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Old 05-12-2003, 04:04 PM   #121
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Sting

She didn't hear the door open or close. When a soft voice spoke gently at her elbow, Amanaduial looked down in surprise.

"Congratulations, Loremaster Amanaduial."

She met the gaze of a small, slender, quiet hobbit, blandly dressed in a greyish-brown cloak that had made him easy to miss in the smoky room. Her eyebrows went up, and she studied him. The only distinctive thing about him in hobbit-terms was that his hair was long and braided.

His eyes sparkled at her surprise. "There are few hobbits living in Gondor, but some of us outlanders visit occasionally." He smiled at Cami, who let go of her broom long enough to wave and say, "Hello, Lindo."

Lindo turned back to Amananduial, with Cami's greeting lingering gently in his mind. "Amanaduial, I have some things to attend to, but I do hope the rumors of a celebration in your honor are true, and I look forward to your stories here in the city. It will be good to hear some new tales. Welcome, Amanaduial. We are honored to have you here." He stood, bowed to her, and with a wave at Cami, softly departed the Inn.

[ May 14, 2003: Message edited by: mark12_30 ]
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Old 05-13-2003, 01:03 AM   #122
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Sting

A black and white dart skimmed through the open door of the inn, dive-bombing the wolves and causing them to leap and snap at the tempting target.

But Birdie just landed high in the rafters, where she submitted a quite impressive imitation of a raspberry to her audience - considering she had no lips in this form.

Then she leapt down to the floor, morphing into woman's form as she fell, and landed with a thump and a cloud of dust on the battered, beer-polished boards of the "Star".

"Amanaduial! I knew we'd see you here before long! Congratulations!"

"However," Birdie pouted, "while you were reciting the roster of Loremasters here in Gondor, methinks you neglected to read one name...THERE!" Birdie pointed dramatically at the bronze plate above the mantel. Then her head poked forward as she squinted in the dim light.

"Hold on a minute. What was Rimbaud thinking?" Birdie strode over to the mantel and started shoving aside two candlesticks, a tinderbox, a wooden shoe with some loose change and a mouse nest, and a model of a smiling tree with "Souvenir of Fangorn" carved in its belly.

Finally clearing away the Middle-earth detritus, she again pointed to the plaque. "There! Right there. 'Birdland'. I always get left off the old lists, even when I'm on the old lists." she grumbled. "I know I haven't been around much, but still..."
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Old 05-13-2003, 11:24 AM   #123
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Eye

Aman grinned as Birdland muttered away to herself. The shapechanger always made Aman smile, with her melodramatic and mischievous way, although she hadnt had much track with her in recent times.

The wolves growled slightly, but more than a little confusedly- they had been following events right up to the point when the bird falling from the rafters had become a woman. Obsidian walked forward rather cautiously, for a wolf, and sniffed at Birdie's leg. The woman looked down at her, hands on hips, returning the wolf's golden gaze for a moment, eyebrows raised. After a moment, Dia nodded slightly, as if satisfied with something.

Birdie looked back up. "Well, what was that about?" She demanded.

Aman shrugged, smiling still. "Do not meddle with wolves, for they are mysterious, and curious of Neekerbreekers." She replied, as if quoting something.

Birdie looked perplexed for a moment, a slight frown on her face, before throwing her hands up. "Oh, I don't know, first my name is completely ignored, then I'm inspected by a wolf, no less..."

Aman laughed, shaking her head. "Sorry about that, Birdland, I...sorry anyway."

She looked around the Inn, stepping back slightly as Cami breezed past, bearing her broom before her like a weapon, a dustpan hanging off one arm on a piece of string like a shield. Goodness, two hobbits in one dat, all the way out here in Gondor. Aman had never met the other, Lindo, before, but his manner was very friendly, and she hoped to meet him at more length later maybe, wishing that he would have stayed longer.

"Techno? In this Inn? Oh please Pio, techno music in the Seventh Star?!"

Aman smiled at Mithadan's indignant voice as it was raised momentarily to be heard throughout the almost empty bar. She decided to add her own two cents, in a way...with a mischievious smile she strolled up to the bar.

"I think rock could be interesting."

Both turned to look at her at this point, staring at her incredulously, before disagreeing simmultaneuously. Aman raised an eyebrow, before getting up once more and walking slowly around the Star, so quiet and empty now, when before it had been so full of life. Well, a party would certainly do something about that...
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Old 05-13-2003, 11:36 AM   #124
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Sting

Poppy Took pushed open the door of the Seventh Star, peering round it to see who was there. The large room was nearly empty, as she saw Cami in one corner, Aman nearby, and a few others. The Inn had once been so much busier.

Easing her whole body round the heavy door, Poppy wandered over to Cami and Aman, wondering when others might start to appear.
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Old 05-13-2003, 11:50 AM   #125
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Eye

Aman heard the door click shut and turned. Her face broke into a grin when she saw who the opener of the door was.

"Poppy! Poppy Took!" She exclaimed. Well, three hobbits now?!
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Old 05-13-2003, 02:07 PM   #126
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A grey and brown falcon who answered to the name Wyrd hovered over the Seventh Star, remembering the last time he was useful to his owner Bethberry. This time he noticed the new Gondorian, Aman, and realized this would be news of great interest and happiness to her. He cocked his head cheerily at Aman, warbled a single note, and then flew off in search of his owner to tell her the news.
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Old 05-17-2003, 06:04 AM   #127
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Sting

“Aman!” Poppy smiled. “You can start new games in Gondor now? Congratulations!”

Looking around at the few people about the forsaken Inn, she sighed. Where was everyone? The Seventh Star was a graveyard, apart from the few who occupied it and were full of life, trying to revive the deathly silence. Mithadan and Birdland seemed to be discussing party affairs, but there didn’t seem to be too many around to celebrate. Surely the room would liven up soon.

Setting her bag down on the table, she rummaged around for a minute, before pulling out a large banner saying ‘Congratulations!’ Just one of the things she had picked up on her way here…

Standing on a table, the hobbit pinned it to the wall, wobbling slightly. Once certain it wasn’t squint, she let herself down, looking at the bright addition to the room.
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Old 05-17-2003, 06:23 AM   #128
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Sting

After several hours had passed, the door opened, and the hobbit in the greyish-brown cloak entered. He pushed his hood back, revealing the elvish braids, and looked across at Poppy with a smile. Then he hung up his cloak on a peg, revealing well-worn clothing with a noticable elvish influence, especially in the brooch (which he did not leave on the cloak, but re-pinned on his jacket) and in a small ring he wore. He rolled up his sleeves, and came over to Poppy and Aman.

"Good to see you again so soon, Amanaduial," he said, with another smile. "Hello, I don't believe we've met; my name is Lindo, " he said to Poppy.

"My name is Poppy. Hello," she replied.

"I hadn't planned on returning so soon, but I am glad that I could. May I join you?"

Poppy smiled. One more. "Please."

"How's the apple cider here?"

Poppy grinned. "I haven't tried it."

"I'll let you know. " Lindo signalled to a waiter. Then he raised an eyebrow at Aman. "What kind of rock?" he said with a sly twinkle in his eye.

[ May 17, 2003: Message edited by: mark12_30 ]
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Old 05-17-2003, 04:23 PM   #129
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Sting

Poppy smiled at the new arrival to the group, one she had previously not met before. The hobbit standing in front of her seemed to have distinctly elvish qualities, not only in his clothes. Sipping some of the apple cider Lindo had asked a waiter to bring over, she talked away.

“Well, it’s nice to see some more people turning out for the party,” she observed, though in truth the room was still noticeably empty. “I’m sure even more will pop by sooner or later,” optimism rising in her voice. “And if not, we can still have a good party by ourselves.”

A spider dropped from a cobweb above Poppy’s head, scuttling off across the floor. Eyeing more cobwebs and spiders above her head, Poppy frowned. Finished her apple cider in a gulp, she turned to Lindo and Aman.

“Perhaps Cami needs a hand with the cleaning, it has been a while since the room was last aired,” and grabbing a small rag, set off across the room and began vigorously cleaning at a stain on a table, hoping for no spiders to fall upon her curly head.
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Old 05-17-2003, 04:42 PM   #130
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Sting

A pair of sharp green eyes spotted the Inn a little ways down the road. Their owner smiled, slinging her pack over her shoulder. Rest was ahead, with a solid roof above her, and a warm meal.

The traveller's face was weatherbeaten, creased and tanned by many years of wandering, many years since she had left her father's home. Her cloak, dark green, was patched and sewn many times over, but the silver clasp still shone as brightly as it had the first day she had worn it. Her hair was covered by the hood, though several strands of dark red slipped by her face. The tunic she wore, once beige, was now splotched and stained with wear, and her brown trousers, once her brother's, were more patched than her cloak. Her leather shoes were cracked and dirty, but intact, so she still wore them.

She slipped into the Inn, opening the door only enough to let herself through. She threw back her hood, letting her whole mane of red hair show. She was a bit of a wild sight, not having paused to brush her hair in a while, but her eyes were gentle and her face kind. She ordered a glass of wine, and, after receiving it, sat down by herself at a table by the fire.

She liked the look of this inn, the feel of it, especially the feel of a warm fire at her back. Tonight she would eat well, and have a bed to sleep in, and perhaps, if she was fortunate, conversation. She loved travelling in the wild, but she was sometimes lonely out there, with no human contact. Tonight, though, tonight would be different.

Talmérië walked over to Amanaduial, and put a hand on her shoulder. "I'm sorry if I startled you," she said, smiling. "You may not recognize me, but we've met before. I want to congratulate you on your achievement. You deserve it."
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Old 05-18-2003, 05:14 AM   #131
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Eye

Aman gave a small laugh. To be having this conversation. She tipped her head to one side and looked at Lindo.

"Hmm...more indie rock, like the White Stripes? Or harder stuff, like Muse or-" A hand on Aman's shoulder made her look around into the green eyes of an elven woman. The other smiled disarmingly.

"I'm sorry if I startled you," She started. Aman shook her head, but she was still looking into those oddly familiar eyes. "You may not recognize me, but we've met before. I want to congratulate you on your achievement. You deserve it."

Aman grinned back, nodding graciously. "Thankyou. I'm sorry, there is something familiar about you, but I...I cant seem to place your name..."
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Old 05-18-2003, 12:14 PM   #132
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Sting

Poppy glanced at Lindo, as if expecting him to know the new elf. Lindo indicated he didn't, but his eyes twinkled. He was enjoying finding elves in the city of men, and rested happily in the comfortable and homey presence of Poppy. With one foot in both worlds, he was happy enough with the company that despite his empty glass, he didn't want to introduce a waiter.

He smiled at Poppy, and waited for the new stranger to introduce herself. How unusual to meet an elf with red hair and green eyes, he thought. I wonder who she is descended from. He liked her patchy faded clothes and especially the tangles in her hair, and wondered what songs or tales she had to share, and whether she liked storms or not. He suspected that perhaps she did.
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Old 05-18-2003, 10:42 PM   #133
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Sting

Cami glanced back at Poppy and Lindo. Party or no party......this place needed a cleaning. She grabbed a mop and began vigorously swabbing the floor, knocking over the bucket in her exuberance and sending rivulets of water streaming out in all directions. She snatched up several rags and fell hastily to her knees, making wide arcs with the dry cloths until she'd sopped up the worst of the mess.

As she worked, the small hobbit reflected. What we really need is for some brave soul to wander in through the door with a tale to tell or an adventure that needs doing. It had been a long spell since any ships had unfurled their sails and set out from Gondor, or warriors had mounted upon their steeds and gone galloping off into the night.

Cami threw open the sash of the Inn's front window and thrust her head out into the dank midnight air. It was black in the heavens. Not a single star was visible. She blinked and looked around, waiting for someone, anyone, to appear who could sit by the fire and spin misty tales that would send her chasing off into the world of dreams.
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Old 05-19-2003, 03:33 AM   #134
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Sting

Lindo mused over Cami's thoughts, not sure whether to chuckle or sigh. All of Lindo's tales were known to Cami, and even if not, at this point Lindo had no urge to step forward.

He settled further into his companions' company, and resolved to wait, eyeing the door and hoping that someone would bring a song, or a tale, for Cami and for the rest of Gondor to hear.

He still waited for the redhaired, windblown elf to introduce herself. But if she didn't soon, Lindo was going to reopen the discussion about music. White Stripes... the melancholy side of their recent song appealed to him even if the ir vocalist didn't; something about dirty leaves on the ground, or leaves on the dirty ground... Anyway, the line about each breath in her lungs being a tiny gift to him had been haunting him, and he wondered what the rest of their music was like.

But there was time, and watching the redhaired windblown elf, he turned to Poppy and said, "Elves have an eternity; perhaps they occasionally forget that our days are more numbered. My patience grows thin."

But he didn't mean it. He was content merely to sit with his newfound friends.

[ May 19, 2003: Message edited by: mark12_30 ]
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Old 05-19-2003, 02:06 PM   #135
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Sting

Talmérië fiddled with the ring that hung from a chain around her neck, briefly lost in thought about the man who had given it to her. Suddenly she felt Aman and Lindo's eyes on her, and she flushed violently, her face turning the same shade as her hair. Lindo, turning to Poppy, said dryly, "Elves have an eternity; perhaps they occasionally forget that our days are more numbered. My patience grows thin."

She fiddled anxiously with a lock of her red hair and bowed, smiling sheepishly. "My apologies, friend; my journey was long, and my mind clouds with thoughts of other things. I am Talmérië, daughter of Almarien. I am no Elf, though many people have mistaken me for one. May I pull up a chair?" Nods from Aman, Lindo, and Poppy reassured her, and she sat down. "I am sorry to have interrupted. You were speaking about music, I believe? The White Stripes, I think you had mentioned, Aman. I'm rather fond of them myself, though I prefer..." Here she hesitated, then continued, " 'harder' rock." She grinned, then sang, "I'm gonna fight them off...A seven nation army couldn't hold me back..." Her green eyes twinkled as she sat back in her chair. "Don't let me kill the conversation," she said, and smiled.
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Old 05-19-2003, 02:17 PM   #136
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Sting

"They're gonna rip it off, takin' their time right behind my back..." Aman continued the song then grinned at Talmérië, who smiled back, delighted. "And I'm talkin' to myself at night because I can't forget...Aye, know it and love it."

"But where is it you are from, Talmérië? I didn't know this type of music had spread afar, but indeed it does work in mysterious ways here..." She asked the elf, but her eyes was caught by the sight of Cami attempting to clean some water from the floor. If the new elf wasnt as slow as before, Aman resolved to go and help Cami.
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Old 05-19-2003, 03:04 PM   #137
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Sting

"I was raised in west Gondor, near the Ered Nimrais," Talmérië replied, again fingering her necklace. "My father was a Ranger, as were all of my brothers. When I was nearly twenty I ran off, looking for my own adventure since my father would not take me with him anywhere, and I did not want to be a smith like my mother.

"I then travelled to Eriador. That's where I met you, Aman. I met you, as well as Nurumaiel Firithbor, and I was reunited with my twin brother, Talômi. But it's a long story." She twisted the chain of her necklace around her finger, then changed the subject. "I have a little bit of money, but I think I'll be here for a while. Could I work for my keep instead? Can you do that here?"

[ May 19, 2003: Message edited by: Orual ]
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Old 05-20-2003, 11:47 AM   #138
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Sting

"Nurumaiel-- that's a lovely name, and I almost feel I've heard it before, " mused Lindo, glancing at Amanaduial with a puzzled, faraway look in his eye.

Then he nodded towards Cami. "Talmérië, I suspect that Nitir might know the answer to your question, " he said. "She is familiar with this city, and with Innkeeping in general. Or you could ask Rimbaud."

He eyed the necklace she was fiddling with, and said, "That's a lovely necklace. Where did it come from, and is there a story associated with it?"
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Old 05-20-2003, 12:26 PM   #139
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Sting

The Innkeeper wiped his hands on his apron and eyed the oddly-tresses Hobbit and the red haired Talmérië. "Well now," he said. "If you wait for Master Rimbaud, it seems to me that you'll be waiting quite some time. He's gone. Left on some errand or other. So if you wish to speak to the man in charge, you're looking at him."

He turned to watch Cami chasing a fleeing spider with a broom. Smiling, he turned back to Talmérië. "I assure you that the wait staff here is quite competent and well-trained..." He held out a hand and a figure wearing a grey cloak and hood appeared with a steaming cup of coffee which the Innkeeper grasped without looking. "However, it seems that this Inn has some need for cleaning and upkeep. If you'd like to assist Cami for a time, you'll be welcome to some room and board."

"Thank you," replied Talmérië. "But what is your name?"

The Innkeeper scowled and turned away, sipping at his mug gingerly...
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Old 05-20-2003, 12:35 PM   #140
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Sting

The Innkeeper walked around the bar and headed to the door. He swung the portal open just in time for a Man bearing a lute to enter. He was followed by others bearing instruments of various kinds.

"What took ye?" scolded the Innkeeper. "We've guests to entertain! Set up yer things over there by the fire and have at it!"

The minstrels set up their instruments and consulted quickly before tuning. Then at a nod from the singer they began to play.

"In honor of the Lady Amanaduial!" he cried.

Let me bring you songs from the wood:
to make you feel much better than you could know.
Dust you down from tip to toe.
Show you how the garden grows.
Hold you steady as you go.
Join the chorus if you can:
it'll make of you an honest man.

Let me bring you love from the field:
poppies red and roses filled with summer rain.
To heal the wound and still the pain
that threatens again and again
as you drag down every lover's lane.
Life's long celebration's here.
I'll toast you all in penny cheer.

Let me bring you all things refined:
galliards and lute songs served in chilling ale.
Greetings well met fellow, hail!
I am the wind to fill your sail.
I am the cross to take your nail:
A singer of these ageless times.
With kitchen prose and gutter rhymes.
Songs from the wood make you feel much better.

Let me bring you songs from the wood:
to make you feel much better than you could know.
Dust you down from tip to toe.
Show you how the garden grows.
Hold you steady as you go.
Join the chorus if you can:
it'll make of you an honest man.
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Old 05-20-2003, 02:03 PM   #141
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Sting

Now that's music, thought Lindo, surreptitiously studying the vaguely familiar inkeeper. He suspected Nitir could fill him in on the fellow's identity... if he really needed to know. Tapping his fingers in time on the table's edge, his sipped appreciatively at his refilled cider (the greycloaked waiters were almost ghostly, and sometimes Lindo was surprised by a heavier glass than he expected.

He turned to Amanaduial. "I don't suppose you know the dance called Falling Appleblossoms? It's quite old."

Amanaduial smiled. "Actually, I think I do remember it. Most of it, anyway."

"I'm sure it'll come back, " Lindo smiled. "Join me. There's plenty of room."

"How did you learn an elvish dance?" Poppy called after him, as the two took the floor.

"From children, " Lindo shot back, and the two swept into motion. It was rather funny to see the hobbit and the tall lady dancing. But like falling apple-blossoms they did not touch; the dance swirled and spun and it worked despite the disparity in height.

"Do you think we could learn it?" Poppy asked Talmérië.

"Yes, " Lindo called. "Come on." They stood, and watched for a few moments, and then Lindo and Amanaduial began to weave the dance around them where they stood. Laughing and bewildered at first, they soon realised that Lindo and Amanaduial were sending them subtle directions with their fingertips. They began to watch for them, and simply go where they were pointed to; the dance succeeded, although both Talmérië and Poppy felt they would like to understand it a little better next time.
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Old 05-20-2003, 08:27 PM   #142
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Brushing back a stray lock from her forehead, Poppy regqained her breath, and said, "I think I have the first part, but the second..."

Telmerienodded. "It goes around and then...?"

"Spin first each way, then weave," Amanaduial said, and she and Lindo demonstrated. "The more people you have, the longer the weave takes, so the dance tends to break up into groups of six or eight."

"But you didn't spin in place, " Telmerie objected.

"Once you get used to it, it's more fun to wander during the spins. Like ..."

"...falling apple blossoms, " chimed in all the ladies together.

"So it's really rather simple," Poppy said.

"Once you learn the weaving patterns, yes. There are three, but they change depending on the number of people. One is circular across the circle; one is based on a line; and the third is circular around the circle. And to make it more fun, you just spin as you weave."

"But if you only have two dancers?"

Amanaduial giggled. "Then you make it up as you go along."

The minstrels began again.

Have you seen Jack-In-The-Green,
With his long tail hanging down?
He wear the colors of the summer soldier,
Carries the green flag all winter long.


Telmerie looked askance. "Odd lyrics," she said.

"But danceable music. Let's work on those weaving patterns. Come on, you've almost got them, " Lindo said. And they took to the floor again.
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Old 05-20-2003, 09:47 PM   #143
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An Elf maiden stood on the road, looking at the inn in front of her with a bewildered expression on her face. The Seventh Star was the name painted near the door. The sound of merry music and singing drew her closer, and, looking through the window, she saw that some were dancing. Taking a deep breath, the Elf looked down at her white dress and silently scolded herself for wearing so light-colored a garment. Dirt and streaks of mud clearly showed all over her clothing, and she dreaded entering the inn. Yet an idea passed swiftly through her head, and a pleasant smile came to her face.

Turning away from the door, she went back to the road where her gray mare, Menethon, was waiting for her. Reaching into one of the saddlebags, she produced a long dark cloak, warm, but of light material. She threw it over her shoulders and pulled it so it fully covered her dress. She need not suffer the humiliation of entering the inn so dirty and disheveled.

She strode forward slowly and her mare followed her. She was still hesitant to enter the inn. She was shy by nature, and afraid of meeting new friends. And what old friends of hers would be in Gondor? Well, first things must come first. A young lad approached her, holding out his hand towards Menethon, murmuring something about caring for her horse. Smiling kindly at him, she thanked him and watched as the mare was led away. So there went the last one she knew in this place. But then again, she was certain the innkeeper wouldn't take too kindly to her bringing a horse into the inn, especially such a fiery-tempered one as Menethon!

Laying her hand on the door to the inn, she closed her eyes and took a few deep breaths. She had felt this very same way when she had first gone to The White Horse in Rohan. A little afraid, afraid of meeting new people, worried that she should make a bad impression, worried also that she might make a fool of herself as the 'bad Elf' or the 'foolish Elf.' But that hadn't happened, so why should it happen here. Indeed, it had always been her impression that Gondor was tamer than Rohan, though she had never been to the former until now.

Taking one more deep, long-drawn and long-released breath, she turned the handle and pushed open the door. She was surprised to find herself calling out cheerfully, "Hello!" and even more surprised to hear others greeting her, though she knew no one. Or did she? A young woman with flaming red hair and a familiar face turned to her. Nuru stared at her for a moment, then gasped out, "Rie!" Her former smile returning to her face, she laughed with delight as she looked at her old aquaintance. Here at least was one friend.
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Old 05-21-2003, 12:18 PM   #144
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Caught up in learning the steps to the dance, Rie did not notice the door opening. She watched Aman's feet very carefully, slowly copying the motions, looking around to Lindo and Poppy for approval. A grin spread across her face as she picked up speed. She wished that she was wearing lighter shoes, but as it was her boots did not impair her too much. She laughed aloud as she finally understood the dance, and she danced it vigorously until she felt a small gust of wind and heard a familiar voice call out, "Hello!"

She turned around, astonished, and her face broke into a huge smile. Her dear friend's face echoed it. "Rie!" Nuru cried.

Laughing, Rie ran over and embraced Nurumaiel, practically swinging her off of her feet. "It's been so long!" Rie exclaimed, holding her friend at arm's length to take a thorough look at her. "Well, you look as good as ever, but that's to be expected, is it not? A little travel-worn, but you've always been able to get rid of that soon enough." She smiled warmly, the beginnings of tears stinging her eyes. Wiping them away briskly, she led Nurumaiel to a chair.

"Now, Nuru," she said in a cheery voice, "what news of the outside world? Have you seen Talomi or anyone lately?"
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Old 05-21-2003, 02:33 PM   #145
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Her hair hitting her in the face as she danced, Poppy began to feel rather dizzy weaving in and out and moving in constant circles, and fumbled her way to a seat. From there, she watched the others learning the moves, and noted that the atmosphere had certainly brightened up. Now, if only they could get Cami to stop cleaning and join in...

Hearing the door creak loudly, she looked over, to see it being pushed open, and a head peering round and calling ‘Hello!’ Poppy got off her seat to join the newcomer, who had already been heartily greeted by Rie. They were clearly old friends.

Joining them, she extended her small hand in greeting.

“Hello,” she said, smiling brightly. “I’m Poppy Took, I don’t think we’ve met before.”
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Old 05-21-2003, 02:59 PM   #146
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Nuru laughed as Rie embraced her and gave her a hearty hug back. It had been so long since they had last seen each other... to think that Rie would be here in Gondor, not to mention The Seventh Star, at the very same time as herself! It was too good to be true, and Nuru was wise enough to know that this was not to be called luck.

Hearing Rie's comment about how well she always looked, Nuru grinned a bit ashamedly. That was luck. "I suppose you've never seen me looking as I usually do," said she. Making sure no one was watching, she moved aside her dark travelling cloak a little so Rie could see the streaks of mud on her white dress. Rie looked a little surprised, but then laughed and questioned Nuru as to watch she had been doing lately, and whether or not she had seen Talomi.

"No, I haven't seen him, more's the pity," said Nuru. "Of course this is just a guess, but it is possible Firramer has invited him to stay with him in Rohan for awhile. They do seem like good friends."

"Yes," said Rie. "They do."

"Have you heard anything from Eohsecg recently?" A mischievous light came into the Elf's eyes. Rie blushed and looked downwards. Nuru knew well that Eohsecg and Rie were good friends, at that at least the former had a stronger feeling than friendship.

A hobbit approached a little shyly, maybe a little worried that Rie and Nuru would be annoyed that their talking was broken up. She extended her hand and said in a polite tone, smiling pleasantly, “Hello. I’m Poppy Took, I don’t think we’ve met before.”

"Greetings, Miss Took," said Nuru, taking the hand and shaking it. "A hobbit, by your names and even more by your looks." She smiled and gave a little nod of her head, her way of greeting when she was sitting. "Indeed, it does surprise me to see a hobbit here, so far from their own country. Tell me, Miss Took, what brings you to Gondor?"
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Old 05-21-2003, 03:11 PM   #147
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Poppy smiled and sat down on a chair, her legs dangling off the side, nowhere near the floor.

“Great,” she muttered to herself. “I really must see the Innkeeper about getting hobbit-friendly seating…I could break my leg climbing off and on these chairs.”

Noticing the strange glances Nuru and Rie gave her, Poppy turned pink.

“Oh, I’m just wandering,” she said. “After leaving Castle Maladil, I didn’t feel like going straight home, so I took a…detour…through Gondor, to see a bit more of Middle Earth. And please, call me Poppy. Miss Took sounds far too formal for the likes of me!”

“Anyway, that’s enough about me!” Poppy laughed. “Tell me, Nuru – it’s all right to call you that, isn’t it? – what brings you here? And do you have any interesting stories to tell? We could do with a few more of them around here. And perhaps you could give us a hand with the party celebrations!”
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Old 05-21-2003, 05:57 PM   #148
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"I, like yourself, am wandering," said Nuru. "I have just recently come from Rohan where I was visiting an old friend of mine. I have always desired to see Gondor, for those who stop at the Green Dragon, where I often am, have told wonderous and beautiful tales about it." She glanced quickly at Poppy. "No doubt you think it odd, an Elf so strongly desiring to see a land of mortal folk, but so it is, and I cannot change it."

She stopped and looked down, gathering her thoughts and pondering over what she had just said. Why had she wished to see Gondor? Recently she had more and more been interested in the ways of Men and in hearing tales of her home. As of late Elven company had not satisfied her, so she was much away from her home in Rivendell, staying at the inn in Bywater where she could converse with Men, Hobbits, and Dwarves, not having to speak to Elves. What was this strangeness that was coming over her?

Looking up, she realized Poppy had just asked her something and was looking at her expectantly. Apologizing, she asked the hobbit to say it again, then she replied, "I would enjoy telling some tales, but I fear most of them will be fantasies from my mind or tales that would bore a hobbit like yourself."

"Not at all!" Poppy cried, smiling. "I would love to hear any tales you might want to tell." She paused, and thought back to what they had been doing before Nuru had arrived. Dancing, that was it. Or, rather, teaching Rie how to dance. "And perhaps you could give us a hand with the party celebrations!" she suggested eagerly.

Nuru laughed, a light laugh full of fun. Tossing her head, the warm light from the fire caught her brown hair, and, as it did with the Elf's hair when light shone upon it, it seemed to be as gold for a brief moment. She looked scornfully about the room. "Where shall I begin?" She looked back to Poppy and Rie. "What were you doing when I came in?" She listened eagerly as Rie told her the whole story, then she laughed again. "Then let us start there. Come, Rie and I will learn the dance together!"
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Old 05-22-2003, 05:55 AM   #149
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Sting

Poppy jumped off her seat to join in the dancing again, her dizziness now completely gone.

“Ok, I don’t know the dance well, but Lindo tells me it’s really rather simple…lots of weaving patterns.” Nuru nodded, as Poppy demonstrated, spinning and weaving. “Rie, help me out here, you know the dance a little.” As they danced together, Nurumaiel looked a little confused at the way the hobbit and the human wove in and out, spinning as they went.

“Well, the best way to learn is to practice,” cried Rie, grabbing Nuru’s hand and drawing her into the group. Nuru laughed as they span round and round, before all three, elf, human, and hobbit were begging for rest and collapsing in a seat.

Poppy, her cheeks now flushed pink, clambered off the seat again and wearily made her way to the bar, to get a drink, and to ensure a few nights rest at the inn, as she felt sure she would only get lost in her tired state and the pitch black of the night.

Having duly paid for her ale, Poppy observed the goings on from her low vantage point. Aman and Lindo were still dancing, and Rie and Nuru were chatting busily in the corner. Cami was nowhere to be seen, and Poppy privately suspected she had probably fallen asleep with her mop and broom.
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Old 05-22-2003, 05:59 PM   #150
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Sting

Lindo and Amanaduial shared a long laugh as another song ended. "Rest?" suggested Lindo, and nodded towards Poppy, Rie, and Nuru.

"Yes," Aman said, smiling at the thought of meeting someone new. "I will join you shortly." Lindo nodded, and headed towards the three.

"Nicely danced, ladies. You each picked up the patterns quickly; especially you, lady, " he said to Nurumaiel. "Or did you know it from your youth?"

"It was new," laughed Nurumaiel. "Should I have known it?"

"I suppose not, " Lindo smiled. "I am Lindo."

"My name is Nurumaiel. What is the dance called?" Nurumaiel asked.

"Falling Appleblossoms, " Lindo replied.

Nuru looked a little puzzled. "I haven't heard of it."

Lindo nodded. "A children's dance from Gondolin. Basically it's very simple, but easily embellished which makes it look more complicated . But since it's quite old, I'm not surprised you've never heard of it."

Nuru gave him an odd look. "Oh."

"Once people catch their breath, pehaps we'll try a different one. Amanaduial is newly recognized as a Master Story teller here in Gondor. This celebration is in her honor. I think she will join us shortly. I am quite glad you have joined us." Lindo waved at the waiter, and smiled at Poppy and Talmarie. "Nurumaiel, what would you like to drink?"
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Old 05-24-2003, 07:24 PM   #151
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Sting

Poppy pushed a stray lock away from her face. "A new dance?" she asked. "Is it easy or hard?"

Lindo conisdered the question, and thought, "Well, most of the ones I know start out easy, and then you can make them as difficult as you want to. The Running River is like that. Why don't we try it next?"

"The Running River, " Nuru echoed. "All right; how does it go?"

"The dancers form a line. The dancer at the top of the line faces downward; he is The Leaf. All others face upward; they are The River. The Leaf weaves and spins his way down to the end of the River. There are three patterns; you can touch hands or not, and if dancers come back around below The Leaf, then it takes The Leaf longer to get to the bottom of the river."

"Hmmm. Weaving and spinning down the line--is it like Strip The Willow?" Amanaduial asked.

"A little, only The Leaf never goes upriver. If you want to lengthen The Leaf's journey downriver, then other dancers in The River have to circle below The Leaf."

"You're going to show us how it works, I hope, " Poppy said.

"I think we have enough people. We'll start out walking til you all have the patterns. Come on, " Lindo headed back up to the dance floor. "Poppy, would you be the first Leaf? When you get to the end of the River, then the dancer at the top of the River becomes the next Leaf." He gestured through the first weaving pattern. "Offer your hand to each dancer you pass, alternating your left and right hands."

"Like a Grand Chain, " Amanaduial said.

"Yes, only in the first phase they stay still. When that's easy, add a swing around each person. When that's easy, add a turn in between. When that's easy, dancers in the river can start circling below and lengthening The Leaf's journey."

"Are any of these written down?" Telmerie asked, furrowing her brow as Poppy wove in and out. Amanaduial followed, then Telmerie, then Nurumaiel, then Lindo.

"That's a good thought," Lindo said. "I wonder what the next music will be? The musicians seem to be on break." Lindo shot the band a raised eyebrow, and they guzzled from their mugs and took up their instruments again.

The lutes and fiddles and flutes and hand-drums now sounded out a pulsing rhythm, but the tune was a little jarring and the beat was rather fast. Telmerie and Amanaduial grinned at each other. "White Stripes!"

[ May 28, 2003: Message edited by: mark12_30 ]
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Old 05-28-2003, 10:01 AM   #152
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Sting

Lindo donned his cloak with a contented sigh, and stepped out into the night. He hadn't had that much fun dancing in a while, and he was sad that the festivities had run their course. He could have easily kept dancing.

But hopefully, the dances would find their way to other celebrations. And hopefully, they would return to hear some of Amanaduial's tales soon.
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Old 05-30-2003, 10:02 AM   #153
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Sitting on the floor, leaning against the wall, Poppy watched the room. It had certainly died down lately – the dancing was over, Lindo had disappeared somewhere, and very little seemed to be going on here. She assumed Lindo had gone off to get some sleep, since the dancing had taken a lot of energy. A large yawn escaping from the hobbit’s mouth, she finished her drink, and retired to go to her bed, to awaken when more life inhabited the Inn.

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Old 05-30-2003, 10:26 AM   #154
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Nuru sat down, panting for breath and laughing in between. The dances had been lively and took much energy to dance and even learn. She smiled widely at Poppy, Rie, Lindo, and everyone else in the inn and sat back for a rest. Rie gave her a strange look and Nuru returned it. The redhead scooted down the bench to lean over and whisper in Nuru's ear. "Nuru, you were going to tell a tale?"

"I fear, my dear friend, that I wouldn't be much good at storytelling," said Nuru easily. "I prefer to just sit here. And, at any rate, no one would want to hear any story that I would tell."
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Old 05-30-2003, 01:21 PM   #155
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Lindo, delighted to find his friends still there when he returned from his walk, nudged Nurumaiel's elbow. "Nuru, we would love a tale. Please, indulge us."

"Oh, I don't know, " Nuru began modestly.

"I doubt that!" Lindo laughed. "Come, we are weary, and thirsty, and ready to listen. Pick a tale. Any tale."

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Old 05-30-2003, 01:31 PM   #156
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Nuru sighed a gave a little shrug. "Well, as I haven't yet had time to think on it, I can only tell one tale, mainly known as the most boring tale anyone can tell: the story of my life." She laughed. "But I promise after I have some time to think, I can tell something much more interesting.

"Now, where to begin? Most cannot remember when they were mere infants, but many are told what their life was like. I was not told. As far as I know, I was raised by Rinnanwen of Lothlorien, and my parents are either dead or have crossed over the sea, or do not care about. I was only told that Rinnanwen found me in the Golden Wood and took pity on me, and raised me.

"I could not enjoy life at Lothlorien as much as other Elves. I have heard that it is the fairest of all Elven cities, and that many dream to go there. My dream was to leave. Rinnanwen sensed this and, being compassionate, said farewell and sent me to Rivendell, where begin the most beautiful days of my life... and the most horrible.

"Beautiful, for I loved that place more than any other, but horrible because some Elves were not so kind to a traveller. Girithtil was her name, and her nature matched it perfectly. She was as cold and uncaring as the most freezing winter. She totured me, mocking me in every way she could, laughing at me, and worst of all... she was cruel to my horse. I doubt if I could have survived it if I hadn't met Nicrabanwen, another Elf who was kind and sympathetic towards me. We found we had much in common, the main thing being that Girithtil despised us both.

Nurumaiel paused and looked about her. "Shall I continue?" she asked. "Or have you become weary of my tale?"
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Old 05-30-2003, 01:58 PM   #157
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Lindo's eyes glittered coldly. "Cruel to your horse?" he said. "I have never known an elf that was cruel to horses before. Never. Careless, perhaps, or thoughtless when distracted, but cruel-- never. Please go on."
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Old 05-31-2003, 03:18 PM   #158
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Nurumaiel looked at Lindo as he spoke and her eyes widened. "Very true," she said. "I never thought of that before, yet..." She gave a bitter laugh. "Sometimes I believe Girithtil is half orc. And she uses it all against me."

She sat back, looking at the floor and trying to gather her thoughts. Where had she been? Ah yes, speaking about Girithtil. And what happened next? She thought desperately, seeing that many pairs of eyes were fixed on her. That was it! When Elrond...

"Well, the 'battle' between Girithtil and myself grew greater, and began to cause a disturbance of the peace at Rivendell. Lord Elrond knew something had to be done, so he sent me back to Lothlorien. I left angrily, thinking that he was cruel. But it was actually the greatest kindess he has ever shown to me.

"I had to travel through Rohan, so therefore I passed through the Gap of Rohan. There I was stopped by a band of Rohirrim, suspicious of me and wanting to send me back. You must remember that this was many years back, taking place just before the War of the Ring, so the Men of Rohan did not take kindly to Elves. I think they feared them?" Nurumaiel hesitated, unsure. She could see no reason why the Elves were to be feared, but it was the only emotion she could attach to the behavior of the Men.

Shaking it all away, she continued. "But one was wiser than the others, and had grown hearing tales of the Elves, always wanting to meet one for himself, and so while he doubted me, he let me pass. Firramer of Rohan was his name." She looked at Rie, and then stopped to catch her breath before continuing with her tale, and to give anyone who might want to comment a chance to do so.
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Old 05-31-2003, 06:13 PM   #159
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Sting

"Oddly enough, " Lindo said, "I have yet to visit Rohan. When I come to Gondor it is never through their fields. Yet I would love to go there. I hear that their horses are beyond comparison. Do they have ponies too?"

Nurumaiel puzzled over that for a moment. "Ponies..." She reviewed all her memories visually, and then began to nod. "Hmmm. Yes, I saw one.. two... ah, I saw several. Handsome ones at that. Well-proportioned yet rugged."

Lindo's eyes glowed warmly as he quietly hoped his path would lead him to Rohan-- or at least to their ponies. "Please go on. DId you see any more of Firramer after he let you pass?"

[ May 31, 2003: Message edited by: mark12_30 ]
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Old 06-01-2003, 05:47 PM   #160
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Sting

Nurumaiel sat back, giving her response some extra thought. Lindo glanced about looking for Cami. Nitir would like this story, he thought. I wish she would join us and listen. But she gets so terribly busy sometimes.

Glancing around at Poppy, Amanaduial, and Telmerie, he saw empty glasses, and he signalled a waiter, who refilled his and Poppy's cider glasses, and got more wine for Telmerie, Amanaduial, and Nurumaiel. There was a lull, and Nuru sighed, thinking back over her story.

They gave her time, and soon she started her story back up again.
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