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Old 12-29-2003, 11:53 AM   #20
Desultory Dwimmerlaik
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Mithadanís post Ė Baran

"Who comes seeking Piosenniel? And why?"

Baran's eyes fixed upon Piosenniel, taking note of the children who huddled behind her. The Innkeeper, alarmed at the sudden tension in his common room, scowled and stepped between the massive man and the Elf. "Here now..." he began. But Baran interrupted. "I do," he said. "I have traveled a long ways to find Piosenniel."

At that moment, the boy, Isilmir wriggled away from his mother and stepped forward, looking at Baran with curiosity. "Are you going to kill him, AmmŽ?" he asked. The room fell silent at the child's words.

Baran laughed, a booming sound which seemed to echo through the rafters. Then he took note of the Elf's serious expression and her failure to chuckle in turn and his laughter died. He set down his staff, propping it against a table, and stepped back, placing his hands behind his back. Among his people, extending one's hands outward away from the body was a sign of aggression. But his movement only made Piosenniel drop into a fighting stance. Baran cleared his throat and smiled.

"I am Baran," he said. "I am a Beorning from the north." At this many of the patrons muttered and some backed away towards the door. "A Beorning! A shape-shifter!" But Baran ignored the others, focusing upon Piosenniel.

"You are Piosenniel? Who once worked at The Green Dragon in the Shire?" he asked. The Elf nodded cautiously without moving. A knife had appeared in her hand. "Well met!" he continued. "I have traveled throughout the northlands seeking certain of my kin, though I know not where they might be. I seek one in particular who is known to me. Is it not true that you are friends with one named Bird?"

Piosenniel started at the mention of her friend, but did not lower her knife. However, her children danced in excitement at the name. "Auntie Bird!" cried Gilwen, clapping her hands. Baran nodded with a smile and eased his bulk into a chair at a nearby table. "Come!" he cried. "Let us speak! I bring you tidings from Imladris!"

After a moment's hesitation, Piosenniel sheathed her blade, to the relief of the Innkeeper who had been looking uneasily at the massive Baran. "Sit with our friends," she instructed her children, motioning towards the wagoneer's table. Then she joined the Beorning at his table. A server appeared and deposited a tall cup of ale at Baran's elbow.

"Why do you seek Bird?" asked the Elf suspiciously. Baran sipped at his mug before answering. "I do not really seek her, but rather her people. But she seemed a good place to begin. She and I were acquaintances in the northlands. I cannot honestly say friends, because I was yet young when she left and did not know her well. But I know she is one of our long-lost kin. Indeed, some among my people believed them to be but a myth before she arrived in the north."

He then drunk deeply from his mug and the Elf began to relax. "The Darkness has departed," he continued with a wipe at his beard. "There is a legend among my people that when the Darkness lifts, we will again dwell west of the Misty Mountains and be reunited with our kin -- Bird's people. Most think I am a fool to chase after the stories of old women, but I remember Bird, her humor and the fair shapes which she could take. Perhaps people can learn to take shapes other than the Bear, if we meet our kin. So I have ignored those who ridiculed me and sought after them...and Bird. Where is she?"

Last edited by piosenniel; 04-07-2004 at 11:41 AM.
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