The Barrow-Downs Discussion Forum


Visit The *EVEN NEWER* Barrow-Downs Photo Page

Go Back   The Barrow-Downs Discussion Forum > Roleplaying > Elvenhome
User Name
Password
Register FAQ Members List Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read


 
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 05-25-2006, 01:47 PM   #161
Huan
Haunting Spirit
 
Huan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Halls of Oromë
Posts: 56
Huan has just left Hobbiton.
Once the Halflings switched to their plain tipped arrows, Birger moved a little apart from them on the roof top. He fished about in his pocket and found his little sling. He grasped it in his right hand and dipped into the pouch of stones that he’d hung at his belt. His fingers felt a nice largish stone, one with some sharp corners here and there.

Birger spied out a certain wolf who was leaping and snapping at the birds and at the cats, too, who were darting in here and there to harry him. He took careful aim and let fly the missile toward the beast. It could not, of course, kill the wolf, but it hit him hard and sharp on his snout, causing him to cry out in pain.

One of the cats seized the opportunity and went flying toward the beast's head, his sharp front claws sinking into at least one of the wolf’s eyes as his back claws raked mercilessly at the already painful snout.
Huan is offline  
Old 05-25-2006, 01:51 PM   #162
Undómë
Shade of Carn Dûm
 
Undómë's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 400
Undómë has just left Hobbiton.
‘The battle, it would seem, is now full on . . .’

Old Goody reached down to the hound beside her and gave him a reassuring scratch between the ears. He whined a little, though not from fear. She could feel the current of excitement running just beneath his skin.

‘You’d like to be out there, wouldn’t you?’ she whispered down to him. ‘It’s where you belong isn’t it, old fellow. You were born to run the prey to ground and rend him limb from limb.’ The old hound thumped his tail hard and shivered with the anticipation of the hunt; the smell of blood, the taste of it strong in his memory.

She straightened up in her chair and let her gaze rest on the two tall men. The stood in the middle of the room, a quietness about them. Their forms reflected a certain ease despite the tumult in the courtyard of the inn and in their faces a surety of hope reposed.

‘The others have taken their place in the battle,’ she spoke aloud, watching them closely as their eyes slid to consider her. ‘Why are you not among them?’

Last edited by Undómë; 05-25-2006 at 11:12 PM.
Undómë is offline  
Old 05-26-2006, 02:42 AM   #163
Envinyatar
Quill Revenant
 
Envinyatar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Wandering through the Downs.....
Posts: 844
Envinyatar has just left Hobbiton.
Stamo’s long fingers curled about his staff as he leaned on it lightly. His head was cocked slightly as if to take in the whole of the sounds that played about the little building. He did not smile, only listened and nodded his head when certain of the night’s music rose above the seeming din . . . a certain harmony revealed.

It was Mori who answered the old woman’s question. And then with a half smile and nod of his own head, as if remembering some old admonition.

‘We attend to it as we may, Guðælfr Holtsdottir.’

His grey eyes considered the burning log. It was near spent, as were these last waning nights of the old year. The new was upon them, the tide turning toward the light. His voice took on a sing-songy note as he threw out the words they had first heard from her when they had entered the inn.

The Green Man gives us one of his great limbs to push back the darkness and holly from his hair with which to keep it lit. That and the good barley for the wassail, the wheat for the bread, and the fruits of the vine and flower for mead and wine. A good ‘un, he is.’ ‘Though he suffers no fools. ‘Pon you, it is, to keep from the darkness.’

Mori narrowed his eyes, nodding at her words.

‘Twas some wisdom you spoke. And glad are we that Men remember and keep to the task. For our part we can only lend what little wisdom we have, and hope that it will be enough. No power is given to us to lead your battles against the foe. And what might we may have had must be foregone when we are clothed in flesh and pressed with the fears of the world’s creatures. It is enough for us to have lent hand and eye and ear as we might to point you on your way.’

‘It goes well . . .’ Stamo’s words fell into the pause between his companion and the old woman. ‘. . . this little battle. Darkness and shadows recede; the fair light of morning comes again . . .’

Last edited by Envinyatar; 05-26-2006 at 11:00 AM.
Envinyatar is offline  
Old 05-26-2006, 09:04 PM   #164
littlemanpoet
Itinerant Songster
 
littlemanpoet's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: The Edge of Faerie
Posts: 7,049
littlemanpoet is a guest at the Prancing Pony.littlemanpoet is a guest at the Prancing Pony.
The shadow pulled away from the two-souled one, only half satisfied. This new one had power. Was power. But the shadow was strengthened by the animal soul. Not enough! This one's sword did strange things that only the shadow could see: he held it between them, slowly approaching. Who was this one? No man!

You are not of this Middle Earth.

I am of Oromé, foul one.

The shadow said nothing, made no thought. To do so would be to lose strength. The shadow made to flee.

Arato brought the sword down into the midst of the darkness. The shadow screamed in his mind. Then, as if a fire's black sooty smoke was made to return to the wood and flame, so the shadow hied itself to the black blade. In moments, the air was clear though cold. The sword was not the shadow's prison, but the door to that prison from which there was no escape.

Join your master, foul one.

He sheathed his blade and approached Mara, who knelt over the prone form of Wenda.

"Is she well? Or ill?"

"I know not!"

Then Wenda's eyes came open suddenly and she coughed. She recognized Mara, who helped her to sit up.

"Are you well, Wenda?"

She nodded. "But Pada and Muna! What of them? Where are they? Why can't I sense them?" Suddenly her eyes went wide and her mouth formed an 'O'. Then tears flooded her eyes; she did not wipe them away.

"What is the matter, Wenda?" Mara asked.

"It stole my reindeer shape!"

Wenda would never walk the earth on four hooves again. Mara held her close as she wept. Arato kept his distance, for Wenda did not know him well. He looked up and saw the Ent.

"Hoom! You have done a mighty thing, human with the dark sword. Hoom hom! The shadow will not return?"

"Nay, not ever."

"Hm! That is well. That is very well!"
littlemanpoet is offline  
Old 06-02-2006, 02:11 AM   #165
Huan
Haunting Spirit
 
Huan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Halls of Oromë
Posts: 56
Huan has just left Hobbiton.
The blazing arrows of the three Halflings had flown true. A number of wolves were ablaze and running about in panic. Others of the animals and birds were able to dash in and out among them striking blows. A couple of the wolves had already run off their tails tucked between their legs.

Birger had been able, too, to use his sling against the great beasts. He could not kill them, but he could irritate them no end with hard flung rocks to the heads and hindquarters. One wolf he had been especially lucky with – his flinty little missile had put out the beasts eye.

He could hear shouts coming up from the second story windows. Carr and Cook and several of the guests were calling for more water to put out the flames. There were many little puddles of oil on the grounds in the courtyard from the birds who had dropped their pouches of oil on the charging wolves. And some of the flames had crept near to the inn walls.

Birger could see that the Halflings and the others seemed to have the battle well in hand. He stuffed his sling in his pocket and crept back down to the attic and then down the short stairwell to the rooms where the others strove to put out the flames.

‘What can I do?’ he shouted to Carr as the man dumped a bucket of water down the outer wall of the building.

‘Fill the buckets, Birger,’ the older man shouted. The wolves are nearly routed, but now we need keep back the flames.

The boy picked up a number of buckets and ran down to the kitchen to fill them from the barrels there as fast as he could.

Last edited by Huan; 06-03-2006 at 11:54 AM.
Huan is offline  
Old 06-02-2006, 06:33 PM   #166
Envinyatar
Quill Revenant
 
Envinyatar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Wandering through the Downs.....
Posts: 844
Envinyatar has just left Hobbiton.
The battle ends . . .

Of the nine great beasts who had sought entrance to the inn, only five now remained. And of those five, two had run off, fur aflame, the reeking stench of their own burnt flesh thick and gagging in their noses.

The Green Man’s defenders still stood firm against the shadow’s onslaught. Yes, a number of birds had fallen, snapped out of the air be the ravening jaws of the wolves. And a cat had met his fate, too, but not before he had clawed out the eyes of his foe and raked the wolf’s snout most grievously. One of the hounds had gone down, having drawn the attention of one of the larger wolves to him, allowing White Paw and his brother to attack from the side and behind. And here and there lay the still body of some small animal who had reached up with tooth and nail to slow the beasts in their pursuit of others.

The determination and will of the defenders moved victorious for this time and place against the foul shadow creatures. With a bark of command, Nilak, the pack’s leader, ordered his remaining wolves to retreat.

The bear, for all his bulk, moved after them, a swift dark death whose long claws brought down one last of the enemy. And as he crushed the spine of the wolf, he could see the dogs harrying the last two of the beasts to the far outskirts of the village and beyond.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

On their way . . .

‘The light waxes strong; the shadow is pushed back again.’

Stamo stood up straight, his grey eyes cleared of the distant fog that had filled them. ‘Both . . .’ he continued in anticipation of Mori’s question. ‘Melkor’s servant and the wolves . . .’

The smell of smoke poured in through the windows as the two unshuttered them to look out into the night. ‘And even the last of the fires dies under the able hands of Carr and the others.’

He turned his gaze toward the Yule fire. It still burned brightly under the ministrations of Old Goody. The skin of her face shone in the light from the flames . . . or rather it glowed as brightly as did the Yule log’s spirit. But more from within, he thought. They will soon both be ashes.

‘We are leaving now, Guðælfr Holtsdottir,’ he said softly, his voice rising barely above the hiss and pop of the fire. He handed Mori his walking staff, and fastened his own cloak on.

‘Keep the log burning, old one. Your task is almost done.’ The two moved to the door, their staffs knocking against the floor as they walked along.

‘We will not see you again in the circles of this world,’ Mori said opening the door to let his companion pass through. ‘And in the other we cannot say.’

The door swung shut behind the two. The light of the fire burned in the little room, pushing back the even the shadows in the farthest corners . . .

Last edited by Envinyatar; 06-03-2006 at 12:56 PM.
Envinyatar is offline  
Old 06-03-2006, 09:49 AM   #167
Child of the 7th Age
Spirit of the Lonely Star
 
Child of the 7th Age's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 5,135
Child of the 7th Age is a guest of Tom Bombadil.
Retreating wolves:

The two remaining wolves raced out of the village and slunk into the woods, this time heading south and east. Exhausted and bleeding, they threw their bodies down on a nearby stream bank, assuaging their thirst by taking large gulps of water and then stopping to lick the gashes and bruises they had suffered during the engagement.

"Nilak," growled the other wolf. "This did not go quite as we planned."

"No, someone must have warned them. For they were as well prepared as any of the two-leggeds that I have ever since. But what I really do not understand is how they got those birds and animals to fight beside them. Pah! They cheated. Man and beast do not fight side-by-side. There is some foul magic at work here. It is almost as if they could speak the languages of these different creatures. How else could they have gotten them to do exactly as they wanted? It's unfair, I tell you."

"So what do we do now?"

"What we've done in times before. Go steal some hen eggs to get us by and wait for tomorrow. We have definitely been misled. I tell you, Grulak, it is not the North that will save us but the East. Our time is coming. I can smell it in the air. Let us find an isolated farmyard to the east and slink inside for a little snack, anyplace that doesn't have hobbits and wrens acting in tandem. And meanwhile, we'll begin recruiting again for a new contingent of companions, ones that are worthy of our strength and ability."

With that, the two wolves slipped off together into the darkness. Yet on the horizon, the first streaks of daylight were just visible to the eye.

Last edited by Child of the 7th Age; 06-03-2006 at 08:09 PM.
Child of the 7th Age is offline  
Old 06-04-2006, 05:30 PM   #168
Arry
Ghost Prince of Cardolan
 
Arry's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 693
Arry has just left Hobbiton.
The three Hobbits climbed down carefully from the snowy roof and made their way down the ladder they’d left against the eaves. Most of the little fires had been put out by the men with their buckets of water and it was slippery going as the water had begun to freeze into slick ice.

In the courtyard at the rear of the inn, the animals who had helped in the fight were beginning to gather. Lying about the enclosure were the still bodies of those creatures who had fallen in the battle. Andwise looked about for the tall men, but they were nowhere to be seen.

Through a series of gestures and reassuring talk, the Hobbits spoke to the remaining animals. The Hobbits helped gather some wood for a little pyre in one corner of the Inn yard. With the help of the animals their fellows’ bodies were placed atop the pyre and a few parting words given by the three Hobbits. They then gave a little bow to Owl and the others and made their way back into the inn.

Old Goody still sat by the fire. And Carr was bringing in pots of hot, mulled wine for those in the common room to dip into with their mugs. Willem went back into the kitchen to help see if Cook could be persuaded to bring out a little something to eat. Soon, he returned with several little baskets of bread and a platter of sliced cheese and pot of tangy mustard.

Last edited by Arry; 06-05-2006 at 12:39 AM.
Arry is offline  
Old 06-04-2006, 11:30 PM   #169
Child of the 7th Age
Spirit of the Lonely Star
 
Child of the 7th Age's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 5,135
Child of the 7th Age is a guest of Tom Bombadil.
Owl and animals....

Owl had lined up all the animals in a large semi-circle behind the Inn and was counting beaks and noses to make sure that all his charges were safe. The dogs seemed to be missing, but most likely they had gone inside the Green Man Inn and were now toasting their toes in front of the fire. A few of the older animals had ventured into the stables and dug out all the little ones who had been hiding in large hay piles. Most of the families were now reunited.

With the help of one of the hobbits, Owl had begun a small bondfire to burn the bodies of the few small creatures who had valiantly fallen during the fight. It is not the way of beasts to say lengthy goodbyes, but the others had lined up for a moment or two to think about those who had died. There would be longer goodbyes said within each family that had suffered a loss, once they returned to their individual burrows and nests.

Only a few of the creatures in the circle were nursing injuries. Most of these were minor and required no special care. There was one, however, that seemed much more seriously wounded than the others. He lay exhausted on the ground, and was letting out a series of terrible yowls that reverberated through the courtyard and Inn.
Child of the 7th Age is offline  
Old 06-05-2006, 01:09 AM   #170
Tevildo
Shade of Carn Dûm
 
Tevildo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Curled up on Melko's lap
Posts: 425
Tevildo has just left Hobbiton.
Tevildo:

Tevildo lay stretched out near the courtyard wall, his white fur once so pristine and fluffy now matted and covered with dirt. The cat's mouth was open as he panted furiously while still emitting a series of high pitched howls. Tevildo's left shoulder showed a good sized gash that dripped blood. One of his rear legs was twisted askew underneath his body so that he could not stand up.

"You imbeciles," the cat thundered, flicking his tail menacingly from side to side. "Can't you see I am hurt? Very nice to pay homage to the deceased, all the while leaving me here in the mud, especially when I was the one who singlehandedly brought down the largest wolf! This shows what I get for trusting the likes of you."

Tevildo sagged to the ground, closed his eyes, and stopped breathing, trying very hard to look limp and dead.

Last edited by Tevildo; 06-06-2006 at 05:46 PM.
Tevildo is offline  
Old 06-05-2006, 02:27 PM   #171
Huan
Haunting Spirit
 
Huan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Halls of Oromë
Posts: 56
Huan has just left Hobbiton.
- Tevildo is worked on -

‘Well, I saw him myself. From the rooftop,’ said Birger in a hushed voice as Cook dosed Tevildo with a bit of honeyed wine to knock him out and then applied a dwale to him, as she called it. It was a sponge as had been soaked in some herbal concoctions and allowed to dry. Then, when it was needed there was but to soak it in a little water and hold it near the nose, wiping the wet mixture of various herbs onto the inner lining of the nostrils.

‘Saw what?’ said Cook, using only a few small swipes of the sponge. The cat was so tiny in comparison to the men she’d stitched back together and reset their bones. Soon though, the cat’s breathing slowed and it appeared to fall into a deep sleep.

‘He jumped right on the head of one of the biggest wolves. And raked his muzzle and clawed the beast’s eyes out. Brought the wolf down, too I think. All hissing and spitting and claws flying. And yowling and sinking his teeth into the monster’s neck.’ Birger leaned in closer to watch Cook clean the gashes and stitch them up.

Carr dipped his big finger into a pot of ointment and rubbed it gently down now closed wounds. He motioned for Birger to take hold under the cat’s front legs, and around the ribcage. He held the skewed back leg securely, while Cook, with a quick tug pulled the bone into place. ‘Don’t think the bone’s broken, just the joints are pulled out of place. Still, we’ll need to be splinting it to keep things where they ought to be.’

A low sided, wide box was filled with some sweet smelling straw and a number of soft, folded blanket scraps laid atop it, making a cozy little nest for the still sleeping patient. He was laid in it, on his side, a bowl of fresh water nearby. The box was set near the inn stove, where it would be warm and out of the way of any cold drafts.

Birger knelt down by the cat and gave him a quick scratch behind the ears. ‘That was one of the bravest things I’ve ever see anyone do. Amazing . . . you were just amazing!’

‘He’ll be alright boy,’ said Cook, motioning for Birger to come away from the drowsing feline. Let him rest, he’ll need it. Most likely be mighty sore tomorrow. Strong cat, though. I’ll just bet he’ll be up tomorrow . . . limping for sure, but on his feet for sure.’

It was cozy in the kitchen, the light subdued. And the warmth from the cook stove found its way into even the coldest corners.

Last edited by Huan; 06-07-2006 at 02:42 AM.
Huan is offline  
Old 06-08-2006, 01:50 AM   #172
Undómë
Shade of Carn Dûm
 
Undómë's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 400
Undómë has just left Hobbiton.
Still dark it was. But a cleaner darkness than what had passed, she thought. A natural darkness that gives way easily to light and passes away without a struggle into the dawning day.

Old Goody had roused herself from her chair by the fire and pulling a heavy cloak about her had gone out to stand under the black dome of sky. There were no stars; the clouds were too heavy. And even the bright moon’s light struggled wanly round their edges. The tall men were gone. East, they had told her in parting . . . to the workings of their own tasks.

A light snow had fallen; their footsteps were obscured . . . nay, vanished altogether. And for all she knew they had but stepped outside The Green Man and casting off their forms, taken wing. She laughed, chiding herself as she did so that she need keep rein on her imaginings, lest those in the village think she had gone quite daft.

Soon, ‘twill not matter what anyone thinks. You’ll not be here to be bothered by it. Goody laughed again, a louder, wilder sound.

In the distance, on the steep slops of the peaks above the foothills, a hollow booming sound echoed down softly from the backdrop of the mountains. Some great mass of snow loosed itself from its tenuous pinnings and came rolling and tumbling down the slope until it hit hard against the trees which marked the high edges of the forest. Great spumes of snow shot up into the air as the trees gave way at first and then held fast.

The sun rose up to the edges of the world; to that place where the tall men said they were going. Here in the winterlocked north even its bright light struggled against the layers of clouds and snow . . .

Last edited by Undómë; 06-11-2006 at 12:39 PM.
Undómë is offline  
Old 06-08-2006, 02:22 AM   #173
piosenniel
Desultory Dwimmerlaik
 
piosenniel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Pickin' flowers with Bill the Cat.....
Posts: 7,791
piosenniel is a guest of Tom Bombadil.
It was curiously quiet as wren peeked down from his perch beneath the eaves. The new day’s light was just creeping across the foothills of the mountains, running along the long plane from which they rose. Wren looked down at the courtyard; no creature stirred. And all the bloody leavings of yesterday’s battle had been covered over by a light falling of snow.

Smoke still drifted upward from the chimney. He could see that now as he flew out to the bare, gnarled branches of the apple tree that stood just outside the stone wall of the courtyard. A few glowing embers drifted up with the smoke, burning brightly in the early morning.

Wren shook himself, fluffing out his feathers to keep what little warmth there was trapped against his little form. He hopped about on his branch, hoping soon to see the back door of the Green Man come open and the sturdy arm of the man who worked there begin to scatter handfuls of bread crumbs and other leavings.

As he fluttered about, Wren’s eye caught sight of a small flock of dark birds as they rose up from a stand of trees . . . there in the distance . . . in the forest that blanketed the foothills. They wheeled about in the morning’s air and then scattered. Wren shivered, not from the cold, but from the thought that they had come from that part of the forest where the shadow creature had been . . .

Last edited by piosenniel; 06-08-2006 at 02:59 AM.
piosenniel is offline  
Old 06-11-2006, 10:29 AM   #174
Tevildo
Shade of Carn Dûm
 
Tevildo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Curled up on Melko's lap
Posts: 425
Tevildo has just left Hobbiton.
Tevildo's post

By the time Tevildo awoke from his sleep, most of the Inn's servants were bustling about the Inn and its grounds, clearing up the considerable mess that had been left over from the night before. Breakfast was being served in the common room. Several guests had arisen early, finished off a platter of biscuits and eggs, and were now joining in the general effort to repair fences and gates as well as to chop up fallen branches that could be used for the firepit.

Tevildo watched all this activity with great interest but without the slightest desire to participate or help anyone. Once he thought no one was looking, he tried out his legs and, to his great delight, discovered that he could now walk from one end of the room to the other, if only with a pronounced limp. He had to admit that under the circumstances he had not done badly. He was nestled in a snug box with piles of blankets in which to luxuriate. He could feel the warmth radiating from the stove as well as the pale winter sunlight that stole in from a window just above.

Before he'd drifted off to sleep, he had heard two of the fellows discussing his deeds in such laudatory terms that even Tevildo could think of no reason to complain. These same fellows dropped by every now and then, scratching him behind the ear, and leaving choice tidbits that he could eat.

Tevildo had always viewed domestic house cats with disdain, thinking them almost the lowest form of life in Arda. After all, what was life without an adventure and a bit of fighting? Still, he was now beginning to have serious second thoughts. It was so pleasant to have folk cater to him. He rubbed against their legs and purred and saw admiration reflected in their eyes. These poor two-legged did seem to have a definite weakness for fluffy white cats, and Tevildo was not adverse to getting out of them everything that could be got.

By the time the servers had finished cleaning up from breakfast, Tevildo had made his decision. It would not be admiss to spend a spot of time at the Green Man; he could bask in the warmth of the common room and charm the guests out of good chunks of their dinners. On the side, he could also make life miserable for wren and the other twittering chits. He might be too fat and well fed to hunt them down, but he could certainly give them a little scare.

Outside, it was cold and snowy. Perhaps by spring, he would decide to take off when the flowers came out and the sun shone bright. For now, however, he would bide his time. He was, after all, a cat and enjoyed lives aplenty. Unlike these poor mortals, time was one thing he possessed in great abundance.

_________________________

Child of the 7th Age's post for Owl:

"My friends, listen carefully," Owl nestled down on the bare, snowy limb of the old oak tree to speak with the birds and beasts who now crowded together in the courtyard. "Mid-winter is long past, and we have overstayed. No one can quarrel with what we have done here. You have much to be proud of. Still it is time for us to leave the world of Men and return to our homes. For some of you, that will be very close." Here Owl glanced over at Wren who was perched on a fencepost. "But for others, like Bear, the path will be long and hard indeed."

"Wherever you go, to whatever realms your journey takes you, do not forget what happened here today. Tell the tale to the trees of the forest and sing soft lullabyes to your little ones so that the brave deeds here, both by men and beasts, shall never be forgotten. Next January, when the clock strikes midnight on Midwinter's eve, we shall meet again in the courtyard of the Green Man. For so it has been for countless years, and so it shall be for numberless ages stretching out towards the end."

"Say your goodbyes and be off as quickly as you can. I bid you adieu till next year." With those final words, Owl flapped his wings and flew upward, heading straight and true towards the great pine forests of the north. And each of the birds and beasts slipped off, some in groups and others on their own, to return to their homes. And, flying through the ash grey sky, Owl was content to know that all was well: another yearly cycle had begun.

Last edited by Child of the 7th Age; 06-22-2006 at 10:47 PM.
Tevildo is offline  
Old 06-12-2006, 08:00 PM   #175
littlemanpoet
Itinerant Songster
 
littlemanpoet's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: The Edge of Faerie
Posts: 7,049
littlemanpoet is a guest at the Prancing Pony.littlemanpoet is a guest at the Prancing Pony.
Toward mid-morning, a strange party of wanderers wended their way toward the Green Man Free House. It would be more appropriate to say that three of them walked, two trotted, and one strode in great big, earth-clutching strides.

Wenda did not speak. Mara was attentive to Wenda's wellbeing. Arato kept his own counsel. Pada and Muna trotted ahead for the most part, but every once in a while they doubled back to nuzzle their noses against the unresponsive palm of her hand. Then they would walk slowly by her side, until a scent or sound caught their awareness, and off they went again.

High above them strode Greenbeard, hooming and humming to himself, mulling and supposing and wondering about the Green Man Free House Mara had told him of. He was the first to see it, and the last to speak of it.

"There's chimney smoke wafting ahead," Arato announced.

"Humm!" mumbled Greenbeard.

"Ah! The Green Man at last!" said Mara. "I'll be glad to get indoors and get you under some nice warm blankets, Wenda. Wouldn't that be nice?"

Wenda nodded stiffly but said nothing.

"Hoom! Hom! You call it the Green Man Free House; an odd name. What do you mean by it, if that does not take too long to tell?"

"I think you should ask old Goody about that," Mara replied.

They came out of the thickness of the trees. There stood the outbuildings and fencing of the Green Man, hiding the cozy inn from view; that is, the view of the humans. The Ent could see the entire roof and much of the grounds over fence and roof.

"Hmmm and haroom! There has been much agoing on here judging by the trodden snow in so many places."

"I judge me that they've a story of their own to tell," Arato said. "I'll go in and tell them we're here."

The others waited outside, the Ent humming tunefully and introspectively all the while.
littlemanpoet is offline  
Old 06-13-2006, 02:20 AM   #176
Undómë
Shade of Carn Dûm
 
Undómë's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 400
Undómë has just left Hobbiton.
‘Well, I never.....’

Goody shook her head slowly, trying to clear her vision. She rubbed at her eyes, too, but no amount of fussing would change what she saw as she stood on the step just outside the public house. There, heading toward The Green Man was the crown of a tree.

‘.....thought to see something like that again!’

Not the small, neatly leafed crown of the lady tree she’d seen in her childhood, stirring the plants to life in her Gran’s garden. Nay, this was one of the tall walkers; the sort she’d only heard tales of and never seen.....no, not for all her own walking in the woods at the foot of the hills.

Still, he hummed as the lady had done that long time ago, though in a deeper voice. Goody smiled as the memory and the reality merged, and she found that she did not fear his approach.

‘Welcome, welcome to The Green Man!’ she called out. There were others with him, and though she recognized them, they were but dim images on the periphery of her vision. So focused was she on the lordly tree.

She hobbled out slowly to where he stood, leaning on the knob of her twisted, yew walking stick as she went along. She found, as she walked, her step grew light. And her aching, bent back began to loosen of itself so that her last few steps she stood tall as her small frame allowed and carried her stick in one hand.

‘So very pleased to see one of your kind again,’ she said as she drew near him. Her words seemed to float before her, thin out.....like so much smoke in the wind.

He did not answer, but looked beyond her, a considering look on his face. She turned, wondering what it was that caught his attention so. There on the ground, a number of steps behind her, lay some crumpled form, still as death upon the snowy ground her stick beside her. Four figures gathered about the old husk, two women and two deer. And now from the Inn came others.....

Goody stepped back a pace, to take in more fully the great figure of the tall walker, the tree lord. His deep eyes had turned from the small commotion before him back to the forest from which he’d come.

‘Well, I guess I’ll see you there some time, then won’t I?’ she said, stepping around him as she headed toward the trees herself. ‘I’ve a mind to see where he walks these days,’ she went on. ‘The Green Man.’

The force that through the green fuse drives the flower drives my green age..... she hummed to herself as her footsteps carried her across the snow to the forest canopy. And I am dumb to tell a weather's wind how time has ticked a heaven round the stars.....

She slipped quietly beneath the dark boughs and in less than a wink, she was gone.....

Last edited by Undómë; 06-17-2006 at 03:26 AM.
Undómë is offline  
Old 06-19-2006, 03:41 PM   #177
littlemanpoet
Itinerant Songster
 
littlemanpoet's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: The Edge of Faerie
Posts: 7,049
littlemanpoet is a guest at the Prancing Pony.littlemanpoet is a guest at the Prancing Pony.
Wenda looked at the lifeless form of old Goody, and moaned. "No! I needed to-" she lost the use of words and dropped to her needs by the body, caressing the old leathery face, weeping for many losses. Presently, Mara gently lifted her to her feet and drew her into the warmth of the Green Man Freehouse. Others of the House bore up Goody's body and laid it somewhere appropriate - Wenda didn't know for she was overcome.

Mara cooed over her as gentle as a mourning dove, but presently went seeking others, speaking her worry of Wenda to them, for she feared that the young woman might not be whole enough of soul and spirit to fare as she had before.

For her part, Wenda sat before the fire, staring, huddling into her cloak, her face blank, as if she had nothing to wait for her, nothing to plan for. Maybe she needs time, others said nearby.

A bowl of porridge was placed in her hands and she ate absently, as if it had no taste. When the bowl was empty, she held it loose in her hands, staring into the fire, until someone took it from her. They saw how her face was blank, and shook their heads. Would she remain so all the morning, and into the afternoon? They waited and watched, and left her alone all morning; only Mara came and sat by her and now and then whispered questions to her. She said no word.

Last edited by littlemanpoet; 06-20-2006 at 05:46 PM.
littlemanpoet is offline  
Old 06-26-2006, 02:18 AM   #178
Rose
Haunting Spirit
 
Rose's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Playing to the tide with Uncle John
Posts: 51
Rose has just left Hobbiton.
One of his brothers stirred in his sleep. A low growl, a yip; then a twitching of limbs as the pursuit began. White Paw nuzzled his brother on the neck, drawing him from his dreams to a lighter sleep. He laid his head back on his crossed paws and flicked his eyes about the room.

He could hear little islands of subdued talk about the room. The Small Folk sat near the fire, eating and drinking, talking low among themselves. They were kin, he could tell, by their scent and by the ways they acted with each other. The one who had sat with the old woman now took her place tending the fire. Sometimes, though, or perhaps it was but a trick of the light, he thought he saw the old one standing near Willem, her hand resting lightly on his shoulder. White Paw shook his head and the image dissipated, like so much smoke caught in a fresh breeze. It was often like this, he reminded himself, when someone died, man or animal. From the corner of his eye he would catch them in familiar places until they faded from his sight, either from his own thoughts readjusting themselves to remind him they were well and truly gone. Or perhaps the spirits themselves pulled away from their familiar haunts and went on to some other gathering. It was a puzzle to which he had no sure answer.

Old Carr and the boy, my boy, my pack-mate he corrected himself, moved about the room bringing food and drink to the two-leggeds. Birger had not overlooked him and his brothers and father. There had been a filling mash of warm oats mixed with egg and meat scraps. ‘For our brave defenders!’ the boy had said with some pride as he placed the bowl before them.

White Paw pricked his ears at the sounds he heard from the courtyard. Hooves scuffled and scraped at the frozen ground, followed by the insistent sounds, the low callings of the two deer. There was worry in their voices, a note of abandonment, of loss.

He got up, stretching his stiff limbs, shaking the soreness from his wounds, and trotted to the kitchen and out the door to see what was the matter. No, no danger. they said to him. But we worry. We have not seen our herd member. Her custom has always been to be with us often. Where is she? they insisted. How does she fare?

No, they couldn’t come in, he told them. Be patient, let me see if she will come to you…

The woman sat in a chair, her gaze fixed on the fire. What she saw, he could not tell. Her eyes were dull; there was an air about her as if she had fallen in on herself and was lost. White Paw sat down beside her for a moment. He leaned against her leg, laying his great head lightly on her knee. He whined a little as he did so, to draw her attention if he could.

Your pack is in need of seeing you.

He stood up, nuzzling at her hands; then grabbed her right wrist lightly yet securely in his teeth, pulling softly at her.

You are the lead deer. Four-leg, two-leg, no leg at all. You have a duty. You must see to them.

Last edited by Rose; 06-26-2006 at 02:26 PM.
Rose is offline  
Old 06-26-2006, 08:22 PM   #179
littlemanpoet
Itinerant Songster
 
littlemanpoet's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: The Edge of Faerie
Posts: 7,049
littlemanpoet is a guest at the Prancing Pony.littlemanpoet is a guest at the Prancing Pony.
Wenda heard a dog whining. She felt its cold wet nose on her hand and wrist. With the sound and touch, a tiny flame sparked against the cold within her. She looked down at the dog. White Paw, he was called. She could not smile, but she liked him. He was a good dog. She wished she could speak to him. That was forever gone now.

White Paw grabbed her wrist lightly in his mouth! He pulled at her, made her get up and follow! She did not fight him, had so little fight left in her. He brought her outside. Pada and Muna were waiting, staring at her. She sent her thought to them. No, that didn't work now. She had lost her deer soul. Tears fell from her eyes, but White Paw did not let go, but drew her to her two deer. Yes. They were her deer. Her herd. Their soft eyes looked at her and reminded her of the warmth of their deer love that she had known before. She could feel it at least in memory. No, not just memory. She knew it to be true, even if there was a wall between her and them that could never be passed through again.

"Oh Pada, Muna, I can't talk to you anymore!" White Paw released her wrist as she hugged their necks. They snuffled her hair, as they were wont to do to show their warmth toward her. She still knew them! They were not leaving her, even though she could not be one of them.

"I guess I am talking to you, just not in reindeer." Pada made a low noise in her throat. "And you can talk to me too! I think I know what you meant!" For the first time since the attack, she felt a smile on her face. She turned to White Paw, who sat on his haunches, his ears perked, watching her, with a big tongue-lolling smile. "Thank you, you wonderful dog! If I had only known!"

* * * * *

Wenda spent a day more at the Green Man Free House, gaining her strength back, preparing Pada and Muna and her sleigh for another trip to the north. There were traps to set, yes, but also herds to say hello to, hills and valleys and great ice-covered lakes to traverse. There was cold, clear sky to greet, wind to listen to singing, and Tuskers to track.

Wenda bid farewell to the hobbits, to Mara and Aresto, to the owner of the House, and the others who were staying there, and last of all to White Paw. She gave him a big hug around the neck and got a face full of wet, warm tongue for her trouble. She laughed.

Pada, Muna, and Wenda slid over the thickening snow, for the sun was hid and the flakes were falling. Just the three of them. Just like old times. Almost.
littlemanpoet is offline  
Old 06-29-2006, 11:20 AM   #180
piosenniel
Desultory Dwimmerlaik
 
piosenniel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Pickin' flowers with Bill the Cat.....
Posts: 7,791
piosenniel is a guest of Tom Bombadil.
~*~ Finis ~*~
piosenniel is offline  
Old 06-29-2006, 11:20 AM   #181
piosenniel
Desultory Dwimmerlaik
 
piosenniel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Pickin' flowers with Bill the Cat.....
Posts: 7,791
piosenniel is a guest of Tom Bombadil.
--- To Elvenhome ---
piosenniel is offline  
 

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 09:45 AM.



Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.