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Old 04-27-2004, 12:18 PM   #1
piosenniel
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Thumbs up Barrow-Downs’ Birthday Celebration! 2004

~*~ The Long Awaited Party ~*~

Rumors of the party were rife in Hobbiton and Bywater. Indeed, all the Shire was buzzing with news of the travelers on the Great East Road and the doings in the Party Field. The word, in fact, had spread in the four directions until all manner of creatures beneath the starry skies of Arda had heard whisperings of it carried on the breezes. Hearing the news, many had traveled from afar and were now staying in The Green Dragon Inn, near to bursting at its seams, or pitching tents in the fields of some accommodating Hobbit. And much of their time was spent in speculation and rubber-necking as the curious train of wagons and carts bore their goods and workers down the Great East Road, up the Bywater Road, turning north finally on Hill Lane.

A Southron troupe, all in a motley of parti-colored silks, stood up on the flat bed of their great wagon. Some played an enchanting melody on their curious instruments as others juggled hoops and bright striped balls. They answered no questions as they rolled along, only winked and nodded to the crowds that stood along the road. And one of them, a kohl-eyed woman from Khand, all in scarves and shining bracelets, threw paper-wrapped sweets from the basket in the curve of her arm. She laughed as the children, and to be sure a great many of the older folk, scrambled for the treats.

One old traveler, flicking the reins lightly against his cart horse as he passed, caused a stir of delighted whoops. He had taken the Bent Road to be here, bringing his special sort of entertainment to the party, the likes of which had not been seen in many, many ages.

But even he was silent as he nodded his head to the welcoming cries. His eyes twinkled with amusement and anticipation from beneath his hoary eyebrows as he passed by, and he kept an eye out, or both when he could spare them, for any who might ‘borrow’ a thing or two from his cart.

Last edited by piosenniel; 05-04-2004 at 12:32 PM.
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Old 04-27-2004, 12:21 PM   #2
Child of the 7th Age
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Clinging precariously to her brother's shoulders, the young lass flailed her arms in the air, trying to latch onto the lowest branch of an overhanging apple tree. She missed the limb by almost a foot, muttering words of frustration under her breath.

"Stop wiggling!" Holly Zaragamba commanded her brother in a stern voice. "If you'd stay still, I could pull myself up."

In recent days, workers had rumbled into Hobbiton, their carts overflowing with supplies, and had quickly constructed a thick wooden fence encircling the party field. All the Hobbits in the neighborhood could hear the intriguing sounds of saws and hammers, and even smell the enticing odor of food being prepared. Yet no one could get inside, or see anything at all except the topmost branch of the mallorn tree sticking out above the fenceline.

For most of the afternoon, Rory and his sister had searched for a peekhole and even tried to bore through the wooden planks, but had accomplished nothing at all. The front gate was still firmly locked despite all their efforts to push it open. As the sun went down, the overhanging apple tree remained their only hope.

"Look here!" Rory grinned and pointed at an upturned crate that one of the workers had left in the grass. Dragging the box near the fence, he climbed onto it, balancing his sister on his shoulders. With one valiant heave, Holly reached up and grasped the limb, slowing pulling herself up into the leafy branches until she could look out over the field.

"What do you see?" Rory demanded, his face wreathed with expectation.

"Ooohh! Lots of nice things to eat and drink, party decorations, and tables with mathoms. But wait...." Disbelieving, Holly rubbed her eyes. "There's something not so nice, too. It's a dark, scary hole, a grim place with the word "Barrow" over the door."

"'Burrow?'" Rory questioned, tripping over the unfamiliar word.

“Not a 'burrow,' silly! A 'barrow'. Whatever that is . . ."

Out of the dark recesses of the barrow came a commanding green hand, larger than anything Holly had ever seen. It was reaching out in her direction. With a shriek of terror, the lass came tumbling out of the tree, flattening her brother on the ground. The hand bypassed the two Hobbits and instead whacked up a note on the locked door:

~*~

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO THE BARROW-DOWNS!

On May 1, 2004, the forums at the Barrow-Downs reach the ripe (and I do mean ripe!) old age of FOUR! While the site itself is a bit older, the fourth anniversary of the opening of the forums is a cause to CELEBRATE!!!!! Therefore, we will have a PARTY in the Shire to celebrate the fourth birthday (uh, deathday?) of the Barrow-Downs forums and all members are invited!!!!!

PLACE: The Party Field in Hobbiton (located in the Shire Forum).

TIME: Saturday, May 1, 2004 beginning at 9:00 a.m. Pacific time through late Monday night, May 3, 2004.

DRESS: Middle Earth Wear – formal, if you wish, or just plain comfortable.

There will be an open bar, entertainment, and meals will be served buffet style.

COME CELEBRATE THE BARROW-DOWNS, AND PAY YOUR RESPECTS TO THE WIGHT!

(ANYONE TRYING TO SNEAK INTO THE PARTY BEFORE THAT DATE WILL BE DEALT WITH PERSONALLY BY ME)

Signed – The Barrow-Wight

~*~

Quickly scanning the placard, and noting the sharp words near the end, Rory and Holly took off for the Green Dragon where their family was staying at a dead run . . .

Last edited by Child of the 7th Age; 04-27-2004 at 03:42 PM.
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Old 05-01-2004, 02:26 AM   #3
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Pio took one last look at herself in the polished buckler that hung in her tent, near the Green Dragon Pavilion. It was almost time for the party to begin. And this year she was going as the Elf she’d always wanted to be. She grinned, as she adjusted the flame red wig and popped in the emerald green contacts. Crossing the field, she took note of the small barrow to her left.

Ah . . . good . . . the Guest of Honor had arrived. . . .

In the shade afforded by the tall mallorn in the middle of the field, The Party Tree, a curiously out of place mound had sprung up over the past few days . . . pushed itself up, rather, from the ground beneath the bright green field. It, too, was green, but of a mouldering hue . . . the doorway into it opening onto a deep, darkness from which a deep, sing-songy voice issued in sepulchral tones.

‘Throw me another word, Sharkey! I’m on a roll here!’

Handsel, then,’ came the acerbic reply of the Old Man’s voice.

‘Too easy by half!’ chuckled the Wight.

After the Bywater Battle was won
And Sharkû was gone, for his time was done,
The hobbits then wondered just where to begin,
So they turned naturally to the Green Dragon Inn,
Unboarded the windows, unlocked all the doors,
Invited all Fallohides, Harfoots and Stoors,
They filled all the chairs, and tables and stools,
And broke every one of The Chief’s stupid rules,
The first rule of which was the one about drinking,
And Sam was the one who was quickest in thinking
To climb on the bar to a boisterous cheer
And handsel the place with a splash of cold beer.


Pio could hear the Wight clapping his cold green hands together in delight as Sharkey muttered something incomprehensible. ‘If only he’ll stay in such a good mood when the well-wishers pin their birthday greetings to the tree or put their mathoms and gewgaws on his treasure table. I can’t afford to explain to Hizzoner, the Mayor, why Hobbits and other party goers have gone missing . . .’

She ran to the gates, one hand clapped on her head to keep the wig in place . . . time to announce the party is starting . . .

Last edited by piosenniel; 05-01-2004 at 02:36 AM.
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Old 05-01-2004, 02:28 AM   #4
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The moment she’d heard the first words ring out over the gate she regretted having given the out-of-work Elf the job of announcing the opening of the celebration. Quenyan! The misbegotten Elf was addressing the good folk waiting patiently at the gate in that musty old language. And to top it off, he’d drug out some old catch-phrase of his, dusted it off once again, and was intoning the words in a very loud and measured way . . .

Utúlie’n aurë! . . .

‘The day has indeed come,’ Pio hissed at Fingon, taking the steps two at a time to the small platform that ran the length of the gate. ‘But it’s the party you’re announcing, not the Nirnaeth Arnoediad!’ In the background she could hear Gothmog and his fellows snickering at the old King. ‘Quiet, you lot!’ she growled at them. ‘Just open the gates when I give the signal.’

Ignoring the irritated flapping of their wings at being addressed so rudely, she pulled out her new timepiece from the watch-pocket of the poppy red vest Cami had made for her, and checked the time.

Two minutes . . . just . . .

The watch had been a recent present from one of her friends in the Shire. ‘Traveled all the way to Canoni City for that,’ he’d told her.

Where in Arda is that? she’d wondered as he’d proudly pushed the myriad buttons for her, showing all the varied interpretations of the time of day one could display on it.

‘Who knew?!’ she’d said, wondering what committee had put together the unwieldy contraption. With a smile on her face, she’d thanked him; then promptly set the dial to read Shire time.

**********************************************

Child's Post

"Daisy Zaragamba! What are you doing?"

Cami glared in the direction of her youngest daughter who had managed to comandeer all her mother's perfume and cosmetic bottles and now had them lined up atop the bar counter in the Dragon's Comon Room.

The young lass turned a pouting face back towards her mother and impatiently stamped her foot, "But, Ima , I just wanted to look pretty. Anyways, it's time for the party. It's time to go."

Cami stared at her daughter aghast. Her young face was covered with enough layers of paint to look like one of the pictures of the entombed dead from the isle of Numenor. "Get that garbage off your face right now, or you're not going to any party!" Running over and snatching up a wet rag that was generally used for cleaning off tables, she stuffed it into Daisy's hands. "I don't know where you get these ideas from! And "Ima"! What kind of a word is that? That's no proper Hobbit word."

"Rory taught me. He says Mister Tolkien knew a lot of different languages. Once he helped translate the Jerusalem Bible. He must know "Ima" so we know it too. And Rory says......"

At this point, her mother interrupted, "That's enough! I don't know any Mister Tolkien, and we're going to be late if you don't hurry."

Cami grumbled to herself under her breath, "And why does she remember only the crazy things her brother teaches her. When he tells her I want her to help with the dishes, she conveniently forgets."

By this time, the three children had lined up at the door and were tugging at their mother's sleeve in their eagerness to depart. Cami went over to inspect her crew, giving a downward yank to Holly's skirt to make certain it wasn't too short. Merimac disliked seeing his daughter in dress that he considered inappropriate, although Holly had a way of sneaking out the back door and rearranging her clothing before she ran off to see her friends'.

Giving Rory a last minute kiss on top of the head, Cami surveyed her young charges one last time and barked out a final order. "Now, everyone, I want you to listen to me. These parties can get a little wild. This isn't just good folk from the Shire, but lots of outsiders with strange ideas and stranger looks. Stay close together and don't go wandering off on your own!" With that Cami turned and marched the Zaragamba brood (formerly the Tooks and Goodchilds) purposely towards the party field. She expected her huband and the older boys to show up later.

Last edited by Child of the 7th Age; 05-01-2004 at 09:47 AM.
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Old 05-01-2004, 02:29 AM   #5
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Standing on the platform, Pio looked back a last time at the Party Field. There on the large, green expanse of it were set about all manner of pavilions, their beribboned banners fluttering prettily in the morning’s breeze. Some held tables groaning with all sorts of savory foods; others held bars with any and all libations and spirits to offer. And even now she could see Amanaduial giving last minute instructions to the sturdy Hobbit who would man the large tent set up by the Green Dragon staff.

Here and there were set small stages – some with jugglers practicing their arts, some with musicians, and some were empty, awaiting the party-goers who might like to sing or recite a poem or two. In one of the corners stood the old wizard, sorting through his fireworks. The trees in the field were festooned with bright silk streamers, and from their branches hung little lanterns waiting for evening’s lighting.

A few bars of Saucy’s new ditty ran through her mind:

. . . Let me take you down,
‘Cos I’m going to the Shire Party Field.
Where Hobbits are real
And gather there to celebrate.
Shire Party Field forever.

Lanterns shine from the Party Tree,
With fireworks bursting high and low.
Samwise tells the tale of Turin
Turambar.
That one I think is rather sad.

Let me take you down,
‘Cos I’m going to the Shire Party Field.
Where Hobbits are real
And gather there to celebrate.
Shire Party Field forever . . .


With any luck, she thought, he’ll grace us with the song in its entirety.

~*~*~*~

The sound of rapid pounding drew her attention back down to the patient crowd gathered before the gates. Two burly Dwarves, hammers in hand, were affixing a large scroll to the wooden fence. ‘Give us some room to finish,’ they grumbled as the curious throng inched forward to read the hasty script:

Rules for the Partygoers
  • 1.) Come as yourself (your Barrow Downs' name) but dressed Tolkien appropriate.
  • 2.) Bring a dish of food for the table or your favorite libation if you wish.
  • 3.) Nail your birthday greetings/well-wishes to the Party Tree or get up on the stage and recite it/sing it for the folk. Leave a mathom or some shiny bauble on the table by the Wight’s barrow.
  • 4.) Organize some sort of entertainment if you wish.
  • 5.) Try to be mostly descriptive in the posts and not too chatty. No chat-speak spellings, please
  • 6.) No violence, swearing, or sexual innuendos in the Party thread.
  • 7.) You may bend the canon somewhat, just try not to shatter it into pieces.

Last edited by piosenniel; 05-01-2004 at 09:58 AM.
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Old 05-01-2004, 09:59 AM   #6
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1420!

The alarm on her timepiece beeped in an insistent manner. ‘0900, Ma’am,’ said Fingon, pointing at Pio’s pocket. She turned to bellow down to the Balrogs. ‘Open the Gates!’

One leap brought her breathless to the entry way.

‘Welcome! Welcome! To the Barrow-Downs’ Birthday Party!’ she babbled, wig askew, as the partygoers streamed in . . .
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Old 05-01-2004, 10:53 AM   #7
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Rory and Daisy were at the head of the mob that went charging through the gates as soon as they were opened. Cami and Daisy followed close behind. They were considerable masses of folk, all jammed together and trying to squeeze through the entrance at once. Some were familiar faces to Cami; others less so. A few even had a certain sinister presence about them. Still, the tables that had piles of inviting mathoms along with the sight of so many dancers and entertainers, and the booths scattered all over the field, each one featuring a different treat, did a great deal to raise her spirits.

Cami intended to place her gift for the wight on the large table designated for that purpose. After hearing Rory's lively tale about the menacing green hand that had reached over the fence, she'd decided she'd rather not meet him in person. She was also toting a sack with an assortment of meat pasties and a smaller dish of sweet rugelach that she'd brought along as her contributions to the potluck.

But before she took care of these personal things, she wanted to make sure that Aman and Piosenniel were here, since they were supposed to be in charge of running the party. She clambered up on a nearby tree stump, one that had never been removed after the Scouring, and peered out over the crowd. Aman must have been busy inside the tent as Cami could not see her anywhere; neither could she glimpse anyone who resembled Pio.

It was sharp-eyed Daisy who finally spotted the Elf. "Aunt Pio! Aunt Pio!" Jumping up and down with glee, Daisy pointed a finger towards a retreating figure some ways distant.

Cami glanced over and rubbed her eyes. Surely, that wasn't Pio! This strange-looking Elf had Pio's figure and lively step, but even from this distance Cami could tell that she sported a mop of red hair and eyes that were emerald green! Pio would never appear out of canon at such a fashionable event. She was very insistent about such things.

There had been a great deal of talk recently about exactly what canon was and wasn't. The whole conversation had been too hard for Cami to follow. But she was quite sure of one thing. Elves with red hair and green eyes stood on the wrong side of canon.

Cami looked over again and shuddered. The Elf was definitely Piosenniel, since she was wearing the colorful vest that Cami had recently embroidered for her as a present. Unfortunately, the bright red color of the vest now matched her hair to a "T". She stood out in the crowd like a blazing torch.

Frankly, Cami did not approve of this strange get-up, but what should she tell her friend? She shook her head and sighed. This party was not getting off to a good start!

Last edited by Child of the 7th Age; 05-01-2004 at 11:15 AM.
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Old 05-01-2004, 11:16 AM   #8
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1420!

Arry walked through the gates with a sense of great anticipation. He’d not been in the Shire long. Passing through, really. Didn’t intend to stay. But the bright flyers tacked to the verandah post of the Green Dragon Inn had caught his eye.

A party! There was to be a party! he’d read. A sure chance for him to make a few coins before he made his way to Sarn Ford and from there to parts east.

Once inside the Party Field, he ducked behind the nearest pavilion. The Floating Log’s big striped tent bearing a sign affixed to a sturdy pole in front of it. ** First Chance ** - it read, with a large tankard of foaming ale painted next to the words. Arry pulled his juggler’s motley from his pack and hastily pulled it on. Digging deep into the bottom of a side pocket he fished out three brightly colored balls – red, blue, and green.

Entering the pavilion, he stowed his pack with the barman and asked if he might stand outside the tent. ‘Draw the customers in, if you will,’ he said winking at the fellow. The man nodded, promising him a meal and a drink for a job well done.

Arry spied a suitable place to call out to the passersby and sat his tri-cornered hat on the ground in front of him. Placing a few coins in it to give the partygoers a hint, he began to juggle, his hands and the balls weaving intricate patterns in the air as he kept of a steady patter to draw attention.

‘First chance for a tall cold drink here!’ he said smiling to a thirsty looking farmer who’d sent his wife and children on ahead to the Party Tree. ‘Come in, come in!’ he called out to the party from Rohan who caught his eye. “And you there,’ he’d yelled in a loud voice to a small troop of Dwarves who’d just marched in. ‘Come wet your beards at The Floating Log. Finest spirits you’ll find in this corner of the field!’

Arry chuckled as some took up his offer and others passed by with a raised brow or two. Coins clinked in his hat as appreciative gawkers nodded at his tricks and then moved on.
__________________
If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world – J.R.R. Tolkien

Last edited by piosenniel; 05-03-2004 at 10:45 AM.
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Old 05-01-2004, 11:20 AM   #9
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Kransha, feeling particularly jocund this fine day, made his way as silently and politely as he could through the upturned mob maelstrom, constantly mouthing off random, “Excuse me’s” and “pardon me’s” to the wide variety of party guests in an insect swarm about him. Clamoring madly through their numbers, he managed to alight as a nimble bird upon a spot of open grass and sighed happily. There were so many people, which he noted quickly as he gazed around at the multicolored pavilions in their elegant stripped grandeur, the fluttering banners that pulled to and fro in a gentle wind, and the impossible to follow mélange of chatty conversations that sprung up like over-watered flowers around him.

Kransha was, in fact, an orc, (or an uruk, goblin, hobgoblin, or some such thing like that, he really didn’t know). He had the gait, the build, the head, and the surly, sinuous silhouette of such a creature, but certainly not the air or the dress. Instead of the limping, crude swagger of your average, run-of-the-mill orc, Kransha stood upright, as if balancing a stack of books atop his Neanderthal brow, which was surprisingly well groomed for his being. The dark and rough-skinned figure was stuffed rather foolishly into a blindingly cerulean waistcoat with tails and an overflowing mess of frills and things that probably looked extremely silly, a flawlessly cleaned white shirt, a trimmed little green vest with countless tawdry sequins, and a pair of ironed evergreen breeches. Though he was sure to elicit some unwelcome guffaws from more crude folk, Kransha considered himself a particularly civilized individual for being able to summon an aspect of formality to the event. His clawed hands cupped together in front with a pair of spatula-sized thumbs twiddling, the orcish non-brute made his way quietly through the swelling ranks of the crowd as he inspected the party field.

Smiling a toothy grin of an orcish smile, Kransha proceeded coolly past the many pavilions and stages brimming with entertaining folk doing all manner of things. He chuckled, a low grumbling sound the grunted as a guttural noise in his throat. He headed with a jump in his step and a humming tune upon his chapped lips, towards one of the few empty stages that was, of course, being crowded around already. Swinging the dangling tails of his waistcoat behind him, the orc marched merrily up onto the platform and over to its center. He gave an acknowledging cough, which didn’t really seem to alert anyone to his presence at all, but he continued on anyway.

“Greeting, party-goers, innocent bystanders, and all those caught up in this business. I suppose, if no one else would prefer to, I shall get the proverbial ball rolling, for my kind at least. If I may give a brief introduction, my name is Kransha and I must admit I haven’t been here a very long time…In the Shire that is…yes, right, in the Shire…Point is, I find that this place is the quaintest, most enjoyable little place I’ve ever been to in all my days, however many those may be. So, I wrote…or rather, I stole and revised, a little piece to commemorate this most happy, celebratory, jocund, merry, jubilant, exultant, exuberant, and joyous of occasions as an ode to the most respected person I know, the respected person who dreamed him up on technicality, and another respected person who has little or nothing to do with the other two respected people who I mentioned about ten seconds ago." he concluded delicately.

Kransha stood, rocking back and forth as he enveloped himself in recorded memorization, and summoned up a voice’s fullness as he cleared his orcish throat with a pompous flourish. Slowly, but with more jaunt then solemnity, Kransha began in true Ozymandian verve.

“I met an elf-chap from an antique land
Who said: Two vast and trunkless kegs of beer
Sit in the Shire. Near them, on the grass,
Half green, a regal visage stands, whose gear,
And creasèd lip, and smile of welcome crass,
Tell that its maker well those fashions lead,
Which yet survive, stamped on these lively things,
The lips that sip them, and the mouth that fed,
And on the pedestal these words appear:
"My name is Barrow-Wight, Wight of Wights:
Look upon my works, ye happy, and prepare!"
And all beside remains, Round the partè
Of that colossal place, boundless and fair
The lone and crowded fields stretch far away.”


With that grin still plastered on his face, Kransha gave a very curt bow and sprinted off the stage, but not before dashing off very gracefully (for an orc) to the ready and waiting table that sat near a very particular barrow and dropping something on it. The orc spun on his shoeless heels and sped off yet again in the opposite direction, the merry tune present again upon his lips, and headed deep into the surging tidal wave of the massive crowd, leaving behind only some clawed footprints that tore up the grass and a gleaming lump of ebony with the letter BW carefully etched onto it. Kransha knew not how much the material was worth, or even the aesthetic value of the bauble itself, since he’d been told by the other Mordor orcs that he had lousy taste, but it was probably good enough. If not, he had plenty of orc draught. He journeyed on, determined to find somewhere to sit down.
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Old 05-01-2004, 11:28 AM   #10
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1420!

A young Gondorian just entering his 'tweens' walked side by side with an average-looking Mirkwood elf. They chatted and swapped snatches of songs, and tried to look casual, but both of them were quite excited about this upcoming party. Bree had been their first view of hobbits, and they had been well-pleased.

There were hobbits around, but they soon also realized LinGalad wasn't the only elf at the gathering.

"Will you look at that, Hîriest! A Noldorin prince, if I am not mistaken. Listen to him speak! That is a very ancient tongue."

"What's he saying?"

"I do not know! And look, over there-- a red-haired, green-eyed... well, I must be naively mistaken, for I know of no red-haired green-eyed elves in all of Arda. Of course, perhaps that is my mistake. I do wish the Songmaster was here so that I could ask him."

"I wouldn't worry about that so much as..." began Hîriest, pointing at Gothmog and his crew.

"Oh, my! " said LinGalad.

"The bar. It'll all look much friendlier after an ale."

LinGalad raised an anxious eyebrow. "No wine? They have no wine?"

"We will see, " said Hîriest. Passing numerous hobbits, they bowed in greeting, smiling, nodding, and enjoying the Halflings' strange manner of speech.

"Look! They spout smoke, just like King Elessar!" said Hîriest.

"Ah. They do have wine. Now, let's see, we've been practicing our toast for several Inn-stops now; shall we?"

They both raised their glasses quite high, and cried as one in their best heraldic voice: "Gimli drinks his 9787354967th beer!"

"Wwwhat did you SAYYYYYY?!?!" wailed an icy voice from deep underground.

"Hello, Wight. Just seeing if you were listening. Happy Birthday, " LinGalad shouted at the ground. Several hobbits gave them a strange look.

"Yes, Happy Birthday," added Hîriest.

They took their second drinks for a walk around the field.

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Old 05-01-2004, 11:46 AM   #11
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White Tree

The gates were finally open and everyone was allowed to enter the Party Field. Orofaniel walked graciously through the gates, as some had already done before her. She had brought cookies with huge chocolate chips, since those were her favourites. For this very special occasion, Orofaniel had dressed in her finest Elven cloak.

Orofaniel looked around to see if some of the guests that had arrived were well known to her. At the moment she had difficulties finding them though. It was probably because of the huge crowd that all of a sudden, had gathered in front of her. Yes, even though she had been early, or at least felt that she was early, she could now see that there had already arrived many people to participate in this magnificent event. She hoped however, that one or another would catch her eye. In the meantime, she figured that her cookies would be better fit on a table than in her hands. Her eyes moved quickly from side to side, as she was scouting for a table.

Orofaniel noticed the small stages and the jugglers. To her big surprise she also noticed an...Orc? Was it really an Orc? No....could it be? Orofaniel looked closer and walked towards the stage where the Orc was standing. It looked an awful lot like an orc, she thought. People had now gathered around him to hear what he had to say, and to Orofaniel's big surprise she heard the very merry and delightful poem that brought joy among those who heard it. As soon as the Orc was finished though, he jumped off the stage and dissapeard. At least it had been a nice preformance, Orofaniel concluded.

Then she reminded herself what she was supposed to do. "Find a table for the cookies...." she muttered to herself and grinned.
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Old 05-01-2004, 11:49 AM   #12
Imladris
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White Tree

I stood on tiptoe, trying to see over the crowd's head. I was shorter than most people, I suppose, and it was a sore thought with me. I pushed the thought aside, determined to enjoy the party.

I clutched my small basket to my chest and took a deep breath. Parties tend to make me nervous...I don't know why. There were so many people at parties, people jostling each other, knocking into each other. But then again, parties were so fun to go to...I sighed.

I glanced down to make sure that my dress was neat. My light blue bodice had silvery vine embroider curling about the front. There was an ornate, gold embroidered "I" in the midst of silver vines that stood for my name: Imladris -- or Immy as my friends called me. My darker skirt fell in soft, slightly wrinkled folds to my ankles. My feet were bare and I wriggled my toes in the soft green grass. Shoes were despicable things. They made you hot and they just clomped around like a heavy oliphaunt.

I looked into my basket to make sure that the jar of canned peaches was still nestled safely in its depths. It was, along with the sealed pitcher of apple cider and the mathom. I smiled. Everything was safe.

The balrogs opened the gates and I was pushed through the gates along with the rest of the mob. I caught a glimpse of an orc...and the greeter was a woman with a flaming red wig. Interesting...

I put my jar of peaches on the table and arranged it so that the sun made it glow with a luminous, lucid golden orange light. I opened the pitcher of cider and put it next to the peaches.

Now all I had to do was to put my mathom on the table by the Wight's barrow...
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Old 05-01-2004, 12:03 PM   #13
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‘Well, well, well,’ said Primrose to herself as she drove her cart through the vendors’ gate and spied the juggler hustling the crowd in front of the Floating Log pavilion.

A last minute delivery of sloe-berry spirits had been sent by the Innkeeper, along with a cask of blackberry brandy from old Gaffer Holman. ‘Lumbago’s actin’ up, dearie,’ Holman had told her, as he sat on his rocker watching her load the cask. ‘Otherwise I’d go with you.’ He nodded at a small package wrapped in a piece of old cotton cloth. ‘Take that, too,’ he said. ‘Been meaning to get that back to him, but the years just caught up with me.’

Inside was an old gold torc set with a single red jewel he’d gotten on one of his excursions to the barrow-downs with friends. ‘Found that right inside a barrow,’ he went on. ‘Reached my hand in through a crack between the stone and the entry way it covered. Pulled it out and we high-tailed it outta there . . . afore that old Wight knew we were even there.’ He nodded his head remembering his younger glory days. ‘Still – it’s his. Best he gets it back.’

Prim delivered the spirits to the barman and threw a copper penny in the juggler’s hat as she passed by him on her way out. He gave her a saucy wink, and she returned it in kind, laughing at his cheekiness. Across the field she went, toward the Party Tree and the barrow beneath it. It was colder here in the shade of the limbs, and made colder, she thought, by the presence of the barrow with its endlessly dark interior. She thought she could just see some greenish glow away at the back and here the deep mutterings and rumblings of someone talking.

With a shiver, she ran quickly to the mathom table and laid the old gaffer’s present on it. A big-folk girl in a light blue dress with silver tracings was approaching, basket in hand. Prim nodded at her as she approached.

‘Pretty dress!’ she said, looking up at the girl. Then glancing back over her shoulder at the barrow and its table she pointed and said in a low voice. ‘Careful! He’s awake. I heard him moving about and muttering.’
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Old 05-01-2004, 12:18 PM   #14
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The Bracegirdles had got off to a late start it would seem. Hilde had impulsively begun some house cleaning to get ready for a very special guest who would be arriving so soon, but the time had flown and she had lost track. Now all she could think about were the dining chairs clogging her kitchen and the floor waiting to be thoroughly scrubbed, and yet it had to wait. “Priorities”, she told herself. “Birthdays come but once a year! And a little good fun won’t hurt anything.”

Making his way across the field, Mr. Bracegirdle headed for the growing pile of gifts, and set down a large jug of Hilde’s homemade wine, a little strong this year but still good - to his mind anyway - and a small brightly wrapped packet, that contained a rather gaudy broach Hilde had assumed some past relative had received, but that was more suited to be housed in a dark dank place than to be worn. Costly no doubt, but hideous all the same.

Balancing her cookery, Hilde carefully wandered through the spring grass until she found the buffet tables. choosing a good spot she carefully unwrapped a platter of mushrooms stuffed with blue cheese, noting that they were still warm. Next was her husband’s beautiful roast mutton encrusted in garlic, black pepper and all manner of green herbs, all surrounded by lovely red potatoes, and asparagus. Ah, this was going to be a feast! Now if she could just find a good hot cup of ginger tea to start off.

Searching for Mr. Bracegirdle, Hilde winked at a maiden in a light blue bodice who stood at the gift table, as she past by. She had looked so familiar. Finally catching up to her husband, she saw that he was looking at the colorful messages affixed to the party tree, and laughing, quite loudly too. “Oh dear woman!” He said spotting her approach. “We do have a witty gathering here, read these.” And Hilde stood beside him as together they read the clever verses, one by one, pointing out their favorites.
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Old 05-01-2004, 12:27 PM   #15
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Tolkien

I could feel my face pale at the hobbit's words. The Barrow-wight was awake...why could I not have arrived earlier when he still slumbered? I glanced nervously around and saw a juggler in the distance. Jugglers were so clever.

I tore my eyes away from him and stared at my mathom. It was a large, oval white, ornate plate. Green painted hills in the distance were rolling across the surface, a river flowed between them and neared the bottom edge of the plate. The plate was part of a two-plate set, but the second one had rippled edges: a bit feminine for a wight I thought.

I set the plate down quickly and turned to the hobbit lass. "I am glad you like my dress," I said. "But tell me, what is your name?"

"Primrose," she said, dropping a curtesy.

I smiled and said, "Imladris...pleased to meet you."
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Old 05-01-2004, 12:27 PM   #16
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Luthien ambled into the Party Field, having held back a bit to avoid the mobs that had been swarming through the gates earlier. She was the first of her group to arrive, that much was sure. Now, where could she find a place for all of her friends to settle down and have a good time? She suryeved the Party Field, and decided she wasn't nearly tall enough to see anything. Noting a nearby elf, she hailed him, hoping that he would notice.

The elf proceeded over to her, looking a little confused. This was not surprising, really. One didn't see an shortish elf dressed like a hobbit every day.

"Excuse me, sir, could you please look around and tell me where I could settle down and wait for a party of friends? I'm afraid I'm not quite tall enough to see over this crowd."

"If you keep going, you will find smaller pavilions beside the food tables. There, perhaps, you may be able to place yourself, provided the pavilion you choose is empty," the elf replied, and walked away, giving Luthien another odd look. Empty pavilions? she thought. Not likely. But we shall see.

Pushing her way through the crowd, Luthien made her way to the busiest area of the field. This was no easy task for her to carry out, especially in a polite manner. She resolved that she would under no circumstances resort to pushing and shoving her way through, and luckily it didn't come to that. But it did come mightily close before she could actually find a gap in the crowd and rush through it.

Had her baggage been spoilt? She carried a basket of food in her arms, and on her back was a pack containing her present for the Wight and various assorted speeches, poems, and tales to read during the entertainment.... Whether she would be able to choose between them, or work up enough nerve to actually read them to the crowd, was still undecided. Finally Luthien came to various small pavilions. The elf had been right! There were various awnings, tables and pavilions set up near the food tables to accomodate guests. What luck! And she was one of the first to claim one, too. Choosing a good-sized blue pavilion, Luthien plunked herself down on the grass inside it and checked to make sure all was well. Nothing had been damaged. That was fortunate, and more than she had expected in that bustling crowd. She looked at her basket of food in satisfaction. It contained various baked goods, fresh and still warm. Nestled among a towel were tartan scones, plaid cookies, and some very appetizing-looking shortbread.

With nothing else to do, Luthien looked at her attire. She had chosen to come in hobbit garb, and was enjoying it immensely. She was wearing short, wide tan pants, a crisp white collared shirt which she was certain wouldn't stay crisp for long, and a green and yellow vest decorated in a tartan-like pattern. There were golden ribbons in her hair, and her only piece of jewelry was a very thin silver ring with an intertwining gold thread. Did she look alright? Did she care? She decided that she must look at least farily presentable, for the looks she had gotten from various passersby were looks of surprise, not contempt. She attributed the surprise to the unusualness of a barefooted elf in hobbit clothing.

As she waited, she suddenly began to worry that no one of her group would be able to find her. She could not take her offerings to the various tables, in fear that someone else would come and take the pavilion while she was away. She stood up and proceeded to the front of the tent, and strained her eyes, trying to find her friends. Was that Firi in the distance? Perhaps it was. She carefully placed her basket on the ground, popped a scone in her mouth, and began yumping up and down, yelling at the top of her lungs. Unfortunately she had forgotten the scone.

"Firi! Over here!!" she called, but her cries were somewhat muffled by the food in her mouth. Would her friend hear her cries and find her? So far all she had done was illicit more strange looks, but that was unremarkable.
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Old 05-01-2004, 12:32 PM   #17
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‘Too much?!’

Pio flipped her long red tresses behind her shoulders and winked one bright green eye at Cami. The look on her old friend’s face was priceless, and she could tell the Hobbit was desperately searching for something ‘nice’ to say. ‘It is just for the day, my dear. Tomorrow I shall be back to my grey-eyed, dark haired self.’

The Elf leaned in toward Cami and spoke low. Though I am thinking of having a tattoo of a green dragon put here on my forearm by that fellow over there.’ She nodded her chin at a brown clad Southron who was plying his trade in the shade of the linden tree. ‘A few drinks of Dwarf Spirits he says, and he promises there will be no pain.’

Cami’s jaw dropped several inches at this last announcement, and she spluttered something incomprehensible. Pio howled with laughter at the Hobbit’s discomfiture. ‘Just joking . . . really . . .’ she chuckled, poking her friend in the ribs.

‘Oh, Auntie Pio,’ cried Daisy, that would be so cool!’

Pio raised her brows at this bit of slang dropping from her ‘niece’s’ lips. Cami sighed and gave a ‘what’s-a-mother-to-do’ shrug. But before she could admonish her daughter for the use of such language, Daisy went on, her eyes shining as she fingered the Elf’s red locks.

‘And Ima, can I please, please have my hair this color . . .puhleeeeeese!’
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Old 05-01-2004, 12:43 PM   #18
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‘Imladris.’ Primrose rolled the word about on her tongue. A pretty Elven name she thought, and it sounded familiar. ‘Very glad to meet you, miss,’ she said to the girl, smiling. ‘Perhaps, if you’re not busy later, we can meet and have a little something to eat and watch one of the plays.’

Prim pointed to the Floating Log pavilion by the entryway. ‘I have to go and work a bit . . . serving girl for while . . . to help out.’ She grinned at Imladris and pointed to where the actors were just setting up for a dramatic telling of ‘Frodo of the Nine Fingers’. ‘How about we meet there when I’m done . . . about mid-afternoon.’

Imladris nodded her assent and murmured a few words before Prim ran off, her skirts flying toward the Inn’s tent. Again the cheeky juggler winked at her as she passed.
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Old 05-01-2004, 12:53 PM   #19
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Kitanna looked around at all the party goers. Everything looked so festive and she could not spot a sad face in the ground. She had only just arrived in Hobbiton and a large crowd was moving toward the party field. Kitanna had followed them through the gates and into the party.

She moved through the crowds smiling and muttering a few "pardon me" here and there as she bumped into a few people. Everywhere people were drinking, eating, and singing. Kitanna had picked a good time to return to the Shire.

She pulled her long black hair out of her face and searched the crowds for someone she might recognize from her last visit. If she found no one she would simply make a new friend. There were plenty of people there she was sure to find a new friend.

Kitanna moved toward the pavilion to hear what the people were saying.
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Old 05-01-2004, 12:58 PM   #20
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Firondoiel walked with the crowd through the gate. The dark green elven dress she wore reached down to her ankles but didn’t quite touch the ground. Her long brown hair was left down and blowing in the wind. Excitement was obvious on her face as she looked over the party. It had been far too long since she had seen several of them. They might not even remember her but she was delighted to see them all anyway.

Now to find the group of friends that she knew were going to be here. That would prove to be easier said than done. The party was not small and the promise of food thrilled many of the young hobbits (not to mention some of the older ones) to disorderly behaviour. Firondoiel had to be extra careful so that her tray of special almond flavoured lembas bread would not be upset amongst the many other things she was carrying. Her eyes roamed over the assembly. Where were her friends?

“Firi! Over here!” called a muffled voice as if in answer to her thought. Turning towards the voice, Firondoiel could just make out her friend, Luthien. As quickly as she could, Firi rushed towards her. After many near disasters for her lembas, she arrived at the pavilion where Luthien was.

“Keld!” cried Firi as she set down her armful and enveloped her friend in a hug. “It’s wonderful to see you!”

Keld returned the hug. “I am very glad to see you too!” she said with a smile. “What all have you brought?” she asked looking over the items Firi had put on the table. “Oh, lembas bread and tea.” Firi replied with a wink. Keld gasped, “Tea? It’s not…..poisoned?” she whispered. Firi shook her head, “Not to worry. It’s quite alright.”

“Ah, good.” Keld said relieved for she knew her friend’s tendency to poison tea. Not that it would matter much for all of them were undead here anyway.
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Old 05-01-2004, 01:19 PM   #21
Hilde Bracegirdle
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After finishing reading the last one, Hilde pulled out a bright slip of paper from her pocket and fastened it to the tree with the others, before walking off to enjoy the entertainments.

Happy anniversary dearest Barrow Wight,
Who through the ages dark and bright,
Has ensnared the careless traveler who,
In searching out fair Middle Earth,
Has stumbled upon the Barrow Downs.
And recognizing this site of worth,
Cannot cast off the pale gowns,
Nor gems that you bestow.
But haunting ever, linger here,
And still our ranks do grow,
And you in blackened Barrow lurk,
Amidst a greenish glow,
We hope with all our heart we do,
That you will stay here ever,
And that those slender links we have,
You do not choose to sever.

With thanks to all,
For your sacrifice!
H.B.
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Old 05-01-2004, 01:34 PM   #22
Ithaeliel
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Silmaril

The sun was hot and high at that time of day, and clouds were scattered in wisps across the deep blue sky that hung over a traveling procession of elves. Their path took them through the Shire, where today it was serene and peaceful... supposedly.

Suddenly, the procession came upon a large field packed with people of all different shapes and sizes (hobbits, elves, humans, even a performing orc!), all of whom were making a great deal of noise and dancing around like a bunch of drunken fools. One elf who seemed to be quite occupied with the gathering was sporting a bright red mop of hair and glancing about with emerald eyes. One elf in the procession turned to another and whispered, "Contact lenses, perhaps?" The other shook his head in disdain and continued walking. The first elf, however, was interested in the spirited display, and she gazed curiously at the people there. I do wish that I could stay and see what they're celebrating...

"Lady Ithaeliel, we cannot make delays to accomodate your distractions," one of the elder elves called back. Ithaeliel scowled, and when no one was looking she took off her pendant and hid it. Eager to join the party, she called ahead to the front of her group. "I have lost my pendant while we have walked through these green hills! I must go back to find it. I'll rejoin all of you after a time. Namarië, for a little while, friends!" Ithaeliel ran back over the hill to to field as quickly as possible, trying to think what she could offer to the partygoers...
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Old 05-01-2004, 01:40 PM   #23
Estelyn Telcontar
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On the back of a horse there rode an Elf. Not one of your humble pack-ponies, sturdy but without lineage, laden with burdens; nor a huge war-horse, tall, broad and massive, made to carry the weight of an armoured knight. No, this was a shieldmaiden´s horse, and that means style!

Falafel´s dainty hooves galloped across the Brandywine Bridge with just enough effort to make her dusky flanks glisten attractively, a grace that was worthy of the maiden she bore, and exactly the right speed to allow her mistress´golden tresses to flow behind her to great effect. Hobbit mouths opened as hobbit chins dropped in admiration; such a sight was rare in the Shire!

Merisuwyniel´s violet eyes sparkled with anticipation; after weeks and months of questing, a party would be a welcome change. She knew only what she had read on the notice fastened to the gate of Bree (or was it ´Beer´? The names were confusingly similar.). She had no doubt that she would enjoy herself among the many people who accepted the invitation.

She had been puzzled at first by the suggestion that each guest provide some food, since the Fellow/Galship had not prepared a meal on the road that day. However, the pleasant Forest* through which she passed had yielded berries and other fruits, which she placed in a willow wicker basket she had quickly woven with the skill all Elves have for handicrafts.

Then there was the matter of a gift; she was not sure whether birthday presents were given to or by the host of such occasions in the Shire, but just to be sure, she found an unusual leaf in her baggage, placed there by her inventor. It was large, fluted and fan-shaped, from a tree that grows in the southern lands where her creator was currently travelling, and it would serve well to bring cool air to the host, if his barrow became too crowded or discussions too heated.

Thus prepared, she jumped off Falafel when she reached the Party Field. The mare needed no tether; she was well-trained to be exactly where her mistress needed her at precisely the right time. Merisuwyniel placed her gift and the fruits on the tables and looked around to see who was already there.

(* Some may find the Old Forest gloomy, even depressing and dangerous, but for this Elven shieldmaiden, the sun found its way to light up her shinig hair, the branches were careful not to tangle it, and trees and bushes vied with each other to give her their fruits, twigs and whatever else she needed. Such is the life of a Mary Sue!)

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Old 05-01-2004, 01:49 PM   #24
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The unmistakable sounds of college freshmen overturning trash cans in the hall snapped Lush out of her reverie.

"Great," she thought to herself, rolling over on one side and seeing the spring rain pouring. She was even more dismayed upon catching her distinctly hungover reflection in the spotty mirror.

Amid the jumbled memories of last night (Guinness, U2 blaring on the speakers, an angry bouncer, et cetera) a nagging thought that she was forgetting something would not let her be.

"Today is...Today is..." She thought whilst scrubbing her teeth. "Umm...May Day! Time to wreak havoc on the capitalist pigs, perhaps?" However, having sized up her considerable (for someone as impoverished) collection of pretentious shoes as she came back from the washroom, Lush decided that wreaking havoc would have been a tad hypocritical.

"So what am I forgetting?" She mumbled to herself irritably while munching on stale cereal. "Surely, after all that happened last night, I am not expected at another...Omigod that's it! A party!"

Money and time both being short, Lush threw on an inexpensive, yet flattering black sun-dress (though there were hardly an sun-rays to catch at her present location) and put an appropriately green scarf in her hair before running out the door, remembering her umbrella, running back, then running out again, then remembering her sandals, running back, and finally running out for good.

"Please...let...someone...have...aspirin...there.. ." She prayed, while fumbling with her cell-phone to call a taxi.

Having narrowly escaped losing her breakfast on the bumpy ride, the idefatigable, always-up-for-it-though-her-liver-thinks-otherwise Lush finally arrived at her destination and slipped in quietly among the reverly and gaiety and dwarf-tossing.

"Perhaps I ought to cure my hangover the Russian way," she mused to herself as she trotted through the grounds in search of ale.
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Old 05-01-2004, 01:58 PM   #25
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Lëowen wandered through the gate with a few other arriving guests, and on to the party field itself. It was pretty crowded already, but it would get even more so as the party got started. But it was a nice day out, and the party promised to be most excellent.

Her friends were here somewhere, she knew. Now she just had to find them. Noticing the colourful pavillions rising above the crowd, Leo made her way over to one. It'd be easiest to check here first, anyway.

The first several pavillions were empty, and a few more along the way had been claimed by other Downers. Perhaps her friends didn't have a pavillion after all. She weaved through people and picnic tables, heading for the main crowd again.

'Leo! Over here!'

'Keld! Firi!' Leo sprinted back to a bright blue pavillion she had missed checking. They grinned at her as she pulled out a few green and black acorns out of her pockets and gave each of them one. 'Happy birthday!'
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Old 05-01-2004, 02:05 PM   #26
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Alatáriel made her way through the growing crowd, in search of someone to talk to, seeing as how she was forever bored. She wore a dark purple dress and her hair hung loosely on her shoulders. In her arms she was carrying some acorn pie.

'Keld!! Firi!! Lëo!!' Ala ran up to them to see that Firi was serving some tea. She looked at it, raising an eyebrow. 'Its almond flavoured, isn't it?!'

'No...' Firi gave a shifty glance.

'Ah, well anyhow, Happy Birthday!!' Ala whacked everyone with a rose she had been carrying.

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Old 05-01-2004, 03:07 PM   #27
Meneltarmacil
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Eye

A rider on a very impressive brown stallion rode up to the gates and dismounted. As the party attendants took the horse to the stable, the rider, Meneltarmacil, entered. Dressed in a dark green cloak with gold embroidery, with a long sword on a silver belt at his waist and sporting long blond hair, Meneltarmacil had just gotten to the party field when Alatariel Telemnar whacked him with a rose she had been carrying.

"Hey! What's that all about?!" he called after her, but she had already run off. He headed to the stage, got up on it, and began to recite a poem.

There once was a spooky old wight,
Who once made the greatest website,
We are all here today,
Because we all wish to say,
Happy birthday to this wonderful site!


Meneltarmacil walked over to the table by the Wight's barrow, then reached into the folds of his cloak and pulled out a small sliver figure in the likeness of a great eagle with green jewels for eyes. He laid it on the table, then walked away. He conveniently forgot to mention the enchantment that made it give an extremely loud and high-pitched scream whenever somebody other than him tried to pick it up. He took out the big bag of tortilla chips and the spicy nacho cheese mix that he himself had perfected and put them both on the food table.

"Ah, Imladris, I see you've also arrived. Looks like we're going to have to take a break from fighting the Mouth of Sauron at the Hills of Evendim for a few days. But hey, I'm not complaining. What do you think of the festivities?"
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Old 05-01-2004, 03:36 PM   #28
symestreem
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A figure slithered down the inside of the wooden fence and landed in a heap at the bottom. Symestreem picked herself up and dusted off her cream breeches, blue shirt and silver tunic; then she checked on the contents of the large pot she carried under one arm.
Edging through the crowd, she deposited the pot of macaroni and cheese on one of the tables. Then she nervously approached the mound under the mallorn. She fished a rolled-up scroll tied with gold and silver out of her pack and deposited it on the table with the other mathoms. Making a deep bow in the direction of the mound, she made her way back to the fence. Then she swung the odd-looking instrument off of her back and went to find the dance floor.
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Old 05-01-2004, 03:51 PM   #29
Nerindel
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1420!

Nerindel looked down one last time at the emerald green dress that her friend Léspheria had insisted she wear to the party. The intricate gold leaf embroidery on the rather tight (well at least in her opinion) low cut bodice shimmered as she walked and she felt more than sure that at some point she would stand on the hem of the flowing skirts and fall flat on her face. She had been all ready to attend the celebration in her usual rust coloured breeches, her subtle calf length hunting boots, forest green tunic, and with her leather armour firmly in place, her weapons belted to her waist and her long golden hair tied back in an untidy but controlled mass at the nape of her neck.

However, the Lady Léspheria was having none of it, she had her attendants ambush her and nearly drown her in a steaming hot basin of water. “You are an elf maiden and should present yourself accordingly!” the elven woman had admonished. “You have spent so much time in the company of the rangers and elven hunters, that you have forgotten what it is to be a lady!” Nerindel laughed remembering her friend’s admonishments. She had off course been completely right, all her adult life had be spent on one adventure or another, causing her company to consisted of mostly men and rarely was she required of her to put on the airs and graces of her kindred.

“And why should I start now!” she laughed to herself. So hitching up the delicate skirts in one hand and carrying a large plate of wild berry muffins in the other, she strode purposely towards the wonderful variety of smell’s and sounds coming from the party field.

Her grey eyes casually scanned the many guest looking for a familiar face in the sea of people. Finding none, she placed her plate of muffins on an already crowded table, then passing the ale tent set up by the green dragon staff she grabbed two foaming tankards and made her way to the spreading Mallorn that sat in the centre of the celebration. Carefully placing one of the ales near the dark entrance to the Barrow, she raised her own in toast,

‘Happy birthday old boy!” she said with a wink, then draining her tankard, she took out her gift and placed it on the table along side the others, the hand carved pipe looking slightly out of place among the shiny treasures the other guests had chosen to bring.

With a shrug, she moved on allowing the other guests who followed behind her to bestow their gifts and best wishes, while she looked to refill her tankard and find a familiar face.
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Old 05-01-2004, 05:01 PM   #30
The Saucepan Man
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Boots

The pleasant, happy sounds of a party in full swing were suddenly dispersed as a terrible cacophony (a corpus of cacophony no less) arose from somewhere in the vicinity of the Party Tree. There, on the ground below it lay a jumble of pots pans and kettles, their metallic surfaces reflecting the light from the lanterns above and shimmering and glittering much like a mirrorball. Those nearby remarked how peculiar it was that a collection of kitchenware should fall from the Tree.

“Mr Pan Man, must you always arrive like this?” said Piosenniel, standing over the pile and glaring down at it sternly.

The pile of pans lay there for a while, before slowly organising itself into a human shape. A wizened face crowned with a large silver saucepan peered out.

“Eh? What’s that? Alive? Yes, thank you, Madam. I am quite alright. Somewhat shaken, but certainly alive,” the Saucepan Man replied as he stood up.

“I said must you always arrive like this?” Pio retorted impatiently.

“Ah, Mistress Piosseniel,” said Saucepan, blinking in recognition. “Erm, yes, I am afraid so. It is the only way I know.”

The mischeivous glint in his eyes softened Pio’s stance somewhat, although she still had a bone or two to pick with him.

“And what, may I ask, were you doing in the Party Tree?”

“Hearty glee? Yes I …” began Saucepan, but thought better of it on catching the glare in her green eyes. “Er, well, when I heard of the party, I crept up there to polish my pots and pans. You know how much I feel at home in trees. I was intending to arrive early to help with the preparations, but I … um … well … it was so comfortable up there that I’m afraid that I fell asleep. Still, it looks to be going well."

Saucepan favoured Pio with his best practised sheepish grin, but she had not quite finished her admonishment.

“And you call that Middle-earth wear, do you?" she said, indicating his metallic attire. She still had not quite forgiven him for clouting her with one of his pans at last year’s party, even though it had been wholly unintentional (and somewhat fortuitous as matters had turned out).

Saucepan regarded her red hair and green eyes, but thought better of making an impertinent remark.

“But Madam. This is my very best formal kitchenwear. And I am wearing waistcoat and breeches beneath in true Hobbit fashion, I can assure you.”

“Well, if you say so. I trust that Sergeant Saucy’s Barrow Downs Club Band will be making an appearance later.”

“All in good time,” replied Saucepan, winking and tapping his nose with his finger. “But first I must deliver my gifts and secure myself some refreshment. Farewell for now, Mistress Elf.”

Piosenniel grinned affectionately, and took the sensible precaution of clapping her hands over her ears, as the shiny figure clanked and clattered his way through the crowds, stopping every so often to exchange greeting with those he knew.
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Old 05-01-2004, 05:44 PM   #31
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At the edge of the field a lone tall figure of a woman stood and smiled to herself. It had been a year since he had departed the shire and now upon her return she was indeed fortunate enough to discover the goings on of a party.

A familiar voice was upon the air and the hauntingly aloof woman raised her head as if being summoned to listen. “Piosenniel” she smiled again and let the hood of her cloak fall to reveal a snow-haied elf. The elf known as Umbariel the Everdawn to elven kind and Elfsun to the western men.

In the year before she had come to the inn in search of her daughter, and she had found her with the help of two rangers. Having found her daughter, the elf had then travelled into the vacant Lorien to seek a final solace and now she had come on her way to the Grey Heavens; the gateway to the west.

Her graceful floating strides took her closer and closer to the party until she was in the misdt of many Halflings and men alike. She glanced around to look for the one whose familiar voice she had heard upon the air before finding among a group of hobbits. Carefully she approached it and looked in amazement at the other elf and bowed."a strange day it is when elves should journey into the shire" she repeated the same words she had spoken when she first laid eyes on the Shire. “But not so strange that they wander to reach the gate to the west.” She grinned. “I have been gone for what in the first time in my life seems an age, so much so that I do not expect you to remember me…I can now plainly see that you do not carry a child within you.” Elfsun gestured to her stomach. “Was it a boychild or a girlchild which you bore?”

Last edited by Everdawn; 05-01-2004 at 08:10 PM.
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Old 05-01-2004, 06:20 PM   #32
The Saucepan Man
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Pipe

The Saucepan Man had no difficulty making his way through the crowd that thronged the Party Field. The clamour of his pots and pans assured that all were aware of his approach and instinctively made way as he passed. Partygoers of all every conceivable description were gathered there chatting excitedly in small groups, enjoying the entertainment on offer, or simply helping themselves to the startling variety of food and drink on offer. Elves, Dwarves, Hobbits, Men, and even an Orc, were all availing themselves of the delights of the party. He nodded to friends old and new as he went, momentarily stopping to enjoy the antics of a juggler outside one of the beer tents, before tossing some coins into his hat and moving on. Catching sight of a familiar shade of green, he ambled noisily up to a mound raised amidst the party trappings.

“Happy Birthday, old chap,” he remarked cheerily as he stood before it.

Reaching into one of his pots, he took from it a small pouch. Attached to the pouch was a small label which read “Stardust of Zîgg’ï”.

“Enjoy!” he said with a twinkle in his eye, as he placed it on the mathom table.

Coming to one of the food tables, he unhooked two of his pans and tipped the Pop Biscuits and Toffee Shocks contained within them onto some empty plates. He grinned mischievously as he imagined how the Toffee Shocks might go down with Hobbits’ voracious appetites. From another pan he produced a large helping of Lemon Jelly, remarking to himself that it might be appreciated later when guests exhausted from a surfeit of dancing were looking to mellow out.

The Saucepan Man then made for one of the bar tents. He sat himself on a stool at the bar and asked the barman for a tall glass filled with ice and a slice of lemon. Unhooking one of his kettles, he poured a surprisingly clear liquid into the glass before retrieving a pouch from a pot and filling his pipe with a good measure of Longbottom Leaf. Suitably settled, he sat back to enjoy the pleasant atmosphere that surrounded him.
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Old 05-01-2004, 07:09 PM   #33
symestreem
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After playing four rounds of dancing on her fiddle, symestreem bowed out (no pun intended) and went to look for some food. Mortal by birth (at least that's what her mother told her), she was a hobbit if you looked at her appetite.
Resisting the urge to steal the entire plate of chocolate cookies, she wandered among the buffet tables, listening to the other partygoers. Was there anyone she knew here? It was too crowded to see. She dodged the hobbit children stealing drinks from the beer barrel and wandered off to mingle.
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Old 05-01-2004, 07:31 PM   #34
piosenniel
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‘Ah, Umbariel!’ Pio looked the Elf up and down remembering their first meeting in the Green Dragon. The face of another who had once accompanied her, Bebberyn she thought, flashed into her thoughts for a few moments. A guard of Dol Amroth she thought. A half remembered story of corsairs accompanied the man’s face.

‘You have been in Lorien, have you not?’ Everdawn’s face looked serene, as if she had come to terms with the passing Age of the Elves. ‘Time passes a little slower there, under the golden leaves. I have three children now. The twins, Isilmir and Gilwen, are six years old. Little Cami is five. They have not come yet to the party, but will be here when it begins to get dark and the fireworks start.’ The two women spoke for a few more minutes, their heads bent close together, red and silver intertwining. Then a familiar sight caught Pio’s eye and she excused herself saying she hoped they would see one another again.

There by one of the food tables stood the Saucepan Man, looking quite sly. He was dumping things from out his pans . . . treats for the party goers. He’d clink-clanked off by the time she’d got to the table, and her eye strayed to the enticing sweets he’d brought down from the top of the tree. ‘Toffee shocks! Oh my,’ she said laughing at the thought of greedy Hobbits gobbling the goodies. ‘Best I should leave a note beside them.’

Toffee Shocks: Quite Good! she printed in a clear hand on a card she’d found in her vest pocket. But be warned! Take a small bite only. It grows larger in your mouth until it explodes!

She helped herself to a Pop Biscuit and a stray Google Bun and wandered off to see to the other guests. Behind her, the trees, their leaves moving in the soft breeze, were making a wisha-wisha sound . . .
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Old 05-01-2004, 07:38 PM   #35
Child of the 7th Age
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1420!

Cami had rolled her eyes at her daughter's pleas to have a head of hair just like her Aunt Pio. Cami muttered a few words under her breath and promised to think of a way to get even before the party ended. Then she sauntered over to the spot just beneath the party tree, intending to add her present for the Wight to the mounds of gifts already heaped on the table. She had gotten hold of a giant size linen shroud and had embroidered it with bright green and yellow threads with pictures of gruesome things, thinking that the Wight might occasionally want a change of clothes. She wasn't sure if green and yellow were popular colors in the Barrow, but Hobbit folk were quite partial to them.

Rory had managed to get lost in the crowd some ten minutes after they'd come through the gate, but Cami still had the two girls in tow. Full of curiosity, Daisy was rummaging through the piles of gifts on the table, holding each piece up to her nose, scrutinizing it closely, and then carefully setting it down again. The girl's eyes widened with delight as she glimpsed a statue of a silver eagle that had gleeming green jewels for eyes. The gift had a tag on it with the single name Meneltarmacil .

"Ima, look! Look what I found!" Daisy grinned and motioned toward the statue. Before her mother could object, the lass seized the object at the base and yanked it up. Instantly, there was an ear-splitting shriek, one so loud and raucous that it caught the attention of all the partygoers.

"Put that thing down!" Cami commanded. "That's a present for the Wight and if he sees you fussing with it, he may not be too happy." Cami glanced nervously towards the bleak hole in the ground where the Wight had taken up residence of the duration of the party.

Frightened of the noise, the attention, and the mere mention of the Wight's name, Daisy hastily returned the present to the pile and stepped back from the table, obediently following her mother. The raucous shrieking immediately stopped.

"Mommy, is that thing 'ensorcelled'? Like the smart people were talking about in Books the other day?"

"Ensorcelled, my foot. I don't know about any discussion in Books, but that thing is mechanical. When you pick it up it bellows. But come...enough of this! Let's go get something to drink."

Cami nodded towards the girls, steering them to one of the pavilions where tables and chairs were set out. She went up to the barman and ordered two lemonades for her little ones, and a dacquiri for herself. By the time Cami got back to the table, Daisy had already found another diversion to amuse herself. She was seated on the ground banging with a large stick against a number of pots and pans that hung down from the waist of another gentleman who was seated at the bar.

Looking up embarrassed, Cami whispered to herself, "Oh, dear, that's Saucepan Man . Out loud she merely said, "I'm so sorry, sir. My daughter gets a little carried away. I'll tell her to leave your pots alone straight away."

Before the gentleman could even answer, Daisy looked up with a grin, "And look what I picked up from the sweets table earlier for Holly 'n me." With that, each of her two daughters stuffed a large Toffee Shock into their eager open mouths.....

Last edited by Child of the 7th Age; 05-01-2004 at 07:49 PM.
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Old 05-01-2004, 07:48 PM   #36
Kransha
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Hands still clasped in front and thumbs twiddling away, Kransha made his way through the crowd yet again. He hadn’t had good exercise like this in a while, but he hadn’t had a drink in a good while either, so he headed very ceremoniously and forthwith towards the bar tents and multitudinous buffet tables that speckled the area like spots on a spotted gorcrow, if such a thing existed. Kransha distinctly remembered eating a spotted gorcrow, or at least seeing one hanging from the sticky mass of webs in Shelob’s cave back on Cirith Ungol janitorial duty, but he couldn’t place the exact look of the aviary creature that, for all he knew, was a figment of his orc imagination brought on by a night of partying on Gorgoroth Party Plain.

Fetching a small plate for himself, Kransha sauntered jollily to the lavish tables, decked with every sort of food imaginable. He quickly rooted through the finest delicacies, omitting every imperfect foodstuff from his very sight as he dipped conservatively into the well of edible material. As he continued on into the nearest bar tent to sit down in a more subdued atmosphere, he looked down hungrily at the platter he’d constructed for himself, which at the moment consisted of a Everholt Boar Burger, some cheesecake stuffed with strange-scented Gallows-Weed, several ample strips of lemon-sprinkled venison, a trio of bramble pies, and a whole handful of Turkish Delight (to be devoured first and foremost).

He took a seat coolly on one of the jutting bar stools. Smiling to himself over the food, hovering above the plate like a ferocious feline ready to pounce, he made the dire mistake of looking to his right. The poor orc couldn’t help but stare at the figure he saw, which, in his keen green eyes, could barely be called a figure. It looked much more like a brimming mass of twisted metal, but after Kransha gave it swift inspection, he found that this ‘person’ was more or less a mass of pots, pans, and a number of things that were either pots, pans, or something else. The orc always avoided rudeness, but he found his beady little orbs fixed irreverently on the being, his jaw narrowly avoiding a long fall to the floor. He took acknowledging notice of a girl who was curiously rattling an oversized stick against the pan man’s pots. He managed to turn his eyes away, nodding politely to the fellow as the smell of his food wafted through a pair of great nostrils set upon his snout.

As he refocused on the food, he felt a very horrible feeling come over him. He knew what it was instantly, and resisted the urge to utter some foul curse in the Black Speech as he realized what was happening (his mouth was too busy pouring out saliva for him to say such a thing anyway). Orc genetics did funny things, as Kransha knew. Now, Halflings and their kin obviously had a love of food, but there relishing of it was more in fun. Orcs had a very primal way of dealing with food, and even a cultured uruk such as Kransha could not fight his hereditary instincts. He fought them all the same, but it was too late already. The orc’s head plunged forward with ravenous intensity and, for almost a minute, was buried in his plate, from which a veritable cornucopia of gnashing and munching noises emerged as the contents of Kransha’s plate splattered everywhere around him in a surprisingly wide radius. Bits of Turkish Delight soared across the innards of the pavilion. After a lagging moment of extremely loud eating sounds, the orc emerged from what remained of his delicatessens. As he pupils halted their dilation, Kransha realized what he’d done.

“Blasted orc table manners.” he mumbled with caustic irritation to himself as he attempted to clean the great mess from his chin and face. He looked around very nervously; fumbling with a handkerchief stuffed into his coat pocket and swiped all the clinging venison chunks from his lips. As he dabbed mercilessly at his face, he felt another uncomfortable sensation surging up his throat. The hapless uruk, whose day this most certainly was not, let loose a rather incendiary belch that blew his empty plate right off the bar and over behind it, where it flew forward and ripped right through the pavilion wall. As a shocked shriek could be heard from outside, Kransha promptly covered his mouth and gulped.

“Excuse me.”
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Old 05-01-2004, 08:33 PM   #37
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Elbereth nervously put her hand to her hair to make sure her kerchief was in place. Her hands were cold and sweaty; this was the first time she'd been here and she was nervous. What if my friends aren't here yet? I wouldn't know what to say to strangers, Elbereth thought nervously. She took a deep breath and straightened her royal blue linen skirt and matching bodice. She brushed the soil off the silver embroidery on the neckline, and stepped inside.

Immediatly, the noise and smells nearly overcame her. She clutched her basket tightly and looked for a sign of her friends; sqeaky hammers, an Agent lofty shirt, mabye even a penguin. Anything.
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Old 05-01-2004, 09:56 PM   #38
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The crowd around the gate had cleared somewhat by the time Saraphim strode up the lane. A huge, wicked smile was on her face, a leather pack on her back, and her best dress was dancing lively around her feet in the dust.

As the mischievous-looking young woman walked imposingly through the opening, she looked around as if daring the party-goers to dispute her late appearance. None did, of course, and Saraphim marched resolutly up to the tree and mound and opened her pack.

Out came a wad of packing material that was soon divested to reveal an ornate dragon carving, made of some green stone, and polished to an glorious shine.

Setting the carving carefully on the table, Saraphim stepped back and yelled: "Congratulations, O Wight of the Barrow-Downs!"

Having shown proper respect, Saraph turned and left to find a good pint, and perhaps her friends.
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Old 05-01-2004, 10:55 PM   #39
Eowyn Skywalker
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White Tree

"Oooo!!! A PARTY!!" Eowyn Skywalker screamed, because she hadn't realized that there was a party going on, and she loved parties as much as food, and tormenting Luke Skywalker.

The elvish, hobbitish, humanish girl jumped around. "Happy birthday, Barrow-wight!" she shouted, as she felt the need to make herself heard. After screaming delightedly, she entered into the party scene, and made herself at home around the food, one destinctly hobbit personality, though she was quite human.

After eating some food (she never ate too much...), she pulled out her gift to the Barrow-wight, a shiny medal pole, complements of the Middle-earthian conspiritors of the purple dye, and left it (nicely wrapped) on the table by the barrow-- a rather creepy place, in her opinion. And how did a barrow get to the Shire? Eowyn Skywalker wondered, but gave up on wondering. It was, after all, a party. And that could explain everything, including the twisted canon.

She decided to look around to see if there was anyone that she knew in the whereabouts, as, being a party, there should've been a few people that she knew.. or knew of.

Eowyn looked around, but there was no sign of squeaky hammers, medal poles, purple dye, garlic (for which she was grateful, though she herself was known for the garlic at times), or anything else that she recognized, though she thought she knew one female, an Elbereth Varda, but she wasn't too sure. She was not that well known around those of the squeaky hammers.

Ah well, Eowyn Skywalker sighed. There was only one way to figure out if she knew this one. She straightened her cloak, and went over to talk to the blue-clothed female that may've been of Rivendell.
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Old 05-01-2004, 11:02 PM   #40
Oddwen
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From the cold North strode a figure. At first glance, it appeared to be wearing a Jawa cloak (darn you Tweak!) but as it got closer, it settled into a young woman wearing a homemade cloak affixed by a pin that read "Down with Low-Carb!"

After wiping the snow from her glasses, she strode purposefully up to the gate and through.

Looking around, the party seemed to be off to a good start. The table did seem to be indeed laden down with all kinds of good, wholesome food. Her pan of applecrisp soon joined the melée.

She then edged over to the party tree, skirting the mound at a respective distance and climbed nervously up to the stage. After staring doe-like for a moment, she began to sing:


Without getting out of my chair,
I can learn all things of Tolkien
Without looking up from my screen
I can know the ways of Arda
The farther one travels, the more one misses
I'd miss the Barrowdowns
Without getting out of my chair,
I can learn all things of Tolkien
Without looking up from my screen
I can know the ways of Arda
The farther one travels, the more one misses
I'd miss the Barrowdowns
Search all before posting, I just love the color scheme,
Do the Wave for the Disco King!


"Though it doesn't give justice enough," she muttered as the hubbub caused by the extremely loud sitars died down. Hastily, she walked to the table and deposited her mathom - a small green glass bead, though cunningly made.

"I won't ask you to wear it," she called politely.

And now, off to the tables.
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