with a group the King has himself hand picked.”

“Is that right?” Carl said slowly. He hadn’t planned on being in a group, but it did sound like quite an honor, and he didn’t want to make himself look ungrateful by refusing such gracious hospitality. “Where and when am I to meet this group?”

The messenger hesitated. “We have been instructed that the travelers are to gather outside the royal palace shortly before sunrise tomorrow."

“Then I will be there,” Carl said. "Before first light."

“You might want to look over the message, before you set out,” the Gondorian advised in parting. “To see if you have any concerns.”

The hobbit’s face quickly soured. “Don’t you worry about me,” Carl said gruffly, wondering if it was standard Gondorian practice for messengers to read the letters they carried. He withdrew the scroll from its place in his pocket, turning it over in his hands before carrying it inside and placing it gingerly in his pack, unopened.

His host came over wiping his hands on a rag as he looked out the doorway at the straight back and black uniform of the retreating messenger. “I haven’t gotten you in trouble with the king’s men, now have I?” he whispered.

“Oh, no. He'd come here to deliver this,” the hobbit said, reaching back and withdrawing the scroll again to show to his host.

“Aren’t you going to read it then? It looks important.”

“Read it!" Carl was suddenly fiercely indignant. “Does everyone here always read what is placed in their care? I will take it back to The Mayor, and he can read it!”

The Gondorian farmer reached out and lightly tapped his index finger on the black ink of the document saying meekly, ”But that's your name there Carl, and not your Mayor's.”

"It is?" Carl looked at the parchment, his anger dissolving, “For me? But I never learned to...,” The hobbit didn't finish his thought, in truth he was feeling a bit lost, realizing that he would be leaving soon and empty handed. “Here then, would you be kind enough to read it for me? I can’t for myself you see.”

The farmer willingly obliged, and speaking slowly and haltingly his face registered with emotion as the letter went on.

“Mordor? Mordor!” Carl said weakly when the farmer had fallen silent again. “And here I told the man that I’d go, thinking it only back to the Shire.”

“But it is a noble task you are called to do,” his host said. “Those slaves could have been any one of us, or of our kin.”

“Aye,” Carl breathed. “I am honored to be called upon, but just hope I’m up to such important business.”

“You are, and you must be!” the man said. “The King has called you to be.”

Carl nodded, lapsing into thought.


Last edited by Hilde Bracegirdle; 06-30-2006 at 10:43 AM.
Hilde Bracegirdle is offline