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Old 07-07-2004, 07:12 AM   #192
Estelyn Telcontar
Princess of Skwerlz
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Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: where the Sea is eastwards (WtR: 6060 miles)
Posts: 7,529
Estelyn Telcontar is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.Estelyn Telcontar is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.
“Vogonwë,” Merisuwyniel said in her sweetest voice, which was very melodious indeed, “would you please run ahead and see if you can find some sort of road sign?”

The rest of the Muddyship looked at her gratefully, as mud and Vogy’s poetry were too much of a bad thing. Vogonwë smiled and said, “Let a ploughman plough, but choose an otter for swimming, and for running light over grass and leaf, snow, or mud – an Elf.” No one bothered to mention that he was only a Half-Elf, as they feared a debate on that topic would delay his leaving.

Merisu looked back at the bedraggled group of inter-racial heroes and their sidekicks when something that had been nagging at the back of her mind suddenly occurred to her. “But where is the cart?” she exclaimed.

The others looked around blankly, mumbling “Cart?” “Which cart?” “When did you last see it?” “It was there just a minute ago.” One brave member of the group commented (from the back, where s/he could not be identified – not so brave after all, apparently… ) “Do we really need it?”

“Of course we need it!” Merisu answered indignantly. “The Entish Wood is the reason for our Quest! Without it, we could just turn around and go back!”

More than one of the others would have liked to answer, “Great idea”, but they dared not. Whether this was due to the fact that they realized that turning around would mean going back through the same mud can no longer be determined.

As it was, they had to retrace their steps anyway; the cart was not really far behind, but it seemed double the distance. “My legs would be more willing, if the mud were less mucky,” Orogarn Two declaimed more dramatically than the situation deserved.

Vogonwë reappeared at that moment. “There is a sign ahead,” he shouted.

“What does it say?” Pimpi asked.

“It says: CART GET STUCK?” he answered.

“D’oh!” Merisu replied inelegantly, with considerably less feminine practicality than was her wont.

“Is that all?” Leninia retorted impatiently.

“Perhaps there is a second sign with more information,” Orogarn Two suggested. (He was used to thinking of second things.)

“I’ll run back and look,” Vogonwë replied, and was off in an instant.

The rest of the Glopship applied themselves to the task at hand, literally, hitching up the noble steeds to attempt to pull the cart free.

“§$%&/*#!” Kuruharan shouted in exasperation. Chrysophylax, who thought he had been called by his business partner, flew up to volunteer his assistance, but the nature of his fiery help did not bode well for the wooden artefacts, so he was politely requested to stay clear.

Vogonwë came back just as the males were pushing at the back of the cart while the females pulled the horses at its head. “I found another sign!” he beamed.

“What’s on it?” Gatesy wheezed between “heave-ho”s.

“It says GIVE IT A PUSH,” he said.

They looked at each other, puzzled. “D’oh!” Pimpiowyn commented.

“That can’t be all,” Grrralph mused.

“I know, I know,” said Vogonwë in a flash of unexpected brilliance. “I’ll run back to see if there’s another.”

“Look for two while you’re at it,” Leninia suggested with a foresight that came from her Maydayian nature.

Off he ran yet again. Merisuwyniel had paused to think while the others were pushing and pulling, for she carried the responsibility, the heaviest burden of the Quest by far. Now her face lit up with an idea. “I have it!” she exclaimed. “Let’s take the biggest pieces of Entish Wood off the cart, then we should be able to get it out of the mire.”

“I thought we were going into the Mire?” Etceteron queried.

“No, the mire, not the Mire,” their intrepid leader answered. “It makes a difference if you capitalize a word.”

They removed the huge Entish Thighs from the cart, strapping them onto Chrysophylax’ mighty back, where they deemed them to be out of danger. Then they pulled and pushed the cart free, finally able to continue their journey.

Before long Vogonwë rejoined them.

“Well?” Pimpi asked impatiently.

“There was another sign,” he said, carrying on hurriedly as he saw the flash in his beloved’s eyes. “It says: YOU’LL SOON BE AT…”

“Huh?” Leninia commented eloquently.

“There was one more,” he added. “It had a name on it: THE IVY BUSH

“I recognize that!” Soregum shouted excitedly. “It’s an inn! We must be getting close to the heart of the Mire.”

Their faces lit up at the prospect of a homey fire, food, drink, and beds. With renewed effort, they pushed on until they finally stood before the door of a low building. The sign that swung above it proclaimed that this was indeed “The Ivy Bush”. Dusk was falling, and the lights that shone through the window shutters looked inviting. Next to the house was another building with a dilapidated sign that they could barely make out in the fading light. “Sethamir’s Stables and Chinese Laundry”, Merisuwyniel read. Turning to the others, she smiled. “It looks like we have everything we need right here!”

Last edited by Estelyn Telcontar; 07-07-2004 at 09:54 AM.
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