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Old 04-01-2004, 10:03 AM   #62
Stormdancer of Doom
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Eye Minas Tirith: Raefindan

Raefindan juggled the cooking pans, the flint ("Your guide probably has one, but you never know if you might get separated; best to have your own") and the best gift of all, an old dagger. "Blade's a bit thin; been sharpened more than once. But it's better than nought," Damrod had said.

"You'll need water bottles if you're crossing the plains. Don't short yourself. Rohan's a big country, " old Damrod had warned him. Raefindan hurried down to the sixth circle, repeating the directions under his breath. Through the sixth gate, seven houses further, up the back stairs, third room on the left.

"Hello, Anborn." He bowed, a little breathless. "I'm Raefindan."

"Greetings, " said the ranger, who wasn't old at all. Raefindan wondered why a young active ranger would be willing to part with equipment, and worried that his trip might have been in vain.

"Damrod told me to seek you. I'm preparing for a journey, and I'm in need of a bow, quiver, and arrows. Damrod thought you'd know where I could obtain some inexpensively."

Anborn studied him skeptically. "A bow." Raefindan noticed Anborn inspecting his hands.

"No, I don't know how to use one. Damrod told me to learn from Ravion. He was adamant. I thought it best to heed his advice."

"Ah. I see. Well, perhaps I can help you, then. I will return shortly." Anborn stepped into a back room and bawled out a name and a command, neither of which Raefindan caught, and then he returned. "Where are you travelling to, may I ask?"

Raefindan shrugged. "North. We are pursuing a friend's brother, who is... moonstruck. He's headed north from Edoras."

"You have some catching up to do. I wish you all speed." A strapping young man appeared in the doorway, and Anborn gestured. "Anmir, Raefindan is in need of a bow; he must learn to shoot."

Anmir smiled. "Of course, father." He left, and returned in moments with a bow and handed it to Raefindan, and then looked at his father. "I have outgrown this bow; it is a good bow to learn on. But I have only one quiver, father, and I cannot in good conscience surrender it."

"I can give him a quiver."

"Then I can spare some arrows." He turned to leave.

"Bring my quiver, Anmir. "

The young man glanced in surprise at his father, but bowed and left.

Anborn turned to Raefindan and said, "Your guide will no doubt tell you this. But while you are practicing, and indeed whenever you can, try to shoot downward, or down-hill. You are less likely to lose arrows that way. " Anmir returned with six arrows in one hand (which he gave to Raefindan) and a quiver in the other which he gave to his father.

Anborn removed six arrows from the quiver, and handed the quiver with the remaining six arrows to Raefindan.

Raefindan blinked, and his heart sank. "Sir... you can't give me your only quiver. I'm afraid I can't pay you what it is worth. "

Anborn nodded at his son, who said, "Peace, friend. Take the bow as a gift, and the arrows likewise. You shall have need of them, I assure you."

Raefindan bowed, and then looked at Anborn.

"You do not have time to make a quiver for yourself," Anborn said. "That one will serve you well. And if I cannot spare the time to make a new one my son may."

Raefindan held his eyes in silent astonishment, and then bowed and said, "These are beyond price. Thank you."

"Nay, " said Anborn. "The life of a man and his friends is worth a bow and quiver. Learn to make arrows, for you will lose more than one 'ere you return. Farewell! May the moon-curse depart from your friend's brother, and may he and your party safely return home."

Raefindan gathered all his treasures, putting the six loose arrows carefully into the quiver with the other six; bowed again and said farewell. He walked out the hallway and down the stairs, and out into the street, and stopped to gather his thoughts. He still needed to visit Silmas for water bottles. So far, no one had accepted any money. Old Damrod said the price of the gear was the tale he would return with.

The people of this city seemed to take it as a matter of course that no man should travel unarmed and ill-supplied. Why did this generosity astound him? Was it simply that they still believed in the old rules of hospitality?

And just why did he think of those rules as old?

Last edited by mark12_30; 04-03-2004 at 03:36 PM.
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