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Old 03-23-2020, 12:55 PM   #1
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!
1420! An Unexpected Vir(tu)al Party

Estelyn unlocked the door to the Barrow Downs' ballroom - long had it been since this hospitable hall had seen guests. Though the air in the hallway outside was reasonably fresh, making obvious that there had been a degree of coming and going amongst the Wights, it was musty in the festive area. She sneezed delicately as the dust tickled her nose, glad that no one was nearby to look at her apprehensively, fearing a serious illness.

She opened all of the windows to let in the spring sunshine, then set to dusting and sweeping the hall determinedly. She moved some tables alongside the walls and dragged in several rocking chairs from the geezers' clubroom, draping some of the quilts she had recently sewn over the arm rests and placing cushions on the seats. Some festive garlands and vases of fresh spring flowers added a touch of cheerfulness to the formerly gloomy room.

Then she sat down to write invitations to the dear friends that had once filled these rooms. It would be wonderful to see many of them again! Would the invitations reach them, or had they moved on to other places of which she did not know?

Finally she changed from her everyday garb to a favourite festive dress - red, with a white blouse, and adorned with embroidery. Her hand brushed over the white tree that meandered around the neckline and she smiled, remembering the poem that went with the garment: Seven stars, and seven stones, and one white tree.

Of late her thoughts had been more occupied with the Ring poem, and that reminded her - hurriedly she placed a small table with a washing basin, soap dish, and towels beside the door to the ballroom. Now everything was prepared, and the guests could come. She smiled in anticipation.
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Old 03-23-2020, 01:44 PM   #2
Thinlómien
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White-Hand

Thinlómien peeked in from the door, sniffed and sneezed. "Don't worry, I'm not sick! It's just dusty in here. Or maybe it's me who's dusty, I haven't been here for ages. Excuse me."

Shooting Esty an apologetic glance, she busied herself with washing her hands with the lovely flowery scented soap that had been set up.

"Now, can I help with anything, or is everything done? I suppose we'll wait for a few more visitors to appear before raising a toast?"

She thought she could already hear werewolves howling in the distance. She shuddered, wondering if the hard times would lure them out. Perhaps it would be diverting.
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Old 03-23-2020, 02:07 PM   #3
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Legate of Amon Lanc is wading through the Dead Marshes.Legate of Amon Lanc is wading through the Dead Marshes.Legate of Amon Lanc is wading through the Dead Marshes.Legate of Amon Lanc is wading through the Dead Marshes.Legate of Amon Lanc is wading through the Dead Marshes.Legate of Amon Lanc is wading through the Dead Marshes.
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"Oh my, what a fancy setup," said a voice from the door. "This certainly needs more guests, I hope there will be many of us to raise a toast!"

It was Legate, who had soundlessly ambled in through the neigbourghing corridor. As often, his attire, however aimed for festive occasion, was rather simple, one could easily mistake him for a second aide to the second captain of some backup group of border-guards from Lórien, or something along these lines. But such a misunderstanding was likely to last only until he spoke.

Halfway through washing his hands, Legate had already managed to loudly praise the room's setup, raise his hope that the sunny weather was going to last as it offered also a beautiful view out of the windows, and compliment the present Wights' attire. For good measure, he added a few simple rhymes and riddles that he promptly answered himself, not considering them enough of a challenge to offer for serious contest. When he had finished his washing ritual, he realised that not very much of the soap was left.

"Oh my, I am so sorry," he said apologetically. "But here, careful as I am, I have been, sort of, counting on such a possibility... here's a backup solid block of a pine-scented soap from Mirkwood. Don't ask me how they make it. Or, if you wish, do. I could tell you..."
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Old 03-23-2020, 02:21 PM   #4
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Pipe The Grouch Arrives

True to form, Thenamir walked into the room in his grimy denim coveralls, toting his tool box and wondering what-in-the-underworld was so broken that his presence was required right away. "Fear! Fire! Foes! Where's the problem?? Thenamir is here to save the day." said he, more of sarcasm than enthusiasm. He moved thru the room of dust with nary a sneeze or a blink as though it was his natural environment...which, of course, it was.

He set his barrow tools down by the door moved towards a familiar face. "Esty! Long time, eh? I see that my Merisu is still fluttering her eyelashes just like I left her. So where's the trouble? And what can I do to help? Maybe I could set up a couple of exhaust fans to blow some of this dust out so you lovely ladies can work without coughs and sneezes."
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Old 03-23-2020, 02:33 PM   #5
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!
"How wonderful to see both of you!" Esty greeted Lommy and Legate. "The soap is a very timely gift - we are using so much of it at the moment. I do hope that some of our guests will bring some food - I have provided something to drink. Please do take a glass and fill it - we can toast now and with later guests as well."

"Thenamir! If you think it is still dusty in here you should have seen it before I cleaned up! Please have something to soothe your dry throat. For once, you don't have to do anything, just enjoy yourself!"
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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 03-23-2020, 03:49 PM   #6
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Inziladun made his way inside the door, approving the tasteful decor. Blue jeans, a button-up shirt, and black Under Armor shoes were the attire. He'd never been one for finery.

He'd heard of this soirée when it was held before, of course, but had somehow missed it. Nearing the Barrow-Downs 20th anniversary, though, this time it was certainly not to be sneezed at ().

Seeing some Downers had already arrived, he delightedly greeted his old WW comrades/bitter enemies Legate and Lommy.

And Esty! Long time indeed! And....could it be? Thenamir? How marvelous!

"Well!" he said. "What's on tap?"
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Old 03-23-2020, 06:37 PM   #7
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Leaf

Sounds of rummaging and a bit of clanking and clacking were interspersed with muttering. mark12_30 rummages deep in a closet. “The brown cloak or the blue? Green trousers or brown trousers? weskit or an embroidered red vest?” Stepping back with a snort, mark12_30 sputters, “Character first. THEN costume.” A little pause, and then...”Lindo.”

Lindo, now grey at the temples and a little less spry, approached the great door with some trepidation. Reaching just above eye-level for the man-sized handle, he wrestled with it for several moments; then with both hands, gave it a hard tug. The door flew open and the hobbit flew backward with it. “Ow,” came a clear tenor voice muffled by the hand that held his nose.

“Oh, dear, “ cried Estelyn, swooping toward the bloody halfling. “You should have knocked! Please, come inside where I can help you better!”

“It’s just my nose,” came the muffled tenor reply. “I am sorry.”

“I see,” Estelyn sighed with relief, and then ordered him inside. “You’ll frighten passers by if you stay out here. In you go. No, not the Ballroom yet. Here’s a towel. Take a bucket out the back door, scoop up some water from the cistern and wash up. Off you go!”

Still muttering apologies, Lindo did as he was told, and then he washed the towel and hung it in the sun to dry. When he returned, he came through the kitchen and stood for a while in the kitchen doorway, listening. He had not been inside an inn for many years. The ballroom was modest but lovely; he had a strange sense that no matter how many more people came, there would slways be enough room,
Estelyn, Thinlomien and Legate were speaking by the fireplace, while a fellow in blue trousers sporting a toolbox was inspecting the hinges and the patches in a nearby window. Lindo resisted the urge to refer him to the latch of the great door, choosing rather to gently suggest the idea to Estelyn.

And then he saw the rockers, and the quilts. Heaving a sigh of relief, he crossed the ballroom as quietly as a hobbit can, chose a rocker, turned it to face the small gathering, climbed precariously into it as it wavered with his movements, sat down and cocooned himself in the quilt, as he listened to the conversation. He wondered if his nose would turn black and blue.
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Old 03-23-2020, 09:54 PM   #8
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The Dark Elf Morthoron, having grown restless and irritable during an extended period of in-home quarantine, decided to forego all conventions of social distancing (a hallmark of Dark Elf indifference, even in more pleasant times), and took a stroll among the stiffs and statuary of the Barrow Downs.

Traversing further than was his wont, he happened upon a secluded area of the Downs that he had not visited since the 2nd Age. He recalled that nearby a maid managed a moot wherein many met for the mead and meat that was mete for mirth and merriment, and having exhausted his allotment of alliteration, ambled aimlessly ahead.

Aside from the runic sign being a bit askew and weather-beaten, the Ballroom seemed relatively untouched by time. He saw the washing bowl, considered the unsanitary nature of many folk having already scrubbed their greasy hands in the muddy waters, made a pretense of washing his as well (while opting instead to use a bit of balm concocted by the blue wizard Purello, which he kept in a leather flask in a pocket of his cloak).

Not wishing to intrude on any conversation, he quickly found an Edwardian leather club chair in corner. As it was a very comfortable Edwardian leather club chair, he ignored the anachronistic nature of such a piece of furniture in this time period, and waited patiently for some Stout. Because what else would a Moriquendi drink but dark beer?
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Old 03-24-2020, 08:25 AM   #9
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!
Estelyn beamed at the newcomers, a greeting that could not lighten the Dark Elf's scowl. This obviously calls for something special, she thought, and I know just the thing.

"Morthoron, you are good in dark places - can you help me with something?" she asked. He shrugged, which she interpreted as his having nothing better to do, and followed her out of the ballroom. She led the way down a flight of stairs, even dustier than the room above had been, and attempted to open a heavy wooden door at the foot. With an exasperated sigh, the Elf pushed it open and said, "You should not have tried to pull it!"

She smiled ever so slightly in the darkness, knowing that the males of any species were prone to display their strength and superior knowledge when given a chance. "What do your Elven eyes see?" she queried. He peered into the darkness, which, unlike the Void, did not peer back at him, and said, "There are many bottles here."

"I am searching for a special Old Winyard brew, a wine that has taken on a bubbly character," Estelyn said. "The bottles are shaped differently than normal wine bottles."

He walked around the room and pulled two of the flasks from the shelves. "This looks like it could be the potation you seek. There are more, though I cannot recognise how many."

"We shall start with these, and see if more guests come later," she determined.

Back in the ballroom, Morthoron demonstrated his ability to open the bottles without permanent damage to the room or the guests, and Estelyn poured the sparkling wine into the glasses she had cleaned and prepared.

"Let's have a toast to those who brought us together here!" she exclaimed. "The Professor!" Glasses were raised and the guests appreciatively sipped the fine beverage. "The Barrow-Wight!" was the second toast, and by the time the glasses were emptied and refilled, the atmosphere had become joyously festive.
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Old 03-24-2020, 09:13 AM   #10
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It had been a strange time in the houses of learning. Pupils were sent home, and keepers of wisdom were suddenly tasked with continuing their teaching from afar. Missing her young charges, Encaitare was grateful for even the limited contact afforded by her Palantir. After checking in on several pupils, she glanced at the surface of her messy desk.

Estelyn's invitation!

"Oh! Is that today?" she gasped. Time seemed to have less and less meaning these days, and yet somehow more. "Better put some actual pants on."

(And that's trousers to y'all overseas, thank you very much. )

Indeed, she had worn little but pajamas for almost two weeks, not counting the fuzzy sweater she threw over herself to appear a bit more professional in her Palantir communications. She put on a favorite outfit - a three piece black velvet suit with a diamond pattern in silver glitter. She had last worn it to ring in the New Year with her musical troupe. All that seemed so far away now.

"Perhaps I can provide some entertainment to lighten my fellows' hearts," Encai said. Her abode was full of options, everything from a piano to a kalimba. "No one wants to hear a euphonium right now," she mused. She suspected her neighbors felt similarly, though they were too polite to complain to her face. "I need something that's fun and easy to carry." After much consideration, she selected a ukulele and her trusty flute.

The ballroom was much as she remembered it, and after washing her hands at the door, she stood in the center, gazing up at the high ceiling. "Oh, the memories!" she said breathlessly. "How many happy hours were spent here? I think I feel a song coming on! Who's with me?"
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Old 03-24-2020, 09:27 AM   #11
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I I think I feel a song coming on! Who's with me?"
"I am, I am!"
Lalaith waved her glass wildly in the air, with the bubbles frothing over and unfortunately splashing poor Morthoron, not improving his mood.
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Old 03-24-2020, 09:15 AM   #12
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"Bubbles? Did anyone mention bubbles?"

Lalaith had been delighted enough to receive the invitation, but was even more delighted that her entrance was marked by the sound of popping corks - to her ears, the merriest sound in Middle Earth.

Those of her friends who knew her best were not remotely surprised to see that she had gone overboard on the outfit - a full-length gown of teal and midnight blue, with silver workings on both the bodice and in her hair, which she wore loose and long. But she did so love a party - and there had been so few of late.
"This is a merry meeting," she cried, clapping her hands. "May we, at least here in the Downs, embrace our old friends in greeting? Oh, there is Lommy, and Legate, and Esty, and Inzil, and...."
Glass in hand, she ran about excitedly from person to person, trying not to spill her wine as she greeted them affectionately. She had wearied quickly of her dwelling in the guarded city of Londonlin, desiring ever to roam and wander free as had once been her wont. This grace to depart the safety of her walls, even for a virtual escape, was most welcome.

"So how is everyone? What news from the West, from the South, from the North...and from the East?"
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Old 03-24-2020, 11:25 AM   #13
Thenamir
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Thenamir has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!Thenamir has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!Thenamir has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!Thenamir has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!Thenamir has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!Thenamir has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!Thenamir has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!Thenamir has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!Thenamir has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!Thenamir has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!Thenamir has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!
(EDIT: It looks like Thenamir needs to read more posts before he posts himself. This is seriously out of order.)

Thenamir decided that he might as well remain and enjoy everyone's company, there were worse places to kill an afternoon. "Ho, Inziladun! Well met, old friend! It looks like Esty needs our help restocking the beverage table -- and if we help, we'll be first in line to refill our mugs!"

He grabbed Inziladun by the arm and dragged him to the door of the wine cellar where Esty and Morthoron were emerging with a couple of wooden crates loaded with interesting-looking bottles. Thenamir took one of the crates from a grateful-looking Morthoron and set it down on the table next to the goblets, mugs, flutes, and tumblers provided. "Well, well," He said, extracting one of the bottles and admiring its label, "Inziladun, you asked what was on tap, well lookee here! Old Winyards! Where have you been hiding this stuff, Esty? I thought the last bottles of O.W. went down the gullet of old Bilbo himself." Suiting the action to the word he smoothly extracted the cork and set himself up as an impromptu bartender for all those nearby.

"Is it too early for a toast?" he asked, not really caring whether anyone answered. "To Estelyn Telcontar, mistress of the feast!" All those in attendance shouted a hearty "Hear! Hear!" before draining their vessels dry. Which of course meant that they quickly came back for more.
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Old 03-24-2020, 01:11 PM   #14
Oddwen
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When Ms. Estelyn Telcontar of the Barrow Downs announced that the Downs would be celebrating its 20th birthday with a party of special magnificence, there was much talk and excitement on social media.

The invitations were impressive, gilt edges and fancy calligraphy and all, which was slightly odd because you know, the whole "digital" thing. Oddwen tried not to think too hard about it as she strolled up to the tomb doors. She had baked a few dozen cookies for the occasion, for what was a party without snacks? A party without snacks, of course.

The grand hall had been cozified and several people were already there, settling into comfortable chairs, distributing, quaffing and sipping drinks, and filling the space with music. The familiar green and gold lights made the scene eerie yet welcoming.

"Don't follow the lights," hissed a voice from a dark corner. "Or Downers will light little candles of their own..."

"That sounds pretty cool actually," replied Oddwen.

The voice had no answer and Oddwen figured it was just as well, as she had forgotten where the joke was going, and she washed her hands of the matter. She set the cookies on a likely looking table and placed a few boxes of disposable biodegradable gloves nearby.
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Old 04-07-2020, 06:48 AM   #15
Thinlómien
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Thinlómien has passed beneath the Argonath.Thinlómien has passed beneath the Argonath.Thinlómien has passed beneath the Argonath.Thinlómien has passed beneath the Argonath.Thinlómien has passed beneath the Argonath.Thinlómien has passed beneath the Argonath.
So many people! Thinlómien thought, happily ambling through the crowd, sharing toasts with old friends and enemies alike. It felt like good old times. And to think, an even bigger party was only to come!

Suddenly, her musings were interrupted by the papery sound of a telephone ringing in the distance.

"Is that for me?" she muttered aloud. "And if I pick it up now, who's gonna pick it up the next time it rings?"
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Old 04-07-2020, 11:04 AM   #16
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Pipe

"Saucepan? Common greeting brings underworld to nothing! I do beg your pardon, Lhuna. Haven't had a chance to do one of those for a while."

This may seem like an odd way for old comrades to greet one another, but it had been some time since Squatter had put a crypticism to the Saucepan Man and the sudden presence of a room full of old friends had left him slightly overwrought. He rambled on, apparently to the world in general.

"The old place hasn't changed a bit. I wonder what we've all been up to. So many unquiet dead returning to their mounds I almost feel newly deceased again. Good to see you anyway. Servant, ma'am."

He trailed off, apparently having forgotten what he was talking about, and gazed around the room. Perhaps he had drifted into some philosophical reverie, but more likely he was looking for canapés.
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Old 04-07-2020, 05:01 PM   #17
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!
Estelyn was delighted to see such old friends as Saucepan and Squatter in the ballroom! How wonderful, she thought. Many had become treeish in the past years, as she had sometimes thought of herself, but fond memories had kept the Barrow on her mind and quite obviously, on others' minds as well.

Ah, the good days of adventure - Merisuwyniel and all who had shared those times... Her reminiscences were interrupted by images of the world beyond these halls, where her companion was not an Entish Bow but a sewing machine, where stacks of cotton waited to be sewn into protective masks. The masks of anonymity in the early days, of hiding behind a nickname, had dissolved into the true names and faces of friends, truly met in life, or at the least virtually known. Now it was back to masks again - strange times indeed.
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Old 04-07-2020, 06:03 PM   #18
Mithalwen
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Location: watching the wonga-wonga birds circle...
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Mithalwen is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Mithalwen is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Mithalwen is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Mithalwen is lost in the dark paths of Moria.
Mithalwen lingered outside a long while. She had seen the invitation sometime ago but she had never been a party person and this tendency had strengthened over the years. She had grown more like her name greyer and more treelike in temperament as well as physically. She was definitely not as bendable - “and increasing in circumference year on year” piped up a voice in her head. Her mind’s eye gave her inner voice what her mother would have called an old-fashioned look and the voice bit its tongue.

It wasn’t that she didn’t love the place, she did. it had been a refuge for years but she had another refuge now, a home she need never leave on the blessed island and there were things in the other world which took her time and occupied her mind. She had taken a stop gap job on moving and just when she had planned to move on she found herself a key worker in the struggle against the pestilence. She was working for the victuallers and as a wise hobbit once said “where there’s life there’s need of vittles”.. She couldn’t save your life but she knew where wine and the requisites for the privies were kept... Spending all day answering queries and soothing the irate left her almost grateful for social distancing.

But yet there were people it would be good to see again, those of whom no word reached her in the other place. So she loitered outside and watched others enter, some the firstcomers she knew little, some of her own time, some of The bright younglings grown very well indeed. Inner voice and another that sounded rather like Lalaith’s chivvied her on. She wrapped herself in her shadowy cloak, washed her hands carefully While she hummed the first stanza of “Gil-galad was an Elven king” and slipped in as unobtrusively as she could contrive.
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Last edited by Mithalwen; 04-07-2020 at 07:49 PM.
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Old 04-08-2020, 12:26 AM   #19
piosenniel
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1420!

“Oh, look!” Pio’s companion nodded her head toward the man who had just entered and now stood glancing about the room in a somewhat bemused manner. "He looks like that fellow you told me about. From that Inn you ran? Or was it some adventure?”

Raising a brow at that vague description, Pio scanned the room in the general direction of Angara’s nod. Just the person I wanted to see!
She smiled, nodding her head at the fellow. Raising her arm, she waved at him, half filled mug still grasped in her hand.

“Envinyater! Join us!! I’ll stand you a cup of whatever your thirst desires!"
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