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Old 08-09-2004, 01:50 PM   #196
Estelyn Telcontar
Princess of Skwerlz
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Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: where the Sea is eastwards (WtR: 6060 miles)
Posts: 7,532
Estelyn Telcontar is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.Estelyn Telcontar is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.
A great stillness had fallen over the entire crowd, but no one bothered to pick it up. Suddenly a voice spoke, its very sound an enchantment. Those who listened thought that it was a delight to hear it speaking, all that it said seemed wise and reasonable, and desire awoke in them by swift agreement to seem wise themselves.

“Well?” it said with gentle question. “Why must you disturb the rest? Will you give us no peace in the Mire by night and day?”

The Listening-Ship saw a figure standing before them: an old man, swathed in a great cloak, the colour of which was not easy to tell, as the fact that it was night meant that it was also dark. His face was long, with a high forehead and deep darkling eyes, hard to fathom (see above note).

“But come now,” said the soft voice of Sparkey, the wizard once known as Sauerkraut, for he it was. “Several of you at least I know by name. Gateskleeper I know too well to have much hope that he seeks help or counsel here. But you, Merisuwyniel, shieldmaiden extraordinaire, are declared by your feminine yet practical designer outfit, and still more by the lovely countenance of your noble Elven heritage. O worthy daughter of Vinaigrettiel the Fair! Why have you not come before, and as a friend? Much have I desired to ra – um, see you, beauteous maiden, and especially since your adventures began, to save you from the unwise and evil counsels of your travelling companions. Is it yet too late? Despite the injuries that have been done to me, in which the members of the Destruction-Ship, alas! have had some part, still I would ra – ahem, save you, and deliver you from the ruin that draws nigh inevitably, if you ride upon this road which you have taken. Indeed I alone can ra – err, aid you now.”

Merisuwyniel opened her mouth as if to speak, but she said nothing. She looked at the face of Sauerkraut and seemed to hesitate. Her companions stirred at first, murmuring with approval of the words of Sauerkraut; and then they too were silent. Over their hearts crept a shadow, the fear of a great danger: the end of Muddled-Mirth in a darkness to which Merisu was leading them, while Sauerkraut stood beside a door of escape, holding it half open so that a ray of light came through. There was a heavy silence, so heavy that it was in danger of falling again.

It was Orogarn Two who broke in suddenly. “The words of this wizard stand on their hands,” he growled, gripping the hilt of his sword. “In the language of Dorktank help means ruin, and saving means ravishing, that is plain. But we do not come here for fillings.”

“Peace!” said Sauerkraut, and for a fleeting moment his voice was less suave, and a light flickered in his eyes and was gone. “I do not speak to you yet, Orogarn, third cousin, 84 times removed, of Isildur,” he said. “Far away is your dental city and small concern of yours are the cavities of this land. But it was not by design of yours that you were drilled by them, and so I will not blame such bridge as you have made - a stable one, I doubt not. But I pray you, allow me first to speak with the Elven princess, whose mother was once my friend.

“What have you to say, Merisuwyniel? Will you have peace with me, and all the aid that my knowledge, founded in long years, can bring? Shall we make our bed – um, counsels together concerning the wooden artefacts, and repair the Ent-That-Was-Broken with such success that it shall flower fairer than ever before?”

Still Merisuwyniel did not answer. Whether she strove with anger or doubt none could say. “We will have peace,” she said at last, with an effort. Several of the Spellbound-Ship cried out gladly. She held up her slender yet strong white hand. “Yes, we will have peace,” she said, “when you and all your works have perished. You are a liar, Sauerkraut, and a corrupter of women’s reputations. A lesser daughter of Elven royalty am I, but I do not need to lick your sauce from my fingers. Turn elsewhere with your rotten hotdogs.”

The Enchanted-Ship gazed at her as if startled out of a dream. Harsh as Joe Cocker their leader’s voice sounded in their ears after the muzak of Sauerkraut.
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