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Old 06-25-2006, 10:25 AM   #9
Desultory Dwimmerlaik
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piosenniel's post - Rôg

The young man, Gaerion, knocked firmly on the smooth wood door, then stepped back a pace, hearing the footsteps from within draw nearer. He looked about the little courtyard in which he stood. It was lush with flowers; many of them he knew were of the sort which attracted little birds. He smiled, knowing the one who lived here would be pleased that he had managed to recall this bit of information. Gaerion had delivered many messages here and never gotten away yet without some small lesson on this or that.

Rôg peeked through the small, barred peephole in the door, wondering who had come for a visit so early in the morning. Gaerion! Fresh faced, his black livery spotless, boots gleaming from the polishing he must have given them just this morning. His grey eyes were clear, and shone, it seemed to Rôg, with a spirit of hope and the expectation of a life open to possibility. It was a welcome sight to Rôg’s eyes. There had been too many years, he thought, when hope lay under shadow and possibility was thwarted by despair.

‘Come in, come in!’ He opened the door wide and ushered Gaerion in, pointing towards the small table near the window where he’d just sat down to eat his morning meal. ‘There’s plenty,’ Rôg said, motioning to an empty chair as he sat back down in his own. ‘Fruit, cheese….and here, let me pour you a cup of wine. It’s from the south. Very light, very refreshing.’

‘What’s this?’ He took the slender roll of parchment from Gaerion, exchanging it for the basket of thick sliced bread he’d passed the young man. Rôg untied the thin ribbon and unrolled the parchment. His eyes scanned the writing; he smiled as he read the signature written boldly at the bottom. ‘From the King,’ Rôg said.

Gaerion nodded as he stuffed a fig into his mouth. He bit back a grin at the obviousness of this conclusion. A swig of wine followed, a delighted smile affirming the young man’s pleased approval. ‘Delivered one to the old fellow too.’ He looked chagrined as Rôg raised a brow at him. ‘Aiwendil, then,’ he said, making an apology of sorts. ‘The Elf fellow was there, too.’ Gaerion took another sip of wine. He supposed he should be discreet; the King’s man had not made mention of what the messages said, only that the King wanted them delivered as quickly as possible. But, he was young and curious, and so he asked Rôg outright what the King had written.

‘It’s about the land across the river. Mordor. The King has received a request for aid from some of those who live there. He’s sending a group of us to look into it and give them assistance.’ Rôg took a small cluster of fat red grapes and plucked one off. ‘Though I wonder what he thinks I can do.’ He popped the grape into his mouth and chewed it thoughtfully. ‘Most likely he wants me to keep the old fellow out of trouble.’ Rôg grinned at Gaerion who’d raised his brows in mock remonstrance of calling Aiwendil ‘the old fellow’.

Breakfast done, the farewells made, and Rôg returned to his chair to peruse the King’s letter again. In a hastily scrawled note at the bottom of the page, Elessar had mentioned men of the East, slaves at one time in the Dark Land, were among those who had asked for assistance. And would Rôg, in addition to using his knowledge of wells, and irrigation systems, be sure to look to any special needs that those of his homeland might have. He frowned; the thought of any of his clan or kind, under the will and whips of the Dark Lord, and after him his as-cruel minions made him shudder despite the increasing warmth of the day.

It took very little time for him to pack. Other than a change of clothes and his pens and notebooks, Rôg had few essentials he couldn’t live without. He thrust his hand axe through his belt, to which he’d also secured his knife. Last of all was his walking stick; once in his hand he strode out the door of his little apartment and closed it securely. Gaerion had agreed to look after the little place while he was gone.

In a few moments he was at Aiwendil’s rooms, entering the door without a knock. The old fellow was bent over a book of maps his finger tracing the way for the Elf who stood at his side.

‘Well, I’m ready!’ he looked from one to the other of them as he banged his stick on the stone floor. His gaze settled on Aiwendil. ‘Just promise me this trip will involve no travel by water….that’s all I ask.’

Last edited by piosenniel; 06-30-2006 at 08:11 PM.
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