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Old 05-05-2020, 01:44 AM   #81
piosenniel
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Pio pulled her chair about so that she faced the table. Crossing her arms on the table’s top she scrunched down and rested her chin on them. The fingers of her left hand drew lazy little spirals in the rings of ale condensed there from their many mugs.

Angara stretched out her neck and came snout to nose with the Elf.

“I had some doubts about this party,’ the dragon remarked, her head nodding slightly. Her tail swished lightly across the wooden surface, coming to rest as it curled beneath her chin. “But I must say the food offerings are quite tasty. And I applaud the resident barrel-master on the excellent wine, not to mention that ambrosial brew – the dark ale, especially.” As if to punctuate her approval, Angara gave a toothy grin.

“Glad it’s come up to your standards, Old One!” Pio returned. Noticing a half full plate of beef ribs nestled alongside a small mound of crisped tater slices, she reached out and pulled it nearer her companion. “Might as well polish these off, my dear – other wise they’ll be relegated to the slops bucket and it’s the pigs that will be enjoying them.”

“Hmmph!” Angara snorted. “I hope you are not comparing me to a pig!” She eyed the proffered plate and took in the scent of meat and taters. “For one thing, pigs cannot fly. And for another, they are my tasty morsels – I am not theirs.” The last few words of her declaration were muffled and she munched of the beef, her strong jaws crunching through the bone as if it were nothing. “Say,” she went on having swallowed the first mouthful. “Don’t we know that fellow over there?” She raised her head up high and nodded toward a table across the way.

Pio raised up in her chair, surveying the area of the room her companion indicated.

He was turned away from her, so she just caught a small portion of his face. His black hair was unremarkable, and if she narrowed her gaze she caught a few glints of silvered grey tucked in among the ebon. He wore a grey velvety sort of jerkin, white shirt, and the loudest pair of royal blue breeches she had seen in a very long time. He looked well nourished, at least from the back – his jerkin showed some tight creases in the back as he moved in his chair. “Hmmmm… seems familiar,” she murmured. His companion, she noted, was a well attired Uruk.

But wait. Who’s that?” Her eyes had caught a small black and silvered dragon resting near the man.

Angara snorted, giving a sly grin followed closely by a rumbly chuckle. “Mastered that form, hasn’t she?”

“You didn’t think to tell me Bird was here?” Pio asked, her eyes narrowing at her companion.

“We dragons don’t intrude on each other. And besides – where’s that keen elvish eyesight that misses nothing? If you hadn’t been throwing back those mugs of ale and showing off your singing, you’d no doubt have noticed. And furthermore…” The remainder of Angara’s comment was cut off as Pio began laughing.

“And so that fellow you first pointed out - the one in the bright blue pants. That’s Mith, isn’t it?” She stood up, hands on hips, and gave him an appraising once over.

“By the One, I wondered what he’d got in to. “
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Old 05-05-2020, 06:39 PM   #82
Envinyatar
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Envinyatar has just left Hobbiton.
The din of the party had ebbed. Envinyatar surveyed the hall, noting the guests had sorted themselves into smaller groups. Bodies leaned in more closely to each other. Talk grew quieter, punctuated by laughter at some shared joke or some funny remembrance. Even the lights seemed softer.

And how fortunate a boon is that! he noted to himself. The softer, lower lights smoothed out age’s natural ravages of long-gone youth. Ghosties moving through a pretty dream.

A slight shake of his head and the room came back into a more present view. Guests took on their ordinary guises. The voices crept up in volume. The view from where he leaned against a back wall grew sharper.

‘Hey, Arry,” he said, moving more toward the corner where his friend sat, chairback propped against the wall. Arry looked up from his guitar, his fingers still picking out the notes to some tune.

“Pio seems a little busy back at the table. Looks like she’s spotted another friend.” He lifted his chin a little indicating where Pio pointed at a group farther across the room. “And to be honest, I’ve had my fun seeing her again and you, too.” He smiled and gave a quick wink to Arry. “But I have plans to travel south. I need to get going.”

Envinyatar clasped hands with Arry and added. “Say good-bye to the Elf for me. I was never good at doing that. And Angara, too, if you will.” He reached into an inner pocket of his leather vest. “Give this to Pio – I found it in a rocky cave along the western shores. It’s a relic from the Old Fellow’s time.” He pointed to a bright crystal jewel in the middle of the slender box-like object. “Just press here and she’ll hear his voice.” He handed the device to Arry. “Quite amazing, really.” He started walking toward the door. “I think she’ll like it. I did.”

With a quick wave to his friend Envinyatar made his way to the Great Hall’s door. Opening it quietly, he stepped out into the falling dark.
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Old 05-05-2020, 08:07 PM   #83
Mithadan
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Mithadan has been trapped in the Barrow!
Mithadan chatted with Lindo, musing upon their old journeys and the friends that they had known but had gone by the wayside as time passed. He smiled. "Those were good times," he thought. "Maybe dangerous and stressful, but still memories to be savored."

He shook his head. "Perhaps," he said. "Perhaps you might sing Maura's Lament before the night is out?"

Lindo's face clouded a bit. "That song if full of sorrow," Lindo replied.

"Do not confuse sorrow with evil," responded Mithadan. "We are better for having known him and Cami." Bird, her mouth stuffed with meat from a pasty, one of several on her plate, nodded agreement. Then she swallowed and raised her snout into the air, as if sampling a passing scent. Her eyes narrowed.

"Do you smell something?" she asked. "Like burning charcoal? Or brimstone? Maybe mixed with barbeque sauce? The spicy kind, not the sweet kind. Vinegary, not fruity. Maybe with a bit of five-spice. Or maybe..."

"I smell only food and good drink," he answered. "There is meat cooking upon a brazier over there..." He pointed, then paused, and his eyes narrowed as well. "Now there's a bit of trouble," he muttered.

"Where?" Bird took to the air and spun about. A stream of smoke issued from her nostrils as she readied for... another small dragon perched on the shoulder of a figure wearing a cloak. She had curly hair... she! Curly! "PIO!"

Flames spouted from Bird's mouth. Then, like a burning arrow, she shot off toward her friend and old partner in adventure.
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Old 05-06-2020, 08:35 AM   #84
Estelyn Telcontar
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Estelyn Telcontar has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!Estelyn Telcontar has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!Estelyn Telcontar has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!Estelyn Telcontar has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!Estelyn Telcontar has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!Estelyn Telcontar has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!Estelyn Telcontar has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!Estelyn Telcontar has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!Estelyn Telcontar has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!Estelyn Telcontar has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!
With the innate modesty only a truly Elven shieldmaiden possesses, a stunningly beautiful female entered the ballroom. The star-gem-studded deep blue gown she wore vied with her smile for brilliance, her golden hair rippled down beyond her trim waistline, and her violet eyes were obviously searching for someone. Yet her sensitive nature alerted her to the fact that a festivity was in progress, and she listened to others declaim their poetry with true interest. Here indeed were works worthy of performance, written by great poets who eclipsed the one she remembered from the Quest of the Entish Bow, Vogonwë, as the Sun eclipses all other heavenly bodies during the daytime.

She searched her long and perfect memory for something she could contribute, a work that would both honour the Great Maker of Middle-earth himself as well as the world in which she had spent many ages, Muddled-Mirth. And so when there was a lull in the conversations, she stepped into the spotlight and recited:

We RPG and libel it just so,
(for parody it is, the Entish Bow);
we write a post and read with smiling face
one of the many major wastes of space:
a sword’s a sword, some metal in a sheath
compelled to speak or to condemn to death.
Amid the serious, canon, lofty tales,
here, influence of moderators pales.

At bidding of a Plot, which we do bend
(and must), we only dimly apprehend;
the Itship marches on, as Game unrolls
from dark beginnings to uncertain goals;
and as on screen ‘tis written without clue,
with letters green on background black in hue,
an endless multitude of posts appear,
some grim, some frail, some wonderful, some queer.

The REB is not compound of lies,
but draws some humour from the only Wise,
and still recalls him. Though now long enstranged,
he turneth in his grave, and every change
the faithful Travestometer doth see;
we hold in honour creativity
and splinter from the true LotR
our many hues with no intent to mar
the memory of him who’s now decayed.
We write still by the model which he made.


Then Merisuwyniel stepped back and her eyes found the one on whom all her thoughts rested...
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'Mercy!' cried Gandalf. 'If the giving of information is to be the cure of your inquisitiveness, I shall spend all the rest of my days in answering you. What more do you want to know?' 'The whole history of Middle-earth...'

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Old 05-06-2020, 12:07 PM   #85
Morthoron
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Morthoron is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Morthoron is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Morthoron is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Morthoron is lost in the dark paths of Moria.
Estelyn gave Morthoron a subtle wink, for she well knew that parody and satire were hallmarks of Moriquendi culture (hence, "Dark" Elves). Morth took the cue and ran with it.

"Minor characters," he intoned so that his baritone growl echoed unto the furthest recesses of the hall, "are the very stuff of what you mortals call 'fan-fiction'. To build a plot around a personage who was mentioned in passing, who barely had a bit of scripted dialogue, and who had no part to play in the greater story line, is, suffice it to say, the sophomoric act of making Mordor out of a molehill."

The Dark Elf threw back his cloak for added effect and concluded, "Therefore, in honor of that time-tested tradition, I give you a song - a ballad as it were - of just such a character. One not so noble, not very heroic, and certainly not worthy of the time it took for me to come up with the rhyme scheme. In any case, drink up, for the drunker you are, the better I shall sound:

Bill Ferny was a brute of a man -- yes, he was!
Bill Ferny was a brute of a man -- yes, he was!
His character was minor,
And his grammar weren't much finer,
Yes, Bill Ferny was a brute of a man.


O, he was a man who lived in Bree,
Just like the whole damned Ferny family.
Bree-Men had names from botany
Like Goatleaf, Butterbur and Photosyntheses --
Photosyntheses?
Plural, if you please.

Don't ask Bill for a piece of his mind,
Or engage in pleasantries to pass the time.
Just be prepared to suffer a crime --
The greedy bugger would rob you blind!
Rob you blind?
Watch your behind!

Bill Ferny was a brute of a man -- yes, he was!
Bill Ferny was a brute of a man -- yes, he was!
He used the mild expletive 'garn'
That's synonymous with 'darn',
Yes, Bill Ferny was a brute of a man.


O, he had a house on the edge of town,
Crackerjack built and quite rundown,
With an overgrown hedge that ran around
To hide his lawn unmowed and brown.
Unmowed and brown?
A toxic dumping ground!

And in his house with the broken panes
That ne'er kept out the wind and rain,
Did naughty acts better left unnamed
With sheep and chickens and ibex from Spain!
Ibex from Spain?
It rhymes with rain!

Bill Ferny was a brute of a man -- yes, he was!
Bill Ferny was a brute of a man -- yes, he was!
He was a secret spy of Sharky
Whose retorts were always snarky,
Yes, Bill Ferny was a brute of a man.


O, Bill sold Sam a broken nag
For 12 silver pennies in a burlap bag,
And in delight he hid his swag
Beneath a pile of dirty old f*gs!
Dirty old f*gs?
Did I stutter? Did I lag?

And when at last they rode from Bree,
Frodo and Strider and the whole company,
Bill did sneer, but was forced to flee,
When Sam, apple-tossing, hit his nose with glee!
That line sucked!
Who gives a......

*Ahem*

Bill Ferny was a brute of a man -- yes, he was!
Bill Ferny was a brute of a man -- yes, he was!
There ain't much more to say,
But I'll say it anyway --
Yes, Bill Ferny was a brute of a man.
No, there ain't no more to speak
Cos' I've got to to take a leak,
But Bill Ferny was a brute of a man....


Cha-cha-cha!
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Last edited by Morthoron; 05-06-2020 at 01:22 PM.
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Old 05-07-2020, 02:40 AM   #86
piosenniel
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Angara’s eyes went wide in disbelief, a half-chewed rib-bone dropping from her mouth. A flaming missile had launched itself in her direction. Had that pretender-wyrm gone suddenly mad!

I thought you said she had mastered the form! Pio’s words beat a loud tattoo in Angara’s mind.

With barely a heartbeat between the sighting of flames and the hammering of words in her head, Angara grew larger in size and knocked the Elf down, sweeping her beneath a table, far to the left of the fiery winged arrow headed their way. The flames would barely register against her own scaled hide and she intended her larger mass to be a cushion for the smaller dragon to bump into – and hopefully just fall to the floor.

In the rushed action she had not taken into account a fundamental old M-E axiom – Best laid plans etc. etc. . . .

Bird’s swift, flaming-snouted, densely compact body hit the larger Wyrm’s belly with considerable force. All equations, and vector diagrams, and complicated physics-maths aside – the two muscled and strong-boned, steely tendoned creatures went crashing against the back wall of the ballroom.

And through it . . .

Pio crawled out from beneath the table and clambered over the wreckage of wood and plaster and rent tapestry hangings. Kicking a once elegantly wrought sconce out of the way, she approached the final landing area of the dragons.

‘Well, isn’t this just a fine kettle of wyrms!’ she snorted, shaking her head. But where she had expected to see two dragons, there was now only one smallish gold one. ‘Lord & Lady! Angara – tell me you didn’t swallow her whole!” Angara puffed out her cheeks and spit out a sodden and bedraggled looking largish cricket. “Nope, I didn’t swallow her, now did I?”

neek-breek breek-neek neek-breek . . . came the irritated outcry from the pile of rubble where the Neekerbreeker now perched. In less than the time it takes to draw a breath, a slender woman clothed in leather breeches and a cotton tunic now stood face to face with Pio. Bird laughed, wiping a gob of dragon spittle from her cheek, and winked at her old friend.

“So, how’d you like that entrance?”
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Old 05-10-2020, 03:39 AM   #87
Estelyn Telcontar
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Estelyn Telcontar has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!Estelyn Telcontar has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!Estelyn Telcontar has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!Estelyn Telcontar has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!Estelyn Telcontar has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!Estelyn Telcontar has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!Estelyn Telcontar has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!Estelyn Telcontar has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!Estelyn Telcontar has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!Estelyn Telcontar has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!
Truth be told, Merisuwyniel found herself somewhat in awe as she gazed about the room. Though she herself was ruler of a realm, here were those Great Makers who had created her entire world of Muddled-Mirth and brought to life the beings who populated it. She saw Thenamir and recalled his unusual technical abilities. There was Mithadan, whose creation had a special place in her heart and whose loyerly advice had helped in many situations. There also was The Saucepan Man, knowledgeable in arcane mythical legends and speaker of the strange language of Legalese. She observed The Squatter of Amon Rűdh, whom she knew in various incarnations, then peered about in hopes of seeing The Barrow-Wight himself, but she could not espy him. She was happy to see that Bęthberry had come, for she was a congenial companion in many guises.

Then she approached piosennial, of whom she had heard from afar, but never yet met. She waited hesitantly until the lady was no longer in conversation with others, and spoke: "Lady Piosennial, may I have a word with you?"

Pio smiled, "As many as you like, my dear! What is on your mind?"

"It has been many years since my story was told," she said. "The circumstances of my life have changed since then, and what is the use of having a realm of my own if I cannot brag - I mean, if I cannot share the experience with others? Will you grant me a small part of your realm to continue my tale?"
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'Mercy!' cried Gandalf. 'If the giving of information is to be the cure of your inquisitiveness, I shall spend all the rest of my days in answering you. What more do you want to know?' 'The whole history of Middle-earth...'
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Old 05-10-2020, 11:20 PM   #88
piosenniel
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"Lady Piosennial, may I have a word with you?"

At the sound of that honeyed, and exquisitely modulated, question the three companions turned about. Their three pairs of eyes fixed on the vision that now stood mere inches from them, her dainty feet in the dusty rubble of the now destroyed section of the ballroom’s wall. Amazingly so, not one speck of dirt or mote of dust clung to her slippers. And it seemed the hem of her raiment, as if by some olden magics, seemed to inch up as needed so as not to encounter the dusty, dirty floor.

Bird leaned in close to Pio’s ear, asking sotto voce, “Do I have a concussion from that tumble?” She gave the apparition a slow once over. “’Cuz I swear I’m seeing someone from ages ago in one of our Dragons and Dungeons games!! – Laydeee Piosenniel” From behind the both of them, Angara gave a snort indicating both her agreement and her amusement.

Pio tapped Bird lightly on the shin with her boot, while ignoring completely the commentary from the Wyrm. She swiped her dusty hands quickly on her vest and stepped forward to greet the newcomer. Instructions, heard long ago from one who had thought to train her in court-like etiquette, rose up in her mind. She smiled and nodded toward the woman and remembered to speak politely.

“What is on your mind m’Lady?” she offered.

Pio nodded as the woman began her story. Her minded drifted, the effects of too many mugs and not enough food during the evening. She did manage to bring her attention back around just as the lady said, “…Will you grant me a small part of your realm to continue my tale?"

“My ‘realm’?” Pio asked, her brow furrowed. Bird and Angara were now convulsed in none too silent laughter. “Might I ask what ‘realm’ that might be?”
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Old 05-11-2020, 08:59 AM   #89
Estelyn Telcontar
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Estelyn Telcontar has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!Estelyn Telcontar has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!Estelyn Telcontar has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!Estelyn Telcontar has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!Estelyn Telcontar has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!Estelyn Telcontar has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!Estelyn Telcontar has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!Estelyn Telcontar has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!Estelyn Telcontar has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!Estelyn Telcontar has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!
"If my memory of the golden Âr-Pé-In days of yore still holds true, you are the one who holds the keys and can grant me the right to tell my story there. And who knows, mayhap I can encourage others to share theirs as well. Are you willing and able to do this for me?" Merisuwyniel asked.
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'Mercy!' cried Gandalf. 'If the giving of information is to be the cure of your inquisitiveness, I shall spend all the rest of my days in answering you. What more do you want to know?' 'The whole history of Middle-earth...'
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Old 05-12-2020, 03:12 PM   #90
piosenniel
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Ah! The sconce was now lit in a dim and cob-webbed cellar room of Pio’s mind. “That realm!” she nodded.

She reached into the back pocket of her leather leggings and pulled out a thin, black, rectangular object. Just a little larger than the palm of her left hand. Its face was smooth and rather mirror-like. And with a light tap of her forefinger, the mirrored surface lit up and seemed to come to life with tiny little, and rather odd-looking, pictures. Or symbols, really. With a practiced rhythm, Pio tapped here and there, revealing other scenes seemingly captured behind the mirror.

‘Here we go,” Pio said, glancing up from the device with a smile to the lady. “I have to say I haven’t traveled in those lands for ages now. And the memories are quite dim. Although…” Her face lit up with a smile as the picture of a flag from a ship she’d once sailed on appeared - The Lonely Star.

Shaking loose from those pleasant, but now passed, scenes, the Elf brought up a picture of golden letters on a black background. Interspersed with the golden letters was a smaller ghastly sort of green writing. “Just have to log in here as Moderator,” she explained, tapping a few more places on the screen. She glanced up at the befuddled look on the lady’s face as well as on that of her other companions. “Uh… yeah… ‘log in’ is a sort of secret word for ‘keys’. And ‘moderator’ is my title in that realm – kind of like ‘Queen’ or ‘Princess’ but without a bevy of handmaidens and servants or a steady flow of monies or treasures flowing in for the use of my time and energy.”

“There you go, m’Lady,” Pio exclaimed, glad to have remembered the URL, her password, and the general layout of the Âr-Pé-In realm.

“Just click your heels together three times and you’ll find yourself there – with as many as you’d like to bring along for company.” She made a final tap on her device and the mirror blackened as she slid it back into her pocket.

“Oh, and by the way, I’ve left you a message in the Âr-Pé-In Game Planning & Discussion barrow of my, ummm, realm. Very easy to find," she said in an assuring tone.

"Have fun!!!”
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Old 05-12-2020, 06:16 PM   #91
Arry
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Arry has just left Hobbiton.
Arry watched as Envinyatar crossed the room and slipped out the door. “I sure hope our paths cross again,” he murmured to himself. Seems like an interesting man – lot deeper than he lets on.

Glancing around the room he noted that the demolition of a section of wall by the two dragons had not seemed to perturb most of the party-goers. He had not been to a previous party and wondered what outrageous incidents might have occurred that the partiers were immune to such events.

Pio, he saw, was still in conversation with a very beautiful lady. Serious conversation, it appeared. Arry rubbed his chin thoughtfully, wondering what that was all about. Was the woman planning on hiring Miz Pio? Behind them, still looking a bit bedraggled, was Angara and another woman. He narrowed his eyes trying to picture her more closely. “I wonder if that’s the Elf’s old friend she talks about so fondly.” His brow furrowed as he dug deep for a name. “Bird”, he said aloud, nodding his head in confirmation. “That must be her! Looks just like the way Miz Pio described her.”

Remembering the strange device Enivinyatar had given him, Arry reached into his vest pocket where he’d placed it. “I wonder what this does?” He sat down at the table and placed the slender box-like object on the table’s top, turning it around slowly to see all sides. His eyes were drawn toward bright crystal jewel in the top of the box. “Vin said he’d found it in a cave by the western sea. And it’s from the Old Fellow’s time.” Arry picked it up for a closer look. “How cool is all that!!!”

He put it down once again in front of him. Trusting nothing too outrageous would happen if he gave it a try, Arry pushed the crystal button as Envinyatar had instructed. There was a quiet click followed by a soft hum. Then a rich voice sang out as if the singer were right here next to him.

“It really is him, the Old Fellow, Mister Tolkien, himself!!!”

Troll sat alone on his seat of stone,
And munched and mumbled a bare old bone;
For many a year he had gnawed it near,
For meat was hard to come by.
Done by! Gum by!
In a cave in the hills he dwelt alone,
And meat was hard to come by.

Up came Tom with his big boots on.
Said he to Troll: ‘Pray, what is yon?
For it looks like the shin o’ my nuncle Tim,
As should be a-lyin’ in graveyard.
Caveyard! Paveyard!
This many a year has Tim been gone,
And I thought he were lyin’ in graveyard.’

‘My lad,’ said Troll, ‘this bone I stole.
But what be bones that lie in a hole?
Thy nuncle was dead as a lump o’lead,
Afore I found his shinbone.
Tinbone! Thinbone!
He can spare a share for a poor old troll,
For he don’t need his shinbone.’

Said Tom: ‘I don’t see why the likes o’ thee
Without axin’ leave should go makin’ free
With the shank or the shin o’ my father’s kin;
So hand the old bone over!
Rover! Trover!
Though dead he be, it belongs to he;
So hand the old bone over!’

‘For a couple o’ pins,’ says Troll, and grins,
‘I’ll eat thee too, and gnaw thy shins.
A bit o’ fresh meat will go down sweet!
I’ll try my teeth on thee now.
Hee now! See now!
I’m tired o’ gnawing old bones and skins;
I’ve a mind to dine on thee now.’

But just as he thought his dinner was caught,
He found his hands had hold of naught.
Before he could mind, Tom slipped behind
And gave him the boot to larn him.
Warn him! Darn him!
A bump o’ the boot on the seat, Tom thought,
Would be the way to larn him.

But harder than stone is the flesh and bone
Of a troll that sits in the hills alone.
As well set your boot to the mountain’s root,
For the seat of a troll don’t feel it.
Peel it! Heal it!
Old troll laughed, when he heard Tom groan.
And he knew his toes could feel it.

Tom’s leg is game, since home he came,
And his bootless foot is lasting lame;
But Troll don’t care, and he’s still there
With the bone he boned from its owner.
Doner! Boner!
Troll’s old seat is still the same,
And the bone he boned from its owner!



Sam’s Rhyme of the Troll
--- J. R. R. Tolkien
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Old 05-17-2020, 01:59 PM   #92
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But harder than stone is the flesh and bone
Of a troll that sits in the hills alone.
As well set your boot to the mountain’s root,
For the seat of a troll don’t feel it.
Peel it! Heal it! . . .


The voice of the Old Fellow came to her ears just as she finished her conversation with the lovely Lady. Try as she might, the Elf could not recall having met her, and no name sprang to her mind even as if might have been mentioned in some passing conversation. The Lady did seem as if she might be an interesting person to get to know. She was from out of town, Pio guessed, trying to place her pattern of speech. And the seemingly archaic references she had used made the Elf curious as to just exactly where and when she had come from.

“Better keep an eye on her,” Pio murmured to herself. “Didn’t see any obvious weaponry about her – but it always pays to be on the cautious side.” She turned to see Bird and Angara giving the Lady’s departing form a curious appraisal. “Don’t ask,” she said, shrugging her shoulders. “I don’t know either!!”

Bird, with a now small Angara perched on her should, pointed at a table inside the Great Hall. ‘Don’t sees how we can fix this at the moment,” she said, gesturing at the dusty rubble where the wall had collapsed. “But let’s go sit over there and catch up. Haven’t seen you in ages!” Bird laughed at her words. “Ages! Get it – Ages!” She punched Pio in the shoulder to emphasize her point.

Angara, for her part, rolled her eyes and snorted.

Once they’d sat down, with the dragon settling comfortably on the table top. Bird waved over a server and ordered drinks all around, including a bowl for Anagara. “Now,” she began having taken a satisfying swig of ale. “What’s going on with you? “I noticed you came alone?” Angara cleared her throat at this question. “Oh,” said Bird, “alone with Angara then, right?”

Pio narrowed her eyes at her friend. “Yes, we came together . . .” She looked at the Wyrm. “And yes, it has been ages. All our kids are now grown and their children’s children, too.” Brushing her fingers lightly on the table to give herself a little time to consider how much to say, she nodded her head slowly, “We’re just tramping around a bit. Seeing some of this part of the wilds.” And, of course, seeing a few old friends,” she went on. “Before we head south . . .”
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Old 05-17-2020, 10:53 PM   #93
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When the song finished, the crystal button on the device went dim. Arry picked the little song box up and placed it carefully in his vest pocket. He looked over to where Pio and her two companions were seated close together at a table, deep in conversation. Gathering up his guitar and rucksack he made his way over to where the Elf sat.

“Hey, can a fellow buy you all another round of ale?” He flashed his best smile at the three.
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Old 05-19-2020, 12:04 AM   #94
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“Before we head south…”

Just that half sentence had captured Bird’s attention. She leaned in closer to Pio, her eyes narrowing. “South,” she echoed. “Now isn’t that interesting. You know, I…” Her stream of thought was cut off by a politely voiced, “Hey, can a fellow buy you all another round of ale?”

Angara sidled up to Arry, answering his smile with a toothy grin of her own. “Why, yes, my dear Arry. That would be just the thing” She managed a dry cough as if to emphasize her point. “I don’t know what these two want, but would you mind getting this old Wyrm one of those delicious looking bright green drinks with the frothy topping?” her long thin tongue flicked out and licked at her upper lip. “I heard someone say it’s made with juniper berries gathered at the summer solstice. And most delicately infused with wild flowers and a dash of refreshing herbs.” Angara closed her eyes and seemed to actually be purring at the thought. "Sounds quite delectable, doesn’t it,” she said, nudging Pio with a talon.

Pio arched her brows at the description of the drink. “Delectable? Maybe…. But do you think you should have that on top of the ale you’ve already downed?” Angara gave her a dismissive lift of her snout. "Thank you for the offer, Arry,” Pio went on. “And yes, we’d like to take you up on your offer!”

Bird added her thanks too, looking the young man up and down. “Friend of Pio’s?” she asked. “I’m Bird,” she said introducing herself as she extended her hand.
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Old 05-19-2020, 06:02 PM   #95
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“Very happy to meet you, Miz Bird!” Arry shook her offered hand firmly, a smile lighting up his face. “I’ve heard lots of grand stories from Miz Pio about her adventures with you. Glad to put a face to her travel companion.” As he finished, he realized he still held Bird’s hand and was still shaking it. A red tinge crept down his cheeks. Letting go her hand, he nodded to the three ladies and said he would be straight back with the agreed upon drinks.

The line was short, and it was just a bit later that he returned with a pitcher of ale, three fresh mugs, and one of those tall and rather dreadful looking bright green drinks – this one with any extra layer of frothy topping and some gold colored sprinkles. “Here we are, m’ladies,” he said setting the drinks on the table. He dared a wink at Angara as he positioned her glass within her easy reach. Picking up the pitcher, then, he poured a mug each for the Elf and Bird and himself.

He settled in a chair, his guitar close at hand and his rucksack tucked neatly on the floor beneath his seat. He was about to take a drink when he recalled the device Envinyatar had left for him to give to Miz Pio. “Oh, say, Miz Pio, I’ve something here that Envinyatar wanted me to give you.” Arry dipped his fingers into his vest pocket and pulled out the device, placing it flat on the table. The light from a nearby sconce seemed to infuse the crystal button on the top of the little rectangular box with a rainbow of lights. The crystal flared up and blazed for a moment.

“Envinyatar said he had to leave. And he wanted me to make his good-byes to you.” Arry shrugged his shoulders slightly. “Said he was no good at doing such. And he gave this to me, saying it was for you.” He pushed the small device toward the Elf. “He said he found it in a rocky cave along the western shores. It’s a relic from the Old Fellow’s time.” Arry pointed to the bright crystal jewel in the middle of the slender box-like object. “Just press there and you’ll hear a most amazingly wonderful thing.”

Arry smiled as Pio pressed down on the crystal. There was a small whirring noise and then a familiar voice began to tell a story.

Pio’s face lit with delight at the sound of the storyteller’s words:

The leaves were long, the grass was green,
The hemlock-umbels tall and fair,
And in the glade a light was seen
Of stars in shadow shimmering.
Tinúviel was dancing there
To music of a pipe unseen,
And light of stars was in her hair,
And in her raiment glimmering.

There Beren came from mountains cold,
And lost he wandered under leaves,
And where the Elven-river rolled
He walked alone and sorrowing.
He peered between the hemlock-leaves
And saw in wonder flowers of gold
Upon her mantle and her sleeves,
And her hair like shadow following.

Enchantment healed his weary feet
That over hills were doomed to roam;
And forth he hastened, strong and fleet,
And grasped at moonbeams glistening.
Through woven woods in Elvenhome
She lightly fled on dancing feet,
And left him lonely still to roam
In the silent forest listening.

He heard there oft the flying sound
Of feet as light as linden-leaves,
Or music welling underground,
In hidden hollows quavering.
Now withered lay the hemlock-sheaves,
And one by one with sighing sound
Whispering fell the beechen leaves
In the wintry woodland wavering.

He sought her ever, wandering far
Where leaves of years were thickly strewn,
By light of moon and ray of star
In frosty heavens shivering.
Her mantle glinted in the moon,
As on a hilltop high and far
She danced, and at her feet was strewn
A mist of silver quivering.

When winter passed, she came again,
And her song released the sudden spring,
Like rising lark, and falling rain,
And melting water bubbling.
He saw the elven-flowers spring
About her feet, and healed again
He longed by her to dance and sing
Upon the grass untroubling.

Again she fled, but swift he came.
Tinúviel! Tinúviel!
He called her by her elvish name,
And there she halted listening.
One moment stood she, and a spell
His voice laid on her: Beren came,
And doom fell on Tinúviel
That in his arms lay glistening.

As Beren looked into her eyes
Within the shadows of her hair,
The trembling starlight of the skies
He saw there mirrored shimmering.
Tinúviel the elven-fair,
Immortal maiden elven-wise,
About him cast her shadowy hair
And arms like silver glimmering.

Long was the way that fate them bore,
O'er stony mountains cold and grey,
Through halls of iron and darkling door,
And woods of nightshade morrowless.
The Sundering Seas between them lay,
And yet at last they met once more,
And long ago they passed away
In the forest singing sorrowless.


-----------------------------------------------
--- J.R.R Tolkien reading The Song of Beren and Lúthien
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Old 05-20-2020, 10:56 PM   #96
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The poem had come to an end – the device from which it had played became silent. Bird leaned her cheek against her hand, her arm resting on the table top. “Nice. Very nice,” she murmured. “Wasn’t it, Pio?” There was no immediate answer from her friend; the Elf looked faraway – lost in some long ago memories. Bird nudged her with her free hand.

Pio rubbed her hands together softly and came back slowly to the present. “Yes, very nice,” was her brief reply. She turned her attention to Arry. “Did Vin say anything else, Arry?”

Before Arry could answer, there was a loud slurrrrrp... followed by a softer burp. Angara lifted her snout from the now empty glass of green liquid, a thin mustache of whipped topping gracing her upper lip. “Say, Arry do you think you might find me another of these? And ask them to give it a generous shake of those gold sprinkles.” She looked about the table as her companions fixed her with doubtful stares. “What?” She sat back on her haunches and huffed a bit. “It’s a party, isn’t it?” Angara let out a long, satisfied sounding sigh. "Have not been to one in a very long time."
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Old 05-21-2020, 09:22 PM   #97
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Arry nodded his head at Angara’s request, though on looking closer it seemed as if the wyrm’s eyes were not quite tracking together. He looked toward Pio and Bird, his brows raised. “Looks like that was some potent potion Miz Angara,” he said turning back to the dragon. “And look at that line at the bar, will you!” He reached under his chair for his rucksack and pulled out a long, tight woven cloak. “Bit chilly in here, isn’t it, since that hole got knocked in the wall.” He flung the cloak over Angara, soothingly encouraging her to settle in and just rest a bit til he could bring her another drink.

After several more minutes of soft talk from Arry, Angara’s eyes closed and the low, even sound of her snoring became part of the background noise of the party. He looked up and saw the surprised faces of the Elf and Bird. “Grew up on a farm,” he began. “My Da raised sheep. And I learned to talk down the skittish Mamas about to have their lambs.” He grinned. ‘Didn't know if it would work on Miz Angara – I think the amount of spirits she drank down this evening helped a bit.”

Arry adjusted the cloak a little around the sleeping wyrm and then settled himself into a chair closer to Bird and Pio. “Now what was it you asked, Miz Pio?” He took a swig from his mug. “Right! About if Vin said anything else before he left.” He closed his eyes for a moment, recalling the scene of the man’s leave-taking. “Yes, now I remember. He said to give you his good-bye and a good-bye to Angara, too. And then he said he needed to be on his way. That he was headed south.” He looked at Pio with these last words. “And begging your pardon for eavesdropping, but didn’t I hear you saying something along the same lines when I came over to your table? Something about you heading south, too?”

He topped off the mugs of the two ladies, then sat back waiting to hear what the Elf would say.
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Old 05-23-2020, 11:38 PM   #98
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It was Bird who spoke up. “You know, I wanted to tell you a while ago that I was thinking about traveling down south myself.” She tapped Pio on the knee. “Don’t know if you recall, but I think I told you that there was some talk from the ones who fostered me that my people come from down there. Bird pursed her lips in thought. “I know hardly anything about my real kin,” she said quietly, her voice trailing off.

“Yes, I do remember.” Pio shifted her chair closer to her friend. “Look... I’ve had a letter from a friend in Far Harad. His family, and his clan, I should say, live there. He’s wanting me to come down. Something he wants to show me.’ She gave Bird a weighed look. “And,” Pio went on, “he asked if I’d seen you… and would you come, too.”

Bird leaned back in her chair, narrowing her eyes at the Elf. “Just how does this this fellow know my name?” She bent forward, close to Pio’s face, and spoke in a low, clear voice. “And, in particular, why does he think I’d be interested?”

Pio thought how she might put the answers in a good light. But then, this was her old companion – no need to present things other than just plainly. “Well, it’s like this, Bird… he’s a skin-changer, from a Maenwaith clan. I told him a little about you - the we were good friends. I shared some of your background. I asked if he could fill in some of the blanks for you. I was going down to see what’s what.”

“Going - without me?” Bird interjected.

“By the One, Bird! Not by choice! Hadn’t heard from you in years. Didn’t know where you were. Or how to reach you.” Pio laughed and shook her head. “As a last resort, I even tried ósanwe – but we were never good at that, were we?” Bird snorted and shook her head, ‘no’.

A momentary silence fell between the two companions, broken at last by the impetuous Elf.

“Soooo… how about I just throw this out there. Come along with me! It’ll be like old times.” Pio winked at her friend. “It’ll be fun!”
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Old 05-27-2020, 10:34 PM   #99
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“Hey! I’m in!” Arry leaned forward in his chair, his eyes shining. “I’ve never been to Gondor. Only once made it to the northern feet of the White Mountains.” He looked from Bird to Pio.

“I’m a pretty good companion on the road.” He started ticking off his positive qualities. “I won’t slow you down – been tramping most my young life. I’m good at hunting for meats and greens and tasty herbs from off the land. And, if I do say so myself, I’m a dab hand at cooking them.” He flexed his shoulders and biceps. “I can pretty much pull my weight in any situation.”

“And…” Arry picked up his guitar and picked out a tune. “I can keep you entertained when we camp.” He set his guitar back down and leaned forward once again.

He put on his most endearing smile. “So, when do we leave?”
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