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Old 09-11-2003, 10:48 PM   #39
Shade of Carn Dûm
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Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Kalrienmar
Posts: 402
Elora has just left Hobbiton.


The kitchen was filled with the bright light of morning when Vanwe entered, arms filled with the large basket of pots. Her slender form belied the strength built over years of long labour. She set down her burden in the place Cook pointed to.

“At last! I’ll need these if this rush is to keep up,” the matronly woman exclaimed. “Rowena, see to washing the attic off them. We’ll need them for the evening meal.” Rowena, however, was busy gawking at Vanwe, who stood uncomfortably near the pots.

“She looks like an Elf!” Cook nodded impatiently, back to both as she saw to the eggs she was scrambling for breakfast.

“Yes, yes… Vanwe is an Elf, Rowena, though until know you’d be forgiven for mistaking her for a will-o-wisp until now.” Rowena giggled merrily until Cook bestowed a stern frown upon her curly head. “The pots,” she prompted. Rowena sighed theatrically, giggle fading and eyes rolling and set to her task. Cook then turned her attentions to the Elf.

“As for you, sit! You’ll eat at least one meal, lass.” Cook’s wooden spoon indicated precisely which chair she was to take up and Vanwe did so. Fimbriel breezed into the kitchen as she folded herself into the chair.

“Oh, now that is much better,” she beamed at Vanwe. “Shame we can’t do anything about those boots of yours. Maybe next time a trader comes through we can find ones made for a woman's foot instead of a man's. Has Devorin been in for you yet, Vanwe?” Vanwe swallowed and shook her head. She coloured again during the discussion of her mannish boots. Between her shoes and her breeches, if Kaldir found her Vanwe was doomed. What's more it seemed the Stablemaster really did think she’d taken Déor.

“Well then you can help me. Now Cook, I won’t let her get far and you’ve already told me she missed lunch and supper at least three times this morning. Vanwe, could you please set out the chairs around the table? The guests are already about and they’ll be down before long.”

Vanwe stood as Fimbriel shot her a grateful smile, and left to do as she had been told. The floor was freshly swept, chairs perched atop the tables waiting to be set out again. In the kitchen conversation continued on, ranging from lunch and supper menus to occupancy and the larder. The commonroom was empty and quiet, and Vanwe moved to the nearest table and began unloading the chairs. Through the window, she could see Devorin moving the horses to the pasture. That was her job. She was sinking further and further with the stablemaster. She moved a little faster onto the next table, eager to finish the task given to her by Fimbriel so that she could set things straight.

The sun had climbed a little higher by the time she had set the last chair in place. Vanwe surveyed the empty room from a warm puddle of sunlight. Then her gaze fell on the bowl of apples. Having missed lunch and supper the day before, Vanwe's reaction to the sight was immediate. She had soon crossed the empty commonroom, perched on a stool by the bar and worked her way through a ripe apple.

Apples were a luxury that were rarely come by in the heat of the south. Vanwe was almost as fond of them as she was of honey, another newly discovered delicacy of the north. As she ate, her long legs swung on the stool and her eyes wandered out of the window. Outside, she saw two rangers talking by the entrance to the stables. Amandur was one, and the other was one she had seen last night but did not know his name.

Half eaten apple held in one hand, Vanwe's brow furrowed. Maybe they had heard of Déor and that Devorin suspected that she had taken the gelding. That left her little time if it were so. Vanwe twisted on her stool. She did not know where the other Rangers were, but she was running out of time if she was to catch Hansian before she found herself pinned by yet more questions.

Aware that her plans of the night before hung by but a shred, Vanwe slipped off her stool and started up the stairs in search of Hanasian. Fimbriel breezed out of the kitchens to find the tables set up and any trace of Vanwe vanished. Devorin bustled through the door of the inn.

"Is Vanwe here," he asked in a harried tone.
"She was a moment ago," Fimbriel replied.
"We've a horse missing then. When you see her, send her out to me will you? That gelding can run like the wind when he has a mind to. We'll need to get after him quick, and the sot who let him loose." With that, Devorin collected an apple from the rapidly dwindling supply on the bar and left again, chewing hard. The sort of person who stole horses was the sort of person who brought Devorin less amicable side.

Upstairs, Vanwe walked through the hall, wondering how she'd find where Hanasian was staying and hoping that she'd not trip over Kaldir or yet more Rangers. Taking a guess that he may have stayed with Amandur, and knowing that Amandur was outside, Vanwe mustered up her courage and tapped on his door.

"Hanasian," she called softly, "Are you in there?"

Last edited by piosenniel; 05-11-2006 at 10:20 AM.
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