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Old 07-13-2015, 05:24 PM   #185
Pilgrim Soul
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Join Date: May 2004
Location: watching the wonga-wonga birds circle...
Posts: 9,885
Mithalwen is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Mithalwen is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Mithalwen is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Mithalwen is lost in the dark paths of Moria.
Originally Posted by piosenniel View Post

Once the tricksy Computer Vala has decided to let you keep your post, just put it on this thread and tell me which post you need it edited into (name of original poster and the post #, please). And whether you want it above or below the original poster's post.

~*~ Pio
I don't know which Vala is in charge of computers.. I might have guessed Irmo for dreams and visions as far as they relate to RPG posts but either he has left his judgmental brother in charge while he takes his summer vacation or Osse has extended the scope of his mischief... any way Lady Nienna has harkened to my tears and after a short delay to get over not quite breaking my own nose with a car door (don't try that at home, children) I think.. I has a post.... anywhere between 16 and 29 would do I think.. Elfthain is prolly one of the unloaders in p29... better fate than being bitten by Wilheard's horse!!! Hope Elfthain will be more prompt and less verbose hence forth...


"Can't you get me out of it Uncle? I am your shield bearer? " Elfthain had asked on the eve of departure. The boy had looked hopeful but his uncle laughed but with a hint of sadness and shook his head. " You expect me to countermand both your mother and the king? You are still on leave and to risk such folly I would have to think it a bad idea. And I am sorry 'Thain but I don't".

The boy looked a little hurt and Elwin raised his hand to stem the budding protest. "You are my sister-son and I love you just as much as my own children - for your own sake, as well as hers, and that of your father who was my dearest friend ; but you are not a child anymore and the time for playing is over. I know your heart isn't in soldiering... and really I don't mind. You are lucky enough to have a choice.." Elfthain hung his head at this - he knew his father and uncle had been scarce older than him when they rode to Gondor in the great War, "but whatever you do, you should do it wholeheartedly. Your mother has worked very hard to keep the estate going for you - it hasn't been easy for her and she has sacrificed much. If you intend to take control when you are of age, you need to do things properly. She raised you better than to be the sort of landlord who gives a few orders to his steward and sits back and collects the rents"

"I do know uncle..and I do want to farm.. farm properly.. it was just mother took it the wrong way.."

His uncle grinned and commented that from what he had heard there wasn't a good way to take what had been said. Elfthain realised that further discussion would be fruitless. It was clear that his remaining leave would be spent sloshing through the mud to some forsaken place rather than in the restored comfort of Upbourn Grange, finally emptied of the many villagers and estate tenants who had taken refuge there during the worst of the winter for economy of fuel and other reasons.

Only the foundling remained and it seemed was unlikely to be going anywhere soon: In the midwinter a woman had been found in the woods at Upbourn, dying of hunger and exposure, and sheltering beneath her cloak was a young girl, a toddling thing, little more than a baby. The woman seemed to be of the Eorlings but the child's hair was as dark as a raven's wing and as healthy as the woman was ailing. Clearly all resources had been devoted to the little girl. They had done all they could for the woman but to no avail and she had died without giving much clue to their identity. The child had been no help, unable to provide even her own name she had been addressed as "poppet" so often that she had ended up calling herself Poppy and it has stuck. And Elfthain's mother, Elfride, had seemingly become besotted by the little girl to a point that worried her son. Some might have said he was jealous unused for many years to sharing maternal affection and attention but for the most part his concern was genuine... a strange light seemed to come into her eyes at times when she held the child, fierce and defensive as if she might never let her go. And he worried about her health too..she was thinner than Elfthain had ever known her. Elfride had put all her energy into getting the village through the winter, taking minimum rations herself to leave more for the still-growing young, the ill, women with child or nurslings. By and large she had succeeded. There had been deaths of course - cold could be helped but the toll of years could not yet few died who might ordinarily have been expected to see Spring and all from mischance in the extreme conditions rather than starvation or cold. Save the stranger...

So it was not to be wondered that Elfride, exhausted, had responded badly to her son both querying her attachment to the child and saying that things should be easier now the snow had gone. He had received a lecture as to how she was perfectly aware that Poppy wasn't hers, let alone her lost daughter returned and then a detailed breakdown of how parlous the situation still was - they had depleted the firewood stored to season for next winter and the portion of the crops reserved for seed, many animals had been culled to save feed and so there would be fewer eggs, less cheese and butter, rations would be short until first harvest and perhaps after since they should do all to prepare lest this Winter not be a one off. Thought would have to be given to preserving as much as possible and to repairing and refurbishing the villagers and tenants homes to insulate them better against the cold. It was not going to be easy at all.

And so it had chanced that this exchange had been vastly ill timed, early on the day his mother had been summoned to Edoras to report on what supplies they had left and what could be spared for the succour of the outlands. And since his mother had been raised at court and had known Eomer since childhood the audience had moved on from the requisition to comparing notes on the hazards of raising sons. The upshot had been that it had been decided it would be good for him to be part of the escort and to see first hand how much worse the Winter had been in the remoter areas and he had been despatched along with the waggons to Edoras with barely time to gather his belongings let alone change his mother's mind. And Poppy had formally been placed in his mother's care until such time as her kin could be traced.

"Mother, will be alright won't she Uncle?" Elfthain queried as he made his final preparations. "Cenric says women go strange and witless around her age..." Elwin made a noise between a choke and a snort and then erupted in laughter so violent his nephew feared he might injure himself.

"I strongly advise you not to repeat that in your mother's hearing... but if you do I beg you give me sufficient notice that I may charge admission to the spectacle". His sister was still only in her 35th year and was far from losing her wits, though she had lost her temper with her lackadaisical son. Cenric was another esquire and inclined to give Elfthain rather dubious advice based on his six months seniority in age.

"My horse knows more of the womanly mind than Cenric and would give you better counsel..." Elfthain ruffled his nephew's curly hair and became more serious. "My sister has more mothering in her than even the most demanding only chick could exhaust, Elfthain, and now you are almost fledged and away, do not grudge her the pleasure of having a child in the house - even if it is only for a little while". Elfthain gulped and focussed hard on the strap he was fastening. It was nearly time to go and the courtyard was full of loaded carts, horses, those who were to travel and those who were seeing them safely on their way.

"Tell mother I am sorry won't you?"

"You can tell her yourself," Elwin gestured and Elfthain saw his mother making her way through the melee on her grey palfrey, the child Poppy, seated before her.

"I had to bring her" Elfride stated, by way of a greeting, dismounting and settling the little girl on her own two feet "there was no time to leave her with anyone and I couldn't let you go with only the memory of hard words."

Elfthain's glib tongue nearly pre-empted his brain to say he was only going to Scarburg not war but he stopped himself just in time. Instead he crouched down and scooped up Poppy who was trying to hide behind his mother's skirts. "Will you look after Mother for me while I am gone?". The little girl nodded solemnly though he doubted she truly understood what he said. He planted a gentle kiss on her brow before putting her back down and addressing Elfride. "I am sorry, I will try to make you proud of me".

"I already am. Come home soon, come home safe!". With that the muster horn had sounded and there had been time for little more as he had made ready to ride. A salute to his uncle and a bow to his mother and he had taken his place in the convoy momentarily at least resolved to make good his promise.

Elfthain might have even enjoyed the journey over unfamiliar territory had its leader been more inspiring or even cheerful and the pace less glacial. Usually of a lighter hearted disposition, he had followed the example of his commander. His resolution failing in the lack of opportunity for pride inspiring valour, he had spent much of the slow trek mum-chance and brooding over his banishment. It seemed a hard fate to spend what was meant to be his free time plodding along beside a cart when he could have been schooling his new horse - a fine iron-grey colt he had coveted since it was foaled and which had finally become officially his on his recent seventeenth birthday - all just because of a couple of ill-considered remarks. His older horse, Safran, though less glamorous was ideally suited to this venture, barely fifteen hands and a quarter mountain cob, she was smaller and sturdier than most of the other riding horses but surer footed and sensible enough to need little guidance from her master whose thoughts were often elsewhere. The evenings were no better , Wilheard gave no greater impression of desiring conversation at camp than during the day and he was shy of imposing his company on the older soldiers who seemed to be having a more convivial time.

Yet if the journey had been dismal the destination once reached had presented a scene of quiet desperation. The people were thinner and more haggard than any he had seen in Harrowdale or Edoras and even the buildings seemed to have been butchered. They were right, he thought sadly. Others have had a much harder time of it. He didn't need to wait for orders. It was obvious the most useful thing he could do among these starvelings. He dismounted and loosened Saffy's girths before hitching her to one of the waggons, then fell to unloading


Posted to RPG Thread - HERE
~*~ Pio ~*~
“But Finrod walks with Finarfin his father beneath the trees in Eldamar.”

Christopher Tolkien, Requiescat in pace

Last edited by piosenniel; 07-13-2015 at 10:11 PM.
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