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Old 09-14-2006, 11:48 PM   #321
Farael
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Swing to the left, now swing to the right
Wiggle your HEY! Just dance all night…


“No, wait… that’s not it. Oh, yeah”

Swing to the left, dancing…

“No, that’s even worse. Where am I anyway?” The landscape looked rather different than the last time he had checked. All was well, he had meant to get lost and lost he was now. A deep grumble from his stomach reminded him of his one mistake. He had always wanted to travel, to explore the world and perhaps find that elusive muse that would finally release all his creative potential. He had set out at last, his only destination to be wherever his feet lead him. Sadly, as he soon found out, feet lead nowhere on an empty stomach, and so he had been forced to rely on the generosity of a few farmers along the way. Lucky it was that his feet had chosen the way to The Shire, should they have gone the other way he might have found himself starved in the middle of the wilderness.

If he remembered properly the words of Farmer Stoor, he was now in Stock. Robby knew one thing, and one thing only about Stock. The inn there was almost as good as the Prancing Pony. Of course, no inn could be as good as the good ol’ pony, but it was still a high compliment.

Swing to the right, now swing to the left
and while you are danc…

“Still not there. Making lyrics is a hungry work! And so is all this walking. Now where is that Inn?”

At length, and after walking right by it and not seeing it, twice, the man finally found the Golden Perch. By that time it was hard to tell who was grumbling louder, his stomach or himself.

Swing to the… Do I ever want to start my song this way? Yes, sure, swinging is good, but is it a good start? How about Tell me’ ma, when I get home… hmmm… the boys won’t leave the girls alone… hmph, well, I will have to work on that, but not until after dinner!”

With that he gently knocked at the door of the Inn. It would not be polite, he figured, to barge in uninvited so late an hour. There was no response, so Robby tried again. Getting slightly impatient, he was about to try one more time, when someone finally opened the door.
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Old 09-15-2006, 08:54 AM   #322
Valesse
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In a somewhat lost and distant voice Valesseka heard herself saying "Yes, please." to Dick the bright eyed innkeeper. She was much busier trying to take in all of the late activity around her when her attention was drawn to a light knocking on the door.

No, it's not my place to go answering doors for an inn. Why would someone be knocking anyways? Well, I guess it is late...

Valesseka stared at the round door for a moment before lifting her mug to drink. It was a fairly good brew... a really good brew, infact! and from the smell outside the food would be savoury and delicious also. Quickly forgetting the about the door-rapping, Valesseka sat down and took another swig of the stuff only to be lured into a trance by the musical elves. She was quite happy here, and somewhere in the back of her mind decided that she needed a nice long rest before continuing on her journey home.

As the elves sang and played she could feel herself starting to hum along with their merry sound until, at last, the sound of knocking came again. Vainly she hoped someone would answer it quickly, she had far too much beer and elven music to delight in to be bothered much longer by that silly round door.
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Old 09-15-2006, 02:01 PM   #323
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Colren felt quite uncomfortalbe, he had no idea what to answer. And he really wished his life was as simple as the hobbit's. I could just say to Tollers that I don't want to tell about my past... That would be better than lying. "Well, Tollers, you see..." No, no, no... This is bad. I have to invent something better. "...well, I'll tell you about myself, but first I'll go wash my hands and tell the cook not to worry about my order. I won't leave you waiting." Or this delicious looking food.

Colren searched for the kitchen. He found it, but just then he understood that there was music, it would have otherwise been a merry song, but now Colren felt as if this too dragged him to some sad memory. This is unbearable, I have to read the letters, I have to. Then I might answer Tollers question better. Thinking, Colren did walk into the kitchen. The cook wasn't there. Colren quickly washed his hands and wandered, should he search the cook to cancel his dinner. He soon desided that he didn't want to meet new people just yet.

Colren walked back to Tollers and sat down. "Now, it seems that our elven friend hasn't come back. What is her name by the way?" Colren tried to seem happy, but inside he was really confused. He began his tale. "Like I told you, my name is Naren. I come from the land of Gondor. There are giant cities in Gondor, but I have never visited them. I'm more of a farmboy myself too. I don't know how my family is doing, which is really sad, but that happens when you go on a adventure. And I don't even really know why I wandered here. I do have interest in history, at the moment I'm studying hobbit-history. If you know somebody who knows more about this or is otherwise interested, please don't keep it a secret. Books would do well." I can't really tell anything else not to be too suspicious, this I might think was a good answer. "But let me excuse me, may I have some food to warm myself." I really hope the elf will come soon...
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Old 09-15-2006, 09:18 PM   #324
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Opening the door for Robby Appledore . . .


Rowan could not quite be sure if she heard the knocking or not. The common room was noisy with the babble of many conversations; the last waning claps of appreciation for the Elves’ song; and the sound of table legs scraping across the wood floor. A number of the local men, their bellies filled with good food and Perch ale, were in the mood for dancing and had begun to push back the tables to clear an area.

She almost stepped away when the tapping came again. And this time, since she was standing quite close to it, there was no hesitation on her part. Rowan set down her tray of dishes and dirty mugs on a nearby table and opened the door. For a moment she stood looking at the figure just a few feet away.

The inn’s light swung in the light night’s breeze throwing a pale shine at the man’s back. He was taller than she was, though not as tall as some men that had come to the Perch, and seemed of a sturdy build. Backlit by the lamp’s glow, his hair was of some darkish hue she thought. She could not see his face well, though it seemed it bore a wide smile as she stepped to the side to let him in and the light from the room’s lamps and the fireplace washed over him.

‘Come in! Come in, sir! Let’s not let the night’s chill creep into the room. It’s nice and warm inside,’ she went on motioning him in with a gesture. Closing the door firmly behind him, she pointed to the pegs near the door where other cloaks hung. ‘You can leave yours there if you wish. Plenty of tables,’ she said with an inviting smile. ‘I hope you like music – some of the folk are singing and playing their instruments for us tonight.’ Rowan pointed out a table just at the edge of the newly cleared dance floor. ‘Just set yourself down and I’ll be right back to see what you’d like to eat and drink.’

She picked up her tray of mugs and dishes and made to go to the kitchen. ‘Oh, how rude of me! My name’s Rowan . . . Rowan Muddifoot.’ She flashed him another smile. ‘Be right back!’

Last edited by Undómë; 09-15-2006 at 09:23 PM.
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Old 09-15-2006, 10:21 PM   #325
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Will waits for tea

‘. . . it's been a long day, wouldn't you say?' Cook said. 'I'll brew some willowbark up for you at the same time, and some for Primrose, too; even if she doesn't say she wants some, she'll probably be needing it just the same.’

Will sat himself down in one of the wooden chairs, watching as Cela bustled about making tea. ‘It has been a long day, Miz Cela,’ he said, nodding his head. ‘Don’t know if I’ll be able to stay up much longer. My arm aches and to be honest so does my head. Just a dull ache, but it’s constant. I think I’ll just have some more of your tea and head off for bed.’ He fingered the seamed edge of the quilted placemat on the table in front of him. ‘And I think you’re right…about Prim, that is. She looks tired, too.’

He shifted a little in his chair, trying to find a more comfortable position for his arm. ‘Maybe we can get her to drink another cup of tea and you can get her to go to bed herself.’ His cheeks flushed a little as he went on. ‘I mean…I think it would be better coming from you…being a girl and all…’
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Old 09-16-2006, 12:41 AM   #326
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Rhys was humming as he plucked softly at the strings of his fiddle. Satisfied that the strings were in tune, he picked up his bow and nudged his sister with the tip of it. ‘Shall we do another?’ He nodded to the lads busy moving back the tables. ‘A dance tune, perhaps. You can play the hand drum. It’s there by the fiddle case.

Tanwen ignored the nudge and the question, making some non-committal reply, or rather sounds. Her attention was elsewhere, on a certain table across the room. She cupped her chin in her hands, her elbows resting firmly on the table-top. ‘So, who do you think that fellow is over there? That Elf, that Hithadan’s talking to.’

She twisted in her chair to look at her brother. ‘It’s interesting, don’t you think? When you look at the two of them over there. The Elf is certainly the taller of the two, by a good hand and a half, wouldn’t you say. And he’s not that thin, so he most likely outweighs the Ranger. Still,’ she went on, turning back to watch the two of them again, ‘Hithadan seems the bigger of the two, doesn’t he?’
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Old 09-16-2006, 01:21 AM   #327
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‘Fills out his tunic quite well, that one does!’ Penstemon chuckled. ‘That’s what my gran would always say about the ones she took a shine to when the lads came to court and spark my sisters and me.’

She cast an eye at Rhys and gave a nod to Tanni. Leaning toward Rhys, Granny crooked her finger at him, urging him to come closer. ‘She have a fellow waiting back home for her?

Penstemon chuckled again seeing the look on his face. ‘Thought as not!’ She patted his hand as a look of sympathy crossed her features.
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Old 09-16-2006, 12:26 PM   #328
Farael
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Comein!Comein,sir!Let’snotletthenight’schillcreepi ntotheroom.It’sniceandwarminsideYoucanleaveyoursth ereifyouwish.Plentyoftables,Ihopeyoulikemusicsomeofthefolkaresingingandplayingtheirinstrumentsf orustonight.’

The lady hobbit pointed at a table on one corner of the room. Was she even breathing while talking?

Robby was still trying to digest her first outburst of talk when she added ‘JustsetyourselfdownandI’llberightbacktoseewhatyou ’dliketoeatanddrink.’.

Then she picked up a tray full of (empty) mugs and dishes and started walking away. She had not gone too far when she added, mercifully slow enough for Robby to understand, ‘Oh, how rude of me! My name’s Rowan . . . Rowan Muddifoot. Be right back!’

‘That is one busy hobbit’ Robby thought as he settled on a chair by the table she had pointed at. Looking around the room he could see he was not the only guest. It seemed to that there were some other hobbits, two dwarves and many men and women in the room. Some of the men were rather ordinary looking, much like himself, but others were much fairer than most. Indeed two of them were sitting in a makeshift stage, seemingly getting ready to play another song. The two were really good looking, Robby wondered if they were from Rohan. He had heard people from that land were very fair. Yet he had been told the Rohirrim had golden hair and the musicians had dark locks.

“All the same, how lucky of me!” he thought, “I might just be able to showcase my talents tonight… if I could only come up with a song worth singing!” he sighed “Alright, let’s try this again”

Let’s have a drink, for the old times, the good old times
take another sip there’s always…
He started humming to himself, but then he stopped short

“What is there always? Good friends? Great company?” … good friends and compan “No, that’s too long… love?”
Let’s have a drink, for the old times, the good old times
take another sip there’s always love…


“Drinking and love? Well, what you feel when you drink is not love, that’s for sure” Robby laughed out loud at his own wit and banged on the table. Then he was aware, very aware, that he was on a common room filled with strangers. Some of those strangers seemed to turn around and look at him with interest. Or were they glaring at him?

“Either way, Appledore you fool! You want to make a good impression on these folks, not scare them away. To go around banging on tables like a drunkard, what were you thinking?” he chided himself. “Well, I better just sit here and keep to myself, at least until Miss Rowan comes back.”
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Old 09-16-2006, 08:11 PM   #329
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Edric approached the door to the Golden Perch Inn. He had been admiring the music that he heard coming from inside. Never have I heard a tune so beautiful, he thought to himself. The Golden Perch, haven't heard of this before.

Edric had been travelling on the East Road when he started growing tired and wanted to find a place where he could get some rest. He had been moving around a lot in the last several years. His great plans of fleeing from Fengel and travelling to Gondor, looking for an oppurtunity of a better life, did not go exactly as planned. He felt trapped and isolated in Minas Tirith, and the Men there were not like his friends and family in Rohan. Bree was a little better, but he still didn't feel like he had entirely fit in, being a newcomer and an outsider.

That's what led Eddie here, to the Golden Perch. He didn't even have an idea of where he was at, 'At least it seems I've found a nice looking place to stay for a while' he said. He approached the door and began knocking on it. The music had stopped (hopefully they were not done playing), but Eddie heard a lot of livelihood and activity still going on inside.

The door opened and to Eddie's shock there stood what looked like a little child with curly hair. Eddie was taken back for a moment, wondering who this was. Edric came out of his awe, 'I'm sorry.' he said embarrassingly 'I must look like a fool to you. Where am I at, if you don't mind me asking?'

Last edited by piosenniel; 09-17-2006 at 08:50 PM.
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Old 09-17-2006, 02:13 AM   #330
Undómë
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Letting Edric in . . .

‘My goodness, now who’s knocking at the door?!’ Rowan sat her tray of dirty dishes and mugs down on a table again. Wiping her hands on her apron, she made for the door and pulled it open. She craned her head back so as to take in the very tall man who stood there.

Biting her lip a little, she stifled a giggle thinking of the first man she’d let in just a few moments ago. Though he’d been taller than her, still he was much smaller than this fellow. The long and the short of it . . . caromed about in her head as she looked from one to the other.

‘Rowan Muddifoot, at your service,’ she told him, remembering this time to introduce herself. ‘No need to apologise,’ she tried to assure him as he stood there. ‘We’re sort of off the beaten track for most of the Big Folk. But anyway, to answer your question – you’re in the Shire, the Eastfarthing to be exact. The town you’ve come into is called Stock. And this fine place is The Golden Perch Inn. Great ale, good food!’

She smiled a welcome and motioned for him to come in.

‘Another of the Big Folk just got here right before you.’ She pointed to where Robby Appledore sat. ‘I was just going to drop of my load of dirty dishes and such and then come back and take his order. Would you like to sit with him, then I can see to the both of you.’
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Old 09-17-2006, 06:34 PM   #331
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'Thank you Lady Rowan.' Edric replied. 'I think I will join that fellow over there, again Thank you.' I definitely think I am going to enjoy it here, Edric thought. He even began considering possibly living here for quite some time, as he had been growing weary of constantly moving from place to place.

Edric walked up to the man Rowan had pointed out to him, and started introducing himself. 'Hello kind sir, I am Edric Gulwine, from Rohan.' That's when Edric began talking away as he usually did. 'Well I was from Rohan until I felt like it would be best to move on to better places. To make a long story short, I moved to Minas Tirith, than stayed in Bree for a while, but neither place suited me and I felt disconnected. So, now I find myself here and Lady Rowan told me you had just arrived, is this true? Did you meet Rowan yet? Seems like a nice lady, doesn't she, and a very hard worker at that too? Oh, I'm sorry you'll have to excuse my ill manners, would you mind if I joined you?'

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Old 09-19-2006, 02:28 PM   #332
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“Certainly, Will,” answered Cela, managing to keep most of the amusement out of her voice and face.

At this point she was interrupted in her tea making by Rowan’s entrance to the kitchen to request two plates of food for some late-coming Big Folk. Cela was grateful that she always kept a couple of plates of dinner warm after the normal dinner hours; although many who came in at this time of night preferred just a mug of ale, there were occasionally some wanting dinner as well. Two of these she fetched up and double-checked for their warmth before sending Rowan on her way with the meals.

“Perfect timing,” Cela declared as the tea began to boil just after Rowan left. She poured two mugs, handed one to Will, and took the other herself. “I’ll just come with you now and take this out to Prim. If anyone else comes in wanting dinner, well, they can wait a few extra minutes. I’m not too busy now.”
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Old 09-19-2006, 08:40 PM   #333
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Gable finally found the dress that she had been looking for and changed into it quickly, knowing she had already been taking awhile. She put on a different pair of shoe’s before heading out the door.

She walked over to the table where Tollers and a man were seated. “Sorry it took me awhile, I couldn’t find my dress.” She told them, her cheeks hot with embarrassment.

She took a seat and suddenly remembered the pony, ‘the pony can wait.’ She told herself, ‘right now isn’t the time to think of such things.’ Hoping to get the pony off of her mind, she asked the man, “I’m Gable, Will’s assistant. You are?”
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Old 09-19-2006, 11:18 PM   #334
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Tollers:

Before his friend could answer, Tollers had elbowed his way back into the conversation. He stared the Elf straight in the face and proceeded to talk as if Gable had never even asked a question of Colren. "Ah, my friend. I am glad you are back and that the little mishap about the nail and the sleeve did not prevent you from joining us. Come share a plate with us and perhaps a tankard of ale, if that is to your liking."

Tollers pushed the serving platters in front of the Elf, dished up generous portions onto her plate, and then went on to explain, "This fellow next to you is Master Colren. You see he's not from these parts, but he does have an interest in hobbit history. Actually, I was just about to tell him I'm a terrible one to help with something like that. I went to Dame Opal's school when I was a young 'un. I managed to learn my letters and numbers, but when it came to history I was a complete failure. I almost got chucked out on my ear."

"Funny thing, though, I hear there's a gentleman in the Shire proper who is a whiz at that type of thing. He knows a good bit about the history of the Shire, and someone even told me that he's begun to write a long history of the Elves. That sounded a bit fishy to me but this fellow insisted." Tollers rapped his knuckles on the table trying to remember the name of the famed hobbit historian. "Oh, yes, I remember now. That fellow is called Bilbo Baggins. A strange fellow, I hear. I suppose reading all that history could put your head out of line. Colren, perhaps Bilbo could help you? You'd have to travel west to Hobbiton, but I hear he has a whole burrow full of books so maybe you could find what you're looking for."

"I don't suppose, Gable, that hobbit history would be of interest to you or that you've ever heard of this fellow Baggins. Our history is a poor thing when compared with the much grander stuff of the Elves. Indeed, Gable, I am certain that life in the Shire is quite bland and predictable when compared with the way things work in a community of elves."

"And Master Colren, the history of men has its high points as well. It puzzles me why you'd want to spend time with hobbit history, since it mainly discusses who is a third cousin twice removed from someone else. But I suppose you have your own reasons, whatever those might be...."

Tollers glanced at the two strangers, curious if either of them would open up a bit more.

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Old 09-20-2006, 03:29 AM   #335
Tam Lin
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Tavaro chuckled as he looked from the ginger-haired woman back to his friend. Hithadan was blithely unaware of her blue-eyed scrutiny; his eyes were taking in the two newcomers to the inn. Sizing them up, weighing them.

‘Be back in a moment,’ the Elf said, rising from his chair. His destination was not the table where the man and woman sat with the elder Halfling lady, but rather the table where the three Dwarves sat.

He gave a nod to the large fellow with the reddish brown hair; the one who had neither played nor sung when the two young Elves made their music. The other two Dwarves, whether by nature or by the quantity of ale which buoyed them up, he found more welcoming. In an easy manner he complimented them on their flute playing and asked if they might accompany him in a song. There was a whispered conference among the three of them, in which a few bars of some song were hummed; the words to it spoke low and finally agreed upon.

Tavaro returned to his table and fetched the pack stashed by his chair. From it he drew out a fair sized something wrapped in a soft, sea blue, finely woven stole. His harp. The Elf’s long, slender fingers ran over the strings and with a few quick twists of the metal pins which held the various strings, the harp was brought into tune.

‘This is an old song, from an old place west of here,' he began, looking about the room. 'A lovely land of trees, hills, green grass, and rivers, that the great sea has now swallowed up. There were men and women living in that place whose fair tongue is now mostly lost in the passing years. Many of the Eldar made their homes in that land and Dwarves, too, resided there.'

‘It’s an old theme, too . . . a familiar, and oft inescapable one . . .’ He raised one eyebrow slightly and smiled as if to himself. ‘But here, let us begin it and let you good folk judge for yourself.’ He nodded to Bívor who lifted his flute to his lips and began the melody. Tavaro joined him, picking out the tune on the harp strings. His fair voice sang the old words softly as Bávor spoke the words in the common tongue . . .


Tá mé mo shuí ó d’éirigh’n ghealach aréir
Ag cur teine síos gan scíth is á fadó go gear
Tá bunadh a tí ‘na luí is tá mise liom féin
Tá na coiligh ag glaoch ‘san saol ‘na gcodladh ach mé.


I am up since the moon arose last night
Putting down a fire again and again and keeping it lit
The family is in bed and here am I by myself
The cocks are crowing and the country is asleep but me.


‘Sheacht mh’anam déag do bhéal do mhalaí is do ghrua
Do shúil ghorm ghlé-gheal fár thréig mé aiteas is suairc
Le cumha do dhiaidh ní léir dom an bealach a shiúil
Is a charaid mo chléibh tá na sléibhte gabhail idir mé ‘s tú.


I love your mouth, your eyebrows and your cheeks
Your bright blue eyes for whose sake I gave up hunting the wily fox
In longing for you I cannot see to walk the road
Friend of my bosom, the mountains lie between me and you.


Deireann lucht léinn gur claoite an galar an grá
Char admhaigh mé é no go raibh sé ‘ndiaidh mo chroí istigh a char
Ó aicid ró-ghéar, faraor nár sheachain mé í
Chuir sí arraing is céad go géar trí cheart-lár mo chroí.


Learned men say that love is a fatal sickness
I never admitted it until now that my heart is broken
It’s a very painful illness, alas, I have not avoided it
And it sends a hundred arrows through the core of my heart.


Casadh bean-tsí dom thíos ag Lios Bhéal an Átha
Is d’fhiafraigh mé díthe an scaoilfeadh glas ar bith grá
Is é dúirt sí os íseal i mbriathra soineannta sáimh
“Nuair a théann sé fán chroí cha scaoiltear as é go bráth.”


I met a faerie woman in the Rath of Béal an Átha
I asked her would any key unlock the love in my heart
And she said in soft, simple language
“When love enters the heart it will never be driven from it.”
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Old 09-20-2006, 05:29 PM   #336
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After Will left for the kitchen, Primrose leant back in her chair to listen to the music filling the common room. Despite all the folk gathered in the room, she felt lonely. Other than Will, her friends were all busy. Primrose wanted nothing more than to join the bustle of the kitchen, chatting with Rowan or Cela while ladling soup into a bowl. Except, maybe, to tease Will (with Cela's help).

Between loneliness and the sad melody played by the Elf, Primrose began to feel a little downhearted until she spotted Will and Cela heading for her table with steaming mugs in hand. Not a moment too soon, she thought.

Reaching for the mug of tea Cela offered, Primrose asked, "How are things in the kitchen?"
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Old 09-21-2006, 05:35 PM   #337
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Gable was a little surprised to hear that the others had found out about her almost fall on the roof of the stables. But she also had expected it because news about such things travels fast in the shire, even if they’re not as fast as elves. News travels fast around here, though she didn't expect it to travel this fast.

“Well, actually, I love to hear Bilbo’s stories. The Shire isn’t quite like being at home, but with what happened this morning, things are probably going to be…different.” Gable replied, thinking about the wolf, and pony again. A thoughtful look crossed over her face, wondering about why a wolf would be so close to the shire… And why would a wolf be driven to attack a pony, and the pony’s owner, where ever he/she is, and whether or not they’re alive...
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Old 09-22-2006, 03:11 AM   #338
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At the end, Skirvir had joined in with his cousins, bringing out his own flute to accompany the Elf’s song. It was an old song, just as the fellow had said. And Skirvir recalled his grandfather singing parts of it and telling of those lands long ago that had sunk below the sea. That was a time when Dwarves and Elves were not at such odds as they seemed now.

‘Well done, lads!’ he said to Bívor and Bávor. ‘Let’s have another round of ale here, miss!’ he called to the server as she passed by. He glanced up at the Elf, watching as he set his harp carefully on the floor near him. Skirvir looked him over closely, narrowing his eyes as if trying to make some sort of decision.

From their own seats, the cousins looked at Skirvir in surprise as he motioned to the Elf to catch his attention and then proceeded to invite him to the table to down a pint with them.
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Old 09-22-2006, 05:58 PM   #339
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It wasn’t going to be a night for song-making, that was as sure as sunrise. The man, Edric, seemed to be really eager to make conversation and it would be poor manners not to talk to him. ‘By all means, do join me. Robby Appledore from Breeland at your service’ he stood up and offered his hand to the stranger ‘I myself have just walked in, I was lost in thought and my feet lead me this way. Well met I say, this Inn sure feels cozy although…’ he lowered his voice almost to a whisper ‘I know an Inn that is even better than this one. The hobbit folk are great hosts, but nothing tops the Prancing Pony Inn and that’s a fact. I don’t know if you have visited it during your stay in our city, but I think not because if you had tried that sweet ale you would have never left! Ha!’ He laughed out loud and banged his hand on the table; drawing again gazes from other people.

Then Rowan came, carrying some delicious looking dishes. When the table was set both men dedicated themselves to the food. It was only after their hunger was (partially) quenched that Robby talked again. “Yes, you are right. Miss Rowan is a lovely young lady, even more so for the great food that she brings to us.’ He smiled broadly and took a good swig of ale ‘Still my friend, you must have heard some very interesting stories both in Rohan and in the land of Gondor. Perhaps you would care to share some? Because, well…” his voice trailed off, all of a sudden he felt insecure, almost inadequate “well, I am a bit of a song writer myself. From what I have heard of these folks I am no match to their skill and yet perhaps you can tell me something to… to inspire me”

Perhaps it was the cheerful look on this stranger’s face or perhaps it was the relaxed atmosphere but before he realized it, Robby was out-talking Edric himself. “See, I am no musician. I am a farmer, son of a farmer from a farming family. Back home… well, they did not want me to make music. ‘Lines and poems? Carrots and potatoes is what you should spend your time thinking of’ but yet it is like a calling, you know? I did not choose music, music chose me. I must follow my calling and so I am travelling the world now, seeking for that elusive inspiration. Perhaps if I found the elves, they are said to be very inspiring. But elves are not easy to find anymore. Perhaps I should ask that fair folk over there. The singers and such. They all look so beautiful perhaps they have seen an elf or two.” He gazed at them, so fair and yet somehow strange to the eye.

‘Nonsense Appledore. They are just beautiful men, stop your dreams or soon you will convince yourself that they are elves after all’
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Old 09-23-2006, 11:52 AM   #340
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For how late it was the Golden Perch was still certainly busy with the heart-moving sounds of elven harps and dwarven flutes and bare, hairy feet tapping and knee patting. It seemed almost impossible for the Arnorian, who had been for so long without music, to place her attention elsewhere, but it was.

Valesseka hadn't been watching Edric, just like she hadn't been watching Appledore. She was staring at them in a half-dazed distant look which could only mean thoughtfulness. They weren't elves like many of the preformers, nor were they dwarves or these bizzare half-sized people which seemed to fill the place most effectively. They were men, and being who she was, Valesseka was curious about them. One, Edric, looked rather worn to her, as if he had also come from a long journey, but he was of quite high spirits. Maybe that was just his nature... Appledore she couldn't quite pin down, just as she could not hear what he was saying to Edric. Now completely absorbed in the two, she was careless to consider exactly how direct her gaze was becoming or how hungry the smell of the halfling's cooking was making her.
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Old 09-23-2006, 02:49 PM   #341
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Colren was gulping the tasty food while Tollers and the Elf were talking. He was just about to bite a piece of good dark bread when a rusty gear clicked in his head. Mister Bilbo Baggins... Colren put his bread back on the table beside his plate. "Sorry, Tollers, but this Bilbo Baggins. What did he do? I feel like I have heard of him, long ago..." This is important. Something long lost... Hmm... Baggins, a hobbit...

"I'm sorry, I'll finish the meal, but I'll have to leave soon. There is something I wish to check. Don't feel offended, I really appriciated this and I wish that we'll talk again later. Thank you..." Colren started eating up slowly thinking about the name Baggins.

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Old 09-23-2006, 08:55 PM   #342
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For once, Cela caught herself from saying the first thing that came to mind, which had been along the lines of “perfectly fine.” For one thing, it was not entirely true. Not that she couldn’t handle it on her own; the kitchens just lacked a certain spark without someone cooking alongside her. “Going along, getting along,” Cela allowed with a sort of half shrug. “Quiet, though. It’ll be nice to have you back when you’re well.

“For now, though, drink that whole mug of tea. If you’re feeling any more pain, it will help that, and it’ll help you sleep tonight, too. And speaking of which, it’s starting to get late; it’s been a rough day for you and I’d like for you to get a full night’s sleep tonight. Then if you’re up to it, perhaps you can do some of the lower-key work in the kitchen tomorrow.”
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Old 09-23-2006, 08:57 PM   #343
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‘My stars, I think they are having us over for a drink!’ Tavaro smiled graciously toward the table where the four Dwarves sat, nodding his head in acceptance. ‘You do want to come, don’t you? I haven’t had the chance to speak with Stonemasters since I walked in the Grey Mountains years ago.’

The Elf wrapped his harp back in its covering and slid it into his pack. Shouldering the leather rucksack, he cocked his head toward the beckoning Dwarf his grey eyes on Hithadan’s face. ‘Yes? No?’
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Old 09-23-2006, 09:45 PM   #344
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Try as he might, Taffy could scarcely stifle the yawns as he listened to the songs. Not that the words were in the least boring, they were really quite lovely and he thought how his granpa would have asked they be sung again so that he might remember them. Nor was it that the tunes dragged on, either. The sounds of the flutes and fiddle and the harp were wonderful, all woven together. He shrugged his shoulders and wiggled a bit on his chair trying to invigorate himself a little. But it was all to no use. The activities of the full day spent traveling to Stock were taking their sure toll on him.

During one of his more spectacular yawns, his mother nudged his father, smiling at the sight of their ‘big’ boy. ‘Go on there, Mister Sandybanks,’ she admonished him lightly. ‘See to your son.’

Taffy’s head was nodding as his father came up from behind and clasped his shoulder lightly. There was no word of protest as Taffy slid off his seat and nestled against his father’s side, letting the older man steer him off toward bed.

‘There’ll be plenty of time to see your new friends and say your good-byes before we have to leave tomorrow.’ Taffy nodded sleepily as he shed his breeches and tunic and crawled into bed, snuggling deep beneath the quilts. Seren was already fast asleep on her side of the mattress; she made some little sound as he rocked the bed, then turned over and went promptly back to dreaming.

‘Mami and I will be in soon,’ Taffy’s father told him, leaving a lantern lit and hooded for a night light. But even before Madoc left the room, he could hear the boy’s soft snores.

As he slid back into the chair next to Lila, she patted him fondly on the arm. ‘What say we finish up the last of our tea here, then off to bed ourselves,’ he heard her say. ‘

‘Just thinking that myself,’ he said, laying his hand on hers. ‘You go on ahead first, though. I want to see to Marigold. Got to make sure that stone she had lodged in that back hoof didn’t cause any real problems. Don’t want to take her out lame tomorrow.’

Lila reached for her mug of tea and sipped on it. ‘Been hearing some pretty songs tonight, haven’t we?’ She glanced toward the Dwarves and the two younger Elves. ‘Who’d have thought we’d be hearing Elves sing here in the Perch. And Dwarves, no less. Land sakes! No one’ll believe us back on the island.’

‘Well now, don’t go worrying over what the neighbors will believe or not. We know we saw it and heard it, and that’s all as matters.’ Madoc leaned back in his chair, his arm resting along the back of Lily’s chair. I am a lucky man! he thought to himself, sneaking a quick look at his dear wife’s face in profile.
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Old 09-23-2006, 11:15 PM   #345
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-¤- Hithadan -¤-

‘I’ll sit this one out, I think, my friend.’ Hithadan handed up the Elf’s leather satchel and the hawthorn staff Tavaro had leaned against the wall. ‘You go and see to the Dwarves and their never-empty flagons. Be careful, though, I think that they might be able to drink even you under the table.’ He laughed and clapped his friend on the shoulder. ‘Catch up on old news and new, and whatever rumors they might have heard on their travels here.’ His face took on a more serious aspect. ‘I’ll see you tomorrow. Let me know then if there’s anything I need to hear about, won’t you?’

The Ranger watched as the Elf made his way to the other table. He smiled, seeing how Tavaro made himself quite comfortable among his new tablemates.

With a few long strides, Hithadan made his own way to where Rhys and Tanni sat, talking with Granny Greenhill. ‘Wanted to wish you all a good-evening,’ he said coming to stand near their table. I have some things to see to tonight.’ He nodded to Rhys and smiled at Granny and then Tanwen. ‘It’s been my pleasure to have spent such an enjoyable evening in your company. I hope to see you tomorrow if you’re still at the inn.’
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Old 09-23-2006, 11:49 PM   #346
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● Jack Greymoss ●

The bustle of the evening had worn down to a trickle. Most people were done eating, save for those two new men who’d come in late and been served by Miss Rowan. Jack had made the rounds of the tables, topping off the pitchers of ale and filling the teapots with fresh, hot water.

Jack slipped into the kitchen, his tray bearing a full load of mugs and a few bowls precariously stacked one upon the other. Mistress Cela, he’d noted, had come out of the kitchen with Will and gone to visit with the woman who’d broken her leg. Primrose…that was her name.

He set his load of dishes on the cupboard, and began carefully to load them into the big pan of hot, soapy water. And had Mistress Cela been in the room that was as far as he might have gone. But seeing as she was occupied in the other room, he decided to try his hand at the washing up.

‘Now just you take a deep breath, Jack m’boy,’ he admonished himself. ‘Not that tricky a job. Just keep your mind on what you’re doing and your fingers wrapped tight about the plates and mugs.’ He talked himself into an easy sort of rhythm.

Swish and swipe; swish and swipe . . . and dip plate; dip the mug . . . in the hot rinse water . . . carefully, carefully stack’em on the drainboard . . .

In a shorter time than he had thought, the washing up was got done. Jack stepped back and admired his handiwork. He picked up one of the dish towels hanging on a peg by the sink, but stopped short of taking up a bowl to dry. ‘Sure and that’s where my luck turned with the last dishes I did.’ He shook out the towel and spread it carefully over the stack of cleaned dishes.

Jack eased his lanky frame back out through the kitchen door and sat himself down at a little out of the way table. He’d brought with him a cup of strong, sweet tea from the kitchen. And now he sat contentedly sipping at it as he gazed about the room.

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Old 09-24-2006, 01:14 PM   #347
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‘I’m sure we’ll still be at the inn tomorrow.’ Tanni looked to her brother for confirmation. ‘Won’t we?’

‘At least part of it, sister mine,’ Rhys returned. He picked up his fiddle and played a few bars of a fast paced song. ‘It’s been enjoyable meeting you, too, Hithadan. Come by early and break your fast with us. You can see us off then.’ He nodded toward Granny Greenhill. ‘Miz Penstemon here has kindly agreed to take us about to the neighboring farms and introduce us to the farmers and goodwives there.’

The three at the table said their good-byes to the Ranger and watched as he made for the door. Tanni turned back round to the table, a considering look on her face. ‘You will take up our offer of a night at the inn, won’t you Miz Penstemon. You can bunk in with me, if you will. Though, if you wish, we’ll hitch up the mares and take you home tonight.’

‘Let’s do one more song for the good folk here, Tanni,’ Rhys broke in, then we can head for our rooms or the stable. He chuckled, bending down toward Granny Greenhill and whispering loudly. ‘I promise….she doesn’t snore!’ He stepped quickly away from the table, fiddling furiously as he ignored his sister’s retort.

Tanwen stuck out her tongue at him in a most unladylike manner; but he only smiled and invited her to sing. He played the chorus one more time, then nodded to her.

~*~

Three jolly fellows sat in a Shire tavern,
Three jolly fellows sat in a Shire tavern,
and they decided,
and they decided,
and they decided to have another flagon.

Landlord fill the flowing bowl until it doth run over,
Landlord fill the flowing bowl until it doth run over.
For tonight 'tis merry I'll be,
For tonight 'tis merry I'll be,
For tonight 'tis merry I'll be…tomorrow I'll be sober.


Here's to the man who drinks water pure and goes to bed quite sober,
Here's to the man who drinks water pure and goes to bed quite sober,
He falls as the leaves do fall,
falls as the leaves do fall,
falls as the leaves do fall...he'll die before October.

Here's to the man who drinks good ale and goes to bed quite mellow,
Here's to the man who drinks good ale and goes to bed quite mellow,
He lives as he ought to live,
lives as he ought to live,
lives as he ought to live…he'll die a jolly old fellow.

Landlord fill the flowing bowl until it doth run over,
Landlord fill the flowing bowl until it doth run over.
For tonight 'tis merry I'll be,
For tonight 'tis merry I'll be,
For tonight 'tis merry I'll be…tomorrow I'll be sober.


Here's to the maid who steals a kiss, and runs to tell her mother,
Here's to the maid who steals a kiss, and runs to tell her mother,
She's a foolish foolish lass,
She's a foolish foolish lass,
She's a foolish foolish lass…for she'll not get another.

Here's to the maid who steals a kiss, and stays to have another,
Here's to the maid who steals a kiss, and stays to have another,
she's a boon to all mankind,
she's a boon to all mankind,
she's a boon to all mankind...for she'll soon be a mother.

Landlord fill the flowing bowl until it doth run over,
Landlord fill the flowing bowl until it doth run over.
For tonight 'tis merry I'll be,
For tonight 'tis merry I'll be,
For tonight 'tis merry I'll be…tomorrow I'll be sober.


Three jolly fellows sat in a Shire tavern,
Three jolly fellows sat in a Shire tavern,
and they decided,
and they de – ci – i - ded,
To have another flagon…

~*~

The brother and sister raised their mugs to the crowd when the song finished and bid them all a good-night. Rhys put away his fiddle and after one last swig from his mug, accompanied Granny and Tanwen out of the common room.
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Old 09-24-2006, 01:44 PM   #348
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‘Well, isn’t that something! He’s gone and done the dishes.’ She took off the towel and inspected them with a critical eye. ‘And not a chip or crack to be seen!’

Rowan had gone into the kitchen just after the scruffy fellow, Jack, had come out. She supposed it wasn’t fair of her to call him ‘the scruffy fellow’, but that’s how he’d been when she’d first met him. And somehow that image was stuck in her mind. That and the fact that she and Meliot had snooped about in his room and some of the things they’d seen . . . no make that what Meliot had seen . . . looked a bit . . . well, suspicious.

Still, here he’d gone and done up the dishes. She knew there’d been a fair stack of them since both Prim and Will were hurt and unable to help. And she had figured she’d be up to the wee hours with Cook trying to set the kitchen in order.

‘Maybe I should just revise my opinion of the fellow a bit. Just a wee bit . . . there is the map to consider. And that jewelry found in his tattered pockets. But now we won’t have the dishes to do, at least.’

Rowan fetched the broom from the corner and started sweeping the floor. The slops bucket would need emptying, she thought, as she swept near it. ‘I’ll empty it just before I go to my room. And check to see if the hens are locked in.’ She gave a yawn, then bent back to her sweeping.
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Old 09-24-2006, 08:36 PM   #349
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Edric was usually the one who was being more engaging in the conversations, but this Robby Appledore he took a quick liking to. He's a musician, but not really? He's really a farmer? Edric thought being a little confused by what Robby had told him. Still Edric was fascinated by this Robby Appledore, he seems to be my kind of guy: enthusiastic and full of life.

"You want to be a musician, you say? And are looking for some inspiration? I don't know how much I can help you then. For all my stories are nothing worth singing a song about." Edric laughed. "Though I have been well travelled I doubt I can tell you anything that would, as you say, be inspirational. In Rohan, King Fengel isn't a man you want to sing songs about, songs are for glorious and noble Kings, not ruthless men like Fengel. I mean even his own son had fled to Gondor to escape. Though I did hear that after King Fengel died, they asked Thengel to return and take his fathers place. I never met him, but from what I heard he was a good man, much better than his father. Though my time in Rohan is in the past and something I've been long over. And as far as Gondor goes, that turned out to be about just as bad as living under Fengel. Such a grim place, it's glory days are now a thing of the past. Perhaps there's some life left in it still, supposedly Dol Amroth and its people are lovely to see. Which afterall, should be no surprise as they have the fair blood of the Elves in them. But alas, I've never been there. I've never been much of a sea loving person. So, I soon left searching for a better place. Bree suited me better, or at least it was my kind of place, but there was just something missing. I don't know what it was, just felt empty, you ever get that kind of feeling? That feeling where you don't feel totally complete or whole? Ah, anyway sorry to bore you with my rather bleak and dull life. I bet you these Hobbits here have better tales to tell you then I would." Edric laughed again.

After finishing his meal, the tiredness of the long journey from Bree overcame Edric. "I better be heading off to my room if I want to be ready tomorrow. You see, I'm not much of a morning person." Edric let out a little chuckle. "It was a pleasure meeting you Robby, and do please call me Eddie. How do they say it, I'm sorry to eat and run like this, but I really must get my rest. Good night, and again nice meeting you."

"Don't worry, I think I'll be right behind you, sleep sounds like a good idea now." Robby said. "Good night."

They both got up from the table, and as Robby left for his room, Eddie let out a wide smile. In fact, the widest smile that has been on his face for a very long time. He left the common room thinking only what tomorrow would bring.
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Old 09-24-2006, 11:41 PM   #350
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Tollers:

"Ah, Colren and Gable! Would that I had time for a few fine tales of Master Bilbo Baggins. I'm afraid I shall have to beg your pardon and put that off till tomorrow. Master Dick always has me make the rounds in the late evening after things are winding down to make sure that the windows are latched tight and everything is bedded down for the night. Such wild times we live in....having to lock down windows."

Tollers stood up and shook his head in disapproval. Then he brushed a few crumbs off his vest, took a final swig from the flagon, and, with a polite tip of his cap to say goodbye, walked back towards the kitchen door. Just as he was about to pass through the doorway, he waved and called back to the table, "Have a good night, both of you. You'll want to be up bright and early since that's often the very best time of day in these parts." With that, Tollers disappeared down the kitchen hallway.
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Old 09-27-2006, 12:26 PM   #351
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As soon as Tollers left, Colren wished the Elf good night and rushed back to his room. Bilbo Baggins... Hmm... This is so familiar, but what, that I don't know... Colren was tired and it was pitch black when he sat down on his bed. He couldn't wait any longer. He opened his pouch and took the next letter by time, it wasn't sent much later after the first letter, but the writer was different. It was written by a strong hand, but nervous. Colren read it carefully a few times:

Dear brother!

I must congratulate and also warn you. Elisi is a fair lass, I am happy for you. But he, our father will be furious if he hears about you marrying a woman of no high position. Father is a good man, he keeps all of us safe, his only problem is his greed. Well you know, he doesn't see any sence in a marriage just by love. If Elisi's family had any money, I'm sure father would be happy to wed you.

Don't worry too much, you can trust me to keep your secret. if you need help, I'm the first one to volunteer. I know I can't do much from here, but in three months when I return home from my study, I'll try to convince father to consider this.

Sorry I can't write more now, I'm called.

-Your older brother

PS: I got the presents you asked me to buy, here in Gondor they sell everything.


The letter was enden in a hurry. Colren sighed, still he didn't know his name. I'll have to continue being Naren... What he did know was that he had an older brother, who studied in Gondor, which must mean that Colren isn't from Gondor after all. Or just didn't live there at the time. Colren learned also about being from a rich family and having a greedy father. No memories came to him this time. He was really sad, Colren felt weak.

Colren dropped the pouch and letter on the floor beside the bed and fell down on his bed. He couldn't sleep most of the night, he was trying to analyze the letter somehow. I'll read more tomorrow, just too tired for that now. And those few lines were enough for now.
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Old 09-27-2006, 12:53 PM   #352
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Morning of May 6

Dawn broke over the horizon at its usual time. Dick stood again on the threshold of his inn, a more sober mood resting on him this morning than last. Through his mind, the tune that the elves had sung in their own language ran again and again. He remembered none of the words, they being all unfamiliar, but he did remember the melody. With difficulty he moved his attention back to the morning and his eyes shifted from the tossing tree tops and he turned to look back inside.

The door stood wide open and the morning wind, a little stronger than yesterday, blew into the common room. Tollers worked busily at unfastening the windows and opening them. From the kitchen came the sound of Cela cooking breakfast. The only thing missing was the usual sound of Cela and Prim talking together as they cooked. Dick didn’t notice the difference for some minutes, but when he finally did, he turned to go in and speak with Cela himself.

The kitchen was empty, except for the cook. Dick’s eyes lingered slightly on the kitchen table where Will usually sat at that time, while there was still a chance to eat an uninterrupted breakfast. It seemed strange and out of place that he shouldn’t be there now. And it was even stranger that Primrose wasn’t yet there. The broken leg probably had something to do with it, he figured. He could understand if it took her a little longer to get onto her feet that morning than usual.

“Where is Will?” Dick asked as he sat down. “And is there any coffee ready?”
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Old 09-27-2006, 03:09 PM   #353
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Cela chose to answer the second question first, as the answer was easier. “The first pot ought to be ready just about now,” she said, and sure enough, the coffee was percolating merrily. She poured Dick a mug and handed it to him, saying, “Careful now; it’s hot.”

Dick took a sip. “Mmm.”

“As for Will,” she continued, “I haven’t seen him yet this morning, but both he and Primrose were nearly asleep where they stood when I finally got them off to bed last night dosed up with willow bark tea. Speaking of which, I probably ought to brew some more of that up this morning… Anyhow, I reckon the rest is good for both of them, but knowing the two of them, they’ll be up soon, used to rising early as they are.” She looked around the seemingly empty kitchen and sighed. “It’s quiet without them. They do rather lighten the place up.”
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Old 09-27-2006, 07:25 PM   #354
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Falling, falling. Primrose tumbled from the ladder, watching the roof grow farther away as Will called to her from above, feeling the ground grow closer. But it never grew close enough. The fall went on without end, faster and faster until a rooster crowed and everything vanished in a flash of light.

The light was the morning sun in the window.

Primrose shook her curls out of her pillow and rubbed her eyes. Night had brought a head full of uneasy dreams, and her heart was still pounding. . Sometimes Will fell as she watched, sometimes she fell, and sometimes both fell together, but always the dreams led to the same ending of a tumble into emptiness. Morning was a welcome release from nightmares, though Primrose longed for a few hours of restful sleep.

Leaning over a bowl of clear water near her bed, she caught sight of her tired face. She could never go to the kitchen looking so haggard. If yesterday was any hint of what was to follow, Cela would send her right back to her room. Primrose splashed the water over face and neck, hoping to rinse away some of the weariness from her features.

A few minutes later, the sound of a crutch against the wooden planks of the hallway announced Primrose's approach. As she entered the kitchen, she smiled at Cela and Dick.

"Good morning!"
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Old 09-28-2006, 10:49 AM   #355
Forest Elf
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Gable blinked as the rooster crowed. Her sleep was light, filled with the previous day’s events; only this time, there was a shadow watching her in her dreams. She shuddered and hurried out of bed.

Her bare feet touched the floor and she looked out of her window. There were few a clouds, and a slight breeze. Gable stood and hurried to get dressed in one of her older work gowns.

The sleeves had been slightly ripped in places and there was a small hole, though unnoticeable unless you looked for it. She pulled her hair back and only braided it partway, knowing it would last for another hour or two.

She pulled on her boots and quiet as a mouse snuck out without getting noticed by Primrose, Cela or Dick. She hurried out to the barn, a bad feeling gnawing at her. She went to check on the injured pony.

The pony’s, to her surprise, whinnied before she had even set foot in the barn. Then she broke into a run. Three of the pony’s were rearing and kicking, the others’ eye whites were showing, and in the middle of a barn, a wolf with its eyes menacing turned upon Gable.

Gable let out a cry of surprise and wonder, and then as she saw it nearing to her, and knowing that she wouldn’t have much time to get a weapon, looked around desperately for the pitchfork. She found it, on the other side of the wolf; she swallowed and looked for something, anything, she could use as a weapon.

She grabbed a handful of sand and threw it in the wolf’s eyes. It snarled and three more appeared behind her, and one of the horses let out a whinny so loud it could’ve easily woken almost everyone in the Inn. She took a deep breath, knowing she wouldn’t be able to make it out of this alive without help, and screamed, scaring the birds out of a couple of tree’s.

A wolf lunged at her and she jumped out of the way and rolled, managing to stop a few paces from the pitch fork. She grabbed it and prepared to face battle against these four wolves.
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Old 09-28-2006, 11:29 PM   #356
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● Jack Greymoss ●

Jack had been out early that morning, trying out the pole Tollers had lent him yesterday. He had a few fish on his stringer; fish weren’t biting all that well this morning. Most likely they’d be enough for a little fry up for the inn staff. He was just coming up on the stable when he heard somebody scream, some woman it sounded like.

He dropped the fish and the pole and went running toward the open door. And pulled himself up as he saw the wolves menacing the Elf lady.

Where was that blasted ranger when a fella needed him?!

The wolves’ hackles were raised; lips pulled back from their slavering, yellowed teeth. Jack picked up a large piece of firewood from the stack near the stable and rushed toward the wolf nearest him. A great roar accompanied his charge, one born more of fear than heroism.

One of the wolves, the one nearest him as he entered the stable doors turned round to face him. The beast’s front legs were in a widened stance; his great, grey head weaving back and forth as he snarled and growled.

Jack hit out at him, hoping to drive him away, perhaps even to make the wolf run from the barn. But the wolf did not intend to be routed. He crouched down and launched himself at the man, knocking him down with a great thud.

And no sooner had Jack’s body hit the ground than the grey monster was astraddle him; it’s long, sharp teeth closing hard on its new prey’s tender throat . . .
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Old 09-29-2006, 12:44 AM   #357
Tevildo
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A Hole in the Hedge....

After unlatching all the windows and sashes, Tollers had marched out to check on his vegetable patch. It was a small plot of land located along the back courtyard fence. The hobbit had begged for some land from the Innkeeper and had been given a small stretch overgrown with weeds and thornbushes on the promise that he would clear these out. In return for this, Tollers agreed to supply the kitchen with a steady stream of turnips, carrots, peas, and beans throughout the summer with perhaps gourds or pumpkins or squash added sometime later in the fall. He would be free to sell the surplus on market day in Stock.

To his delight, Toller saw that a number of tiny seedlings had pushed up through the soil and were now showing their leafy heads. Yesterday there had only been rows of neatly tilled earth. Overnight, that had changed. All his hard work looked as if it was about to pay off. After taking a moment to admire his handywork, Tollers picked up his hoe and vigorously began to attack the soil, determined to clear out another row for planting. He was just deciding whether to plant a row of onions or rhubarb, when he heard a terrible shriek coming from the stables followed by a dull thudding sound, a loud growl, and then ominous silence.

Tollers' short legs carried him back across the courtyard as fast as he could run. He had not even bothered to drop his hoe. Tollers pushed open the barn door and stood frozen in place, so shocked at what he saw that he was unable to react. Four slavering beasts, like the ones out of his Granny's tales, were attacking Gable and Jack.

Tollers' heart dropped to the bottom of his toes. From the stories his Granny had told, he knew this could only mean one thing. There must be a hole in the High Hay, the portion situated just north and east of Stock, so that some of the terrible creatures had found their way through. Tollers wasn't sure how they had managed to cross the river but rain had been scarce of late. Perhaps last night , a few beasts had managed to swim or wade, or maybe they had even walked over the bridge at Stonebows.

All these thoughts took no more than thirty seconds. Grabbing his hoe, Tollers made an awkward lunge at the great grey nightmare now standing astradle over Jack. "Git back! Git back, you varmit." Again and again, with every word he spit out, Tollers thwacked the creature's head with all his might. The animal pulled up and snarled, twisted deftly to one side to avoid the bothersome hacks, and, for one moment at least, spun off in the other direction, hiding in the shadows and preparing to attack again. That tiny interlude gave Tollers time to yank Jack up to his feet and race back into the courtyard to the large bell that was suspended from a tree, a bell that must only be rung in moments of peril to alarm the residents of Stock. With all his might, Tollers grabbed onto the rope and began pulling vigorously.

Somebody come, somebody come quick, please. We need more help to pick off these villains and to plug the hole in the hedge. And if four wolves have already gotten through, who knows what else could happen!

Last edited by Tevildo; 09-29-2006 at 02:00 AM.
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Old 09-29-2006, 06:23 AM   #358
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Colren had a bad night, he couldn't sleep, but when he did, he saw nightmares about war and bloodshed. He hoped they were only dreams. In one dream he was in a arena with closed walls, alone. Then suddenly a manshaped wolf emerged from behind him. It attacked Colren and cut his breast deeply with it's claws. Colren fell down in pain. The last thing he knew was the wolf's howling.

Colren woke up with a start all covered in sweat. It was no dream, a wolf was really howling, close. A strange feeling came to Colren, he thought it was stupidity, but he jumped up and only in his trousers ran out of his room. A real commotion was going on, nobody could understand what was happening, but something was happening. Colren pushed his way to the door and ran towards the sound. The howl was coming from the stables. Without thinking Colren ran past Tollers and a man somewhat like himself, Tollers was ringing a giant bell, he didn't even notice Colren.

Just when Colren was beside the door of the stable a wolf came slowly out to greet him. Fear overtook him, he no weapons or anything else to protect himself. Not to mention that the wolf was exceptionally large and angry. Colren backed away slowly. The wolf came closer. The panicing man glanced behind him, there was a spade not far, he could manage. Or so he hoped. He walked to the spade the wolf following his every movement. Still few steps, I'll be fine. Colren heared voices, people were coming this way. As he saw two more wolves come out of the stable Colren tripped on something. And then the wolf leapt. Colren had a second to think of something, he grabbed the thing tripped on. It was a stick, rather long and strong. He thrust that into the air at the wolf. He hit his target. The wolf leapt back. Colren jumped up and saw that he didn't cause much damage, but still a nice long scratch could now be seen at the side of the wolf's shoulder.

That barely bleeding scratch was enough. Something in Colren's mind turned and he didn't feel any fear. It was all concentration, he had a "sword" and he landed the first blow. A warrior awoke inside. If Colren had time to think about it at the moment, he would have found it so strange that he would return to the fearfull victim of a wolf. Luckily there was no time to think and the real battle began. Sure Colren was weak and skinny, just as the wolf was healthy and large, but Colren had experience from many battles, he just didn't know it now. With his skill the man was far superior than the beast.

The wolf leaped again, or so it seemed. Just as it was jumping, it turned and attacked from the ground instead. Colren was suprised by this cunning, but he didn't flinch. The wolf was aiming it's teath at Colren's stomach. But he was quicker. Just a foot or so from the hit, Colren moved backward and lunged his "sword" into the wolf's jaw. It sank deep. The dying beast rolled on the ground spitting blood. Colren stood there and watched. The other two wolves saw that the man was tough and backed away towards the road leading out of town. Colren was victorious! He glanced one last time at the dead wolf and then he felt sick.

He had killed. Colren sat down slowly with his bare thin chest and the long scar that was now visible. It wasn't just a dream. The scar Colren couldn't think of any explanation now told him of a bloody fight where Colren once was. He just sat there on the ground beside the wolf and looked somewhere far far away. At something only Naren, the warrior could see.
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Old 10-01-2006, 01:45 PM   #359
Farael
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‘You don’t say, Master hobbit?’ asked Robby as a young, excited hobbit lad told him of what had befallen only a few moments earlier. ‘Wolves? Here in The Shire? But that’s unheard of!’ An old gaffer who was sitting nearby corrected him. It seemed that there had been another instance, during a really bad Winter, that some wolves had strayed into these lands.

This time, the beasts had found their way to the stables. No animals were hurt, although there was a hobbit, an elf and two men who were slightly shaken up. No wonder, Robby thought, he would have panicked if he had seen those monsters. They seemed to be gone, and yet a sense of fear and watchfulness seemed to be present in the lands of the Inn. It soon passed, and most of the people staying at the Golden Perch as well as many folks from the village headed to the common room to share breakfast and their take on what was soon named “The Wolf Incident”. Even though it was only a few hours past sunrise, a few toasts were made to the brave men (and hobbit and lady elf) who had fought off the wolves.

Robby knew this was what he had been looking for. Sitting by himself on a corner table, he racked his brain hard to put music and lyrics to that morning’s events. He shut out the outside world, the food Rowan had kindly brought to him was growing cold on the table, only rhymes, stanzas and music mattered.

When the morning star spread her rays over the quiet land
Nobody knew of the danger near at hand
The wind on their face, their spirits ablaze
Our four heroes…


No, no…. how about…

… their spirits ablaze
Men, hobbit and elf…


Too long… hmm....

When the morning star spread her rays over the quiet land
Nobody knew of the danger near at hand
The wind on their face, their spirits ablaze
.....
.....
An unexpected league, from many a race


That’s good… very good!’ He grinned broadly ‘I knew this is what I needed… but all this writing and thinking is hungry work! Alas, my food is already cold… well, no use in bothering good Rowan again, I’ll find my way to the kitchen.’

He grabbed his plate and his mug and walked to the kitchen. Timidly sticking his head in, he asked out loud ‘Hello? Miss Rowan? I just wanted to get a little food, mine has grown cold, but I did not want to bother you. Hello?’
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Old 10-01-2006, 04:34 PM   #360
Lalaith
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Lily Bunce adjusted the knapsack on her back and scratched her head distractedly. She was very tired, having spent a most anxious night in a nearby haystack. It wasn’t that sleeping in haystacks troubled her, for she was often forced to resort to such rough lodgings on her job-seeking tramps round the countryside. But in the early hours of the morning, well before dawn, the darkness had been suddenly been full of frantic howling and panting. She was shaken out of her usual stolidity, and crawled deep into the heavy, dank-smelling straw, cowering with terror, not daring to come out until the sun was high in the sky.

Seeing the sign of the Golden Perch, the sturdy, weather-beaten little figure in faded gingham began to march more purposefully. A good a place to ask for work, for one thing. For another, she could buy some breakfast, and even doze at a trestle to catch up on her lost sleep. Perhaps she might even find out what all that nocturnal howling was about.

Expecting to find just the odd gaffer in the barroom at this hour, Lily was amazed to see it so crowded and with so many customers talking excitedly and drinking. Strange faces….there was one of the Big People, singing and toasting his fellows. There were other Big Folk, all manner of hobbits…and, bless my buttons, was that an elf-lady there by the fire?

Lily felt aware of being unkempt and dishevelled, even by the standards of a labourer, and was slightly ashamed. “Good morning, good people. Might a body get a bite of breakfast?” She found a place at a trestle table near some other hobbits, and as she ate, began to feel more confident.

“I’m Lily Bunce, my folk are from Hardbottle,” she confided to her neighbours. “I’ve just come from Willowbottom over in South Farthing, I was helping with the lambing there. Now I need a spot of work to tide me over til hop-picking begins, and I’ve heard as how there’s plenty going about round Stock. And it's a lively place and no mistake, I can see that as plain as the nose on your face. I had a terrible night, you know,” she continued artlessly. “Slept in a stack yonder, I was woken by such howls, I thought the kelpies were come to get me.” She grinned cheerfully. “But it’s easy to forget the ghouls of the night when you’re in good company, with a fire in the hearth, and ham and eggs in your belly.”

Last edited by Lalaith; 10-02-2006 at 12:56 AM.
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