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Old 09-29-2005, 12:12 PM   #321
Fordim Hedgethistle
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Still shaking his head at the alarming presence of the Easterling (and, perhaps, if the truth were to be told, shaking a bit in his clothes – for hobbits do not wear boots of course, except in muddy weather) Fordim did what came naturally to him when confronted with a question to which he not only had no answer, but had been totally unprepared for: he put on a thoughtful face and made as though he were giving it deep consideration. His herms and mutterings covered the deep and terrible blank that was his imagination at this precise moment. He fell back on an old trick.

“I don’t know,” he replied breezily, “you undoubtedly are aware of the tale, what do you think the banner should be?””

Sôông scowled at him darkly before proclaiming rather stiffly, “It is not for the listener to describe the tale, but the teller.”

Fordim tilted his head to one side and narrowed his eyes at the Easterling. “Is it? Is it really? I know that there are many people in this wide world who believe that, but the great lady who sent you is – I assure you – not one of them, nor am I. She and I have spoken of such matters at some length and we rather feel that it is the teller and the listener together who, in some way, are both involved in the creation of the tale’s banner. There are even some,” and here he tilted his head at the sleeping, pot-festooned figure snoring in the corner, “who believe that the teller is entirely irrelevant to the creation of the banner and that it is the listener’s task alone! If you have the time, there are a few tomes of great learning hereabouts that you can look at which detail these debates at some length, the first and – if I may say so – finest of these is called Canonicity…”

At the mere mention of the Thread That Must Not Be Named Esty the loremistress sprang to her feet, crying out “Ai Ai!” There were deep murmurings in the earth and a fell smoke poured toward the White City from Mordor. All eyes glared at Fordim, and the little fellow seemed to shrink into his mug of ale, to which he plied himself in a great show of silencing himself. When the skies were once again light and the birds had begun to sing, Fordim quickly said in a very small voice, “I think that it might be nice to have something with a hooded figure upon it, with the device of a single Ring above, while below him, alleviating the darkness that the figure casts, nine glittering stars, one for each of the gamers who made the tale worth the telling.”

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Old 09-29-2005, 04:04 PM   #322
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1420!

All eyes seemed to glare at the Fordim, or so it seemed to Pio. All except hers. What she wanted to do was finish her game and down the mug of foaming dark ale that sat on a nearby stool.

The tenseness in the room seemed to thicken. It crept up her spine, making her shoulders twitch in irritation. She threw the last of the darts at the board, hitting the outside ‘1’. ‘By the One!’ she muttered, along with a few silent, more guttural imprecations.

‘Hey!’ she said to the grey server that hovered near. ‘Here’s a gold coin. Buy the house a round.’ End over end, the shiny disc arced, falling at the server’s feet. ‘I know, I know. It’s all free here . . . but humor me. I feel generous today.’ She stood back and looked critically at the server. ‘If nothing else, at least buy yourself a pretty scarf and brighten up that . . . uniform.’

She grabbed her dark blue cloak from the peg by the side door and threw it about her shoulders. Perhaps she could catch Cami before she headed out the door . . .
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Old 09-29-2005, 11:21 PM   #323
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Cami stood in the outer hallway, her ear pressed tightly against the wooden door. She was weighing the words that she had just heard from inside the common room and was wondering if it was entirely wise for her to go back there at this time. Earlier, she had wrung the worst of the wet out of her skirt and bright embroidered vest and had decided that she might try to rent some accomodations for the evening. There was no sense trying to head out to her burrow in the middle of the night. Perhaps she should purchase some needed foodstuffs and building supplies at the peddlar's booths in Gondor the very next morning; the shelves in the Shire were still quite sparse on account of that blasted storm. She could even hire a pony to help carry her goods back home. All that had seemed fine and sensible until she'd heard Fordim and the others discussing the possible advent of an old and much dreaded nemesis.

She glanced up with some hesitation only to see Piosenniel's familiar face poking through the half-opened door. "Do you think it's safe?" she whispered to the Elf. "I mean to go back inside the common room for a meal. I thought I heard the word Canonicity . 'Tis enough to make a poor hobbit quake. The last time anyone mentioned that name, I was trapped inside the Books forum for twenty-two days with no possible way to escape. I've a mind to stay at the Inn tonight but if that nasty Canonicity is set on making an appearance, I would as soon sleep outside under the tree. You just can't trust that monstor." Cami gestured towards the outer door and then shook her head in exasperation.

"Now, if we might have a tale or a spot of music round the hearth fire....that would suit me just fine. Those shadowy werewolves should surely have something interesting to say. Or do you think we are doomed to take arms against this Canonicity ?" Cami shuddered slightly and then added, "By any chance, you wouldn't know where I could pick up some good fence pickets, or perhaps hire a pony here in Gondor?
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Old 10-27-2005, 11:18 AM   #324
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Sôông the Easterling ignored the actions of others in the Star and attended closely instead to Fordim's words.

"I understand not your words about teller and tale and listener, for I am not beholding to the law of the One," he replied carefully, not wishing to engender any more hostility, "yet your words are such as will satisfy she who sent me." He bowed formally to the hobbit and looked around to see how he could withdraw from the Inn. No one invited him to stay, nor to share a tankard of ale. At first, none gave way to allow him to leave, but the actions of the cloaked elf and wet, bedraggled hobbit allowed him to manage his egress without incident beyond that of stares. Breathing a sigh of relief and holding his head aside, he repeated Fordim's words to himself until he had them memorised for recital to the lady who sent him.

"“I think that it might be nice to have something with a hooded figure upon it, with the device of a single Ring above, while below him, alleviating the darkness that the figure casts, nine glittering stars, one for each of the gamers who made the tale worth the telling.”

Regaining his horse from the stable master was easy, as the man barely lifted his eyes to the strange figure before him and merely pocketed the coin Sôông handed him. Yet leaving the White City was no easy task, for many in the streets glared at him and more than one soldier guarding the many gates at each circle stopped him, forced him to dismount, and demanded a tariff if not a search of his person for weapons or stolen goods. One even landed a cuff to the back of his head once he was turned on his horse. Still, it was better than a sword or arrow through his back and so Sôông was grateful for that.

There were ragged tents and a rough sort of open market along the walls outside the city, attended by people coarsely clothed, maimed, hobbled, and obviously poor. Some of the traders looked like war veterans who, much like himself, would carry the scars of battle to their grave however their minds might change. Among these people he was the better received, however, with none remarking upon his origin. Here he sought his provisions for his return to Edoras. He filled his bag with foodstuffs, and, as the sun reached midday, began his long trek towards the Western Road. He had been loathe to make the journey, but he needed work and Bethberry was true. He knew she would keep her word.

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Old 11-28-2005, 08:53 AM   #325
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A silence had fallen upon the Seventh Star after the departure of Sôông the Easterling. Glasses were emptied, the excitement over the new arrival died down, and dust settled once more on those gathered about the tables. Silence.

There emerged from this silence, at long last, the sound of a pencil scribbling upon parchment. Eyes were drawn toward the corner table where Fordim had established himself and the people of the Star saw that he was hard at work, writing, then crumpling up the parchment, taking out a fresh sheet, and then writing some more. At long last he cried sat back, sighed and stood up. Clearing his throat he addressed the room.

“Greetings,” he began. “I’ve been giving a lot of thought to beginning a new adventure now that I’m here, and I think that at long last I may have found something worthy of the luminaries gathered here.” He bowed deeply to the room. There was no response. He carried on, unaware. “I have a proposal for a new story that I’d like us to tell!” Still, the silence reigned, but again Fordim seemed unconcerned. Striding across to the board he tacked a sign to it. One by one, the people of the Star moved to have a look…



Quote:

A Long Overdue Party

The year is TA 2920 and Gerontius Took is turning 130 years old. Aged but still hale, he has decreed that there is to be no birthday party for him at all this year – as there hasn’t been for the last ten years, not since before the Fell Winter of 2911 when provisions were so scarce that he had felt it improper to squander much needed supplies. Since that date, although times have improved, there are still many hobbits in the Shire, on both sides of the Brandywine, who have not fully recovered from that terrible year and the Thain has made it a point of pride that until every Hobbit can afford to celebrate their birthdays in fine style, neither shall he.

Unbeknownst to Gerontius, however, his vast family – having suffered through a decade without the annual celebration of the Thain (and its attendant days and nights of food and joviality) – has decided that a proper party is long overdue. To get around the decree of the Thain, they have called a secret meeting to discuss a grand party that shall take place on the Thain’s birthday but not necessarily in celebration of his birthday…

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

The game shall begin with all gamers sneaking into this meeting, which will be held deep in the vast storerooms of the Great Smials. The purpose of the game will be to plan the party, keep it a secret from Old Gerontius, and then to make sure that it comes off.

The game will be open to all gamers in Gondor and perhaps (if numbers are needed) to gamers in the Shire and Rohan on an invitation-only basis. All characters in this game are to be drawn from the genealogical tables found in the Appendices of The Return of the King.

As the game initiator I would ask that anyone interested in playing in this game begin by selecting a Hobbit from the genealogical tables and posting that name to the discussion thread so that everyone will know that this character has been “claimed.” Then begin work on a first post, detailing your character’s trip to and/or arrival at the meeting. When we have enough gamers, I will open a game thread and transfer these first posts there.

As there will be little “action” in this game it will live or die purely by the quality and complexity of the relationships that get established between the characters. Given that most of them will be related to one another, or close friends of the family, they will obviously be very familiar with one another, so I would ask that all gamers work together closely both in the discussion thread and via PM to make sure that the state of relations between their characters are established clearly before the game begins. Ideally, of course, these relations will be strained, change, evolve or even be transformed in game play.

The way I think that this would work best is by asking everyone to post a kind of personality profile for their character, rather than a biography or history. It hardly seems necessary to state this here in Gondor, but I would simply remind people that having a long and elaborate ‘back story’ for your character tends to dampen the spontaneity and creativity of the game. If we could all simply give a sketch of what our character is like, then it would undoubtedly be easier to work out who gets along with whom, or not, as the case may be…

As I have long wanted to play a woman character (and as I am the game initiator) I am going to go ahead and immediately claim Adamanta Took (Gerontius’s wife; née Chubb) as my own. By way of example of the kind of personality profile I am thinking of, here’s what Adamanta is like:

Adamanta, while much younger than her husband, now enjoys the sobriety of age. Formerly possessed of a fiery temper, she is now slow to anger, but quick to hold a grudge against those whom she feels have slighted her or – worse – members of her family. Her sense of familial obligation is such that she would throw herself in front of the Wolves for any one of them…even those whom she is not so fond of. This dedication, which may appear as love, is really born of pride in her vast and accomplished clan. Formerly a Chubb, she is aware of the status that has been conferred upon her by her marriage to the Thain and she guards this status zealously. To her friends she is open, kind, friendly and full of good, sound (although sometimes unsolicited) advice. To those who cross her or earn her ill-will she unabashedly demonstrates contempt and impatience. Her favourite past-time is working in the garden where she has established a formal flower garden known throughout the Shire for its many varieties, some of which she has herself created and named after members of her family. Some of the varieties have, in fact, been renamed as the original honourees fell out of favour with the mercurial and indomitable matriarch of the Tooks.
A murmur went up at this (as did some eyebrows) but again, Fordim seen entirely unaware of these (the eyebrows). He crossed his arms quite magnificently and announced in his best announcing voice: “I have already spoken with some of you about this game, and as thanks for your efforts I’ve given these people the chance to select their roles in advance.

Esty has said that she would like to write for Donnamira Boffin, daughter of Adamanta and Gerontius and, as it would happen, great-grandmother to Folco, about who Esty knows a bit…

Pio wishes to create Flambard Took, son of Isembard, grandson of Gerontius.

Child has said that Belladonna Took is of interest to her.

“AND FINALLY!” he raised his voice at this Announcement, a look of smug self-satisfaction upon his face, “the role of Gerontius Took is to be undertaken by none other than The Barrow Wight himself, to whom I have promised that – as I shall be writing for Gerontius’ wife – that there will be no mushy stuff in this game…at least between the elder Tooks!”
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Old 12-19-2005, 08:01 AM   #326
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The door of the Seventh Star blew open and Fordim staggered in, his eyes red and rimmed with fatigue, his shoulders drooping with exertion. His untidy hair and unshaven face reminded several there of the Rangers of the North, who are not known for their cleanliness. And yet for all the haggardness of his appearance there was about the man an air of happiness that spread outward from him like a low fire.

He fell against the bar, hodling it as though without it he would fall down, and indeed for a moment, it appeared as though me might fall asleep where he stood. The barkeep passed him a cup of strong coffee laced with something even stronger and after sucking it down, Fordim was able to speak. Turning to his fellow Gondorians he began a Speech:

"Greetings all! As some of you know I have recently advertised an adventure of an entirely hobbitish sort that I wanted to embark upon and some of you had kindly expressed an interest in it. But I am afraid that at this time I find I must suspend that adventure, and indeed much of my activities in this marvellous realm.

"Back in my own land, my wife, the good Missus Hedgethistle, has just given birth to twins -- this event while, of course, not unexpected, has occured somewhat earlier than we had thought it would. Fortunately for us, the skill of the healers in our land is such that both mother and children are doing well and resting comfortably. But as you can imagine, my energy is now rather in demand and I find that I cannot commit to any long or demanding undertaking here.

"So it is with deep regret that I shall be forced to suspend my proposed adventure for the time being.

"This is not good-bye but only a brief farewell. While I may not be able to visit these lands of the Downs as much as I have formerly I will check in from time to time. Look for me when you least expect me!"

And with a bang and a flash, he was gone.
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Old 06-10-2006, 05:50 AM   #327
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White Tree

Oak, Beech, and Willow finished their drinks, stood up from their table, and wandered toward the door. As they went, Beech glanced up at the wall, and paused.

Oak stopped and waited, and Willow swayed impatiently. Beech ran his hands through his hair, and shook his head. "...admitted to the Tower of Ecthelion as an adventurer admitted to practice her trade.... " he muttered.

"What?" said Willow.

Beech said it again, louder. "Has been named on the roles posted in the Tower of Ecthelion as an adventurer admitted to practice his trade in the Realm of Gondor."

Oak and Willow exchanged confused glances.

"We have neard little news, " Beech said. "Perhaps the messengers have been waylaid or news has not come this far. But I am sure there have been adventurers in Rohan whose names would be expected here. But none have been announced for quite a while. Do you not think so?"

"I think you're daft, " replied Oak.

"You think everyone is daft," replied Willow.

"Nevertheless, I think it is odd that we have seen no new adventurers from Rohan in over a year, " said Beech.

"Oh, you fret too much, " said Oak.

"You don't think enough, " said Willow.

Still bickering, the Three Trees walked out of the dark Inn into the bright afternoon.
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Old 02-19-2007, 01:19 PM   #328
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Questors wanted: Free beer and money!

A long silence had fallen over the Star (unlike stars which usually fall in silence) and somehow in the quiet a newcomer had slipped into their midst, though no one had seen him enter. He smiled not at all, gazing long and steadily at all in the room in turn, though never was he the first to drop his eyes.

He was of average height, but unnaturally thin and pale, as though he had spent long hours seated in cold and cramped places illumined by lights most unnatural. His visage was young, but drawn and pale. He wore an odd thin black mask which appeared to hold a pair of smoothly flat pieces of glass before his eyes. His breeches and tunic were of a supple but very strong material of a light blue nearing white, and upon his breast there was a pocket containing three or four small thin rods of varying hues. In one hand he bore a staff of white, in the other a new-looking parchment.

He strode through the silent throng to the Wall of Notices. Oddments of parchments now crumbling with age, old advertisements for questors and adventurers, still hung there, mute testament to the loremasters and warriors of olden times. He shook his head sadly as he glanced through the bits and pieces of lore gone by. But in a moment his staff was up, and with a quick motion he swept the detritus from the wall. In the resulting open space he slapped the parchment to the wall, pinning it quickly with four smart taps of his staff to the corners of the document.

Any activity of this kind was now so rare in the Seventh Star as to be nearly equivalent to legend and myth, and many were those in the Star who started at the newcomer's actions, and many who desired to read the portents which the new posting contained. But none would approach yet, as the stranger slowly turned to face them.

"I am come on the request of Merisuwyniel," he said in the voice of a squeaky countertenor of the very worst boy-bands, "she of the Quest of the Entish Bow, Whose Golden Tresses Are Always Perfectly Coiffed, and Who the merest dust mote would never deem to touch. Many were the misadventures of that quest. Many were the vile puns and insults of low humor that she endured and yet came forth victorious -- the Ent is now reunited! Yet many foolhardy and faux-hearty souls were lost along the way. And now, at the denouement of her adventures, a new quest has been laid upon her by the Yawanna, the Green Goddess herself (may her dressings never sour) to restore the lost King, the questionable Halfemption Gormlessar, to the throne of Grundor in Minus Teeth, the high city (referring mostly to the special pipeweed there). There are yet more posts to riposte, more gaffes to gather, and more continuity to contort! Join us as we seek parity in parody! Let the Barrow-Writers come forth and join us in REB III: The Return of the Entish Beings!"

With that, the nearly-white-clad stranger spoke softly into the head of his staff the words of great power: "Beeme meup Skotii!" Moments later the stranger disappeared in a sparkly display of mixed-metaphorical anachronisms...
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Old 06-05-2008, 05:04 PM   #329
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Pio drew her blue wool cloak tightly about her as she pushed open the heavy door. The rough hewn oak of the Star’s door felt comforting, familiar still beneath her fingertips though it had been many a year since her path had taken her to this Inn.

It was eerily silent within as she entered, just as it had been that first time she’d come here. She peered about, but nowhere as she looked around could she discern the figure of the Innkeeper, Rim. No flash of his thin blue sash in light or in shadow caught her trailing gaze. His grey clad staff still ministered to the Inn’s needs, she noted approvingly, even in Rim’s absence. The pale, wood-paneled floor was spotless. On each clean and uncluttered tabletop burnt a fiercely bright candle. And at the far end of the common room above the fireplace hung the great iron plaque inscribed with a list of names engraved in a flowing script.

Pio handed her cloak to one of the servers, waving away his offer of a glass of wine. ‘Here, come help me,’ she directed him, making her way toward the fireplace. ‘Lower down the plaque, won’t you,’ she went on. ‘I’ve got a bit of polishing to do on it.’ ‘And.....’ she muttered a little more quietly to herself.....’something to put on it if I can figure out the trick Rim used to do so.’

As luck, and a few glasses of wine now accepted, would have it, the plaque polished easily and just as easily lent itself to being writ upon. ‘Clever old fox, that Rim,’ she chuckled to herself. Pio stepped back a pace, giving a critical eye to her handiwork. ‘Not bad, eh?’ she said, nudging the silent server at her side. For his part he gave her a deferential nod, though she wondered if she had really seen one of his eyebrows raise slightly at her familiarity.

The plaque was raised up once again to its place above the fireplace. The light from the sconces to either side of it made it gleam brightly, especially the newly ‘graved name. ‘Now all we have to do,’ Pio went on, ‘is send out the errand-riders to announce the party.’ She reached into the worn leather pouch that hung from her belt. ‘Here, I’ve written this up already.’ She pulled out a much folded piece of parchment and smoothed it out on a nearby table top -

***

Come one, come all, you denizens here and in far lands!!
All those who enjoy the reading of a good tale and the playing out of one.

A new name has been added to the list of storytellers in Gondor:


~*~ littlemanpoet ~*~

Come and give your congratulations to this wonderful wordsmith!

~*~ Free drinks/ free food/ & plenty of good company ~*~


***

‘Just send this out, won’t you dear,’ Pio went on, handing the parchment to the server. She clapped her hands and motioned others of the silent retinue forward. ‘Big party! Make sure there’s plenty of the good stuff for the partygoers. And, oh, yes, see if you can dig up some of those nuts.....those ones from the south.....pistachios. They’re good with ale.....and I have a taste for some of the good brew from Stock.’

Pio sat herself down on one of the stools at the bar and accepted the mug of dark ale that appeared quietly in front of her on the deeply polished bar top. She hummed low as sipped at it, every once in a while giving an expectant glance at the door.
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Old 06-05-2008, 07:22 PM   #330
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"A taleteller indeed. I have heard him speak; he can weave a fine tale, " said Hiriest.

"Too bad there will be more drinking than tale-telling, for I would like to hear him, " said Beech.

"Patience, then. Or fortitude, for some of his tales are in the library. Bring extra oil for your lamp, and coffee; you will be there long." Oak chuckled; Beech had no taste for dim libraries.

"Reading his tales! Surely he can tell them to me himself."

Willow smiled, and said nothing, but Oak laughed out loud.

"THey are not short tales, " Hiriest replied, laughing. Together they came to the Inn door, and round the corner came a small hobbit. They stopped short in surprise.

"Well met, Halfling. What brings you to Minas Tirith?" said Beech. "We are Hiriest, Gaerbrethil, Calentathar, and Doroninn. We are pleased to make your aquaintance...?"

"Lindo, of Westmarch," he said, and bowed. "I received tidings that littlemanpoet has been named a Bard of the Seventh Star."

"He has indeed, " replied Hiriest,"and we come to celebrate him as well. JOin us for an ale?"

"Thank you!" replied Lindo, and the five entered the Seventh Star.

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Old 06-05-2008, 07:37 PM   #331
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Curiouser and curiouser . . . Undómë swept in through the stout oaken door in the wake of the quite interesting group who preceded her. Of Hobbits she was quite familiar, but the four tall figures with him quite took away her breath. Ents! I’m sure of it! she whispered in an awestruck tone. LMP’s circle of friends ranges wide indeed!

She thought she saw a familiar figure, there on the stool. It was Piosenniel, wasn’t it? From back in the Shire. Undómë heard the Inn doors swing shut behind her as she headed for the bar. She noted a mound of little red colored shell halves piled in front of the Elf, and watched her for a moment as she skillfully prised apart another . . . nut, it must b . . . and popped it into her mouth.

‘What are those?’ Undómë asked. She glanced about the still empty room. ‘And where is LMP . . . can’t have a party without the honoree.’

Can have a drink, though. she thought to herself.

No sooner thought than done. There in front of her stood a tall mojito; its mint sprig garnish seemed to wave at her invitingly. Some place!! she thought as she took a generous swig of her drink.
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Old 06-05-2008, 08:19 PM   #332
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"It's just as good in the living as in the reading or the telling," said Raefindan to his guest. "Look around you!" The young man with the moppish head of red hair gestured grandly at the bowshaped promontory that overshadowed the city, and his hand continued in an arc encompassing the whole city and the plain below and the rising mountain above.

Raefindan's guest closed his eyes, not to shut out the wonder but to take a moment to take it all in. A small smile came to his bearded face. He opened his mouth to speak his thought, but all that came was, in a murmur, "It's wonderful."

"Is that all you have to say? You're supposed to be such a wordsmith!"

"You're teasing me," Raefindan's guest said. "Well, okay then, so strange it seems, and good, here at the end of all things, as a true hero once said, that you are with me, Raefindan."

"And how could I not be with you, you made me what I am today."

"How could I not have helped you become what you are? You're a part of me."

"Enough of that, here we are," said Raefindan, "The Seventh Star. They're waiting for you."

Raefindan's guest shook his head, the smile of incredulity remaining on his face. "Well, let's not disappoint."

They passed through the front doors and found inside a decorous common room, rich wood beams and clean tables. There was Pio, and Undómë, and Lindo and Hiriest along with some Ents who somehow did not look out of place.

"Greetings, friends!" cried Raefindan, and named himself. "I bring you littlemanpoet!"

Littlemanpoet grinned, abashed, for he saw the plaque on the wall and was humbled at the honor. "Greetings! Please, call me Elempi."

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Old 06-05-2008, 09:29 PM   #333
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Arry stomped along the road leading up to the Inn. One hand was stuck in his pocket, fingering the crumpled notice from The Golden Perch. Hmmm . . . let’s see he said squinting his eyes toward the sign he saw swinging in the breeze. The sign read “The Seventh Star” . Arry pulled the parchment from his pocket and held it up close, confirming that that was indeed the Inn named for the party.

He remembered elempi from The Yule Log. Wenda had been his character there . . . a very interesting character she’d turned out to be. Arry recalled how he’d thought Elempi a quite good writer then and from what he’d read in the Rohan Mead Halls his writing had gotten better and better. And, oh, there was that old memory of another encounter. Yes – the old Green Dragon Inn! Elempi played Falowik to Elora’s Uien. A lovely couple; well drawn.

Arry shouldered open the Star’s door and stepped into the welcoming light. He was a bit discomfited as one of the silent servers slid up alongside him and with a wave of his grey-clad arm offered to show Arry to a table.

‘Thanks, but I’ll find my own,’ Arry said, nodding back as the server gave him a deferential bow. His eyes were drawn to the place where Elempi stood with yet another familiar face . . . a blue eyed, tall young man with a mop of red hair. Now he recalled the young man’s name – Raefinden, from the Tapestry stories.

Arry drew close to the knot of well-wishers about elempi. ‘Been good to write with you, sir,’ he said extending his hand. ‘Just wish there had been time for another opportunity to game together.’
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Old 06-06-2008, 12:14 PM   #334
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Durelin snuck into the Seventh Star just in time to hear, “I bring you littlemanpoet!” from a vaguely familiar voice, and to join in with the applause. She had been away from both Rohan and Gondor, and even The Shire, for far too long. She had nearly just returned home – as Rohan was becoming her home now, now that she had settled in with some Southerners and a Dwarf with short-term memory loss – when she received the message. But there was no way she was going to miss such an event.

“Speech!” Durelin shouted before ducking deeper into the crowd of well-wishers and/or freeloaders and/or pistachio eaters, slipping behind them and looking for a seat not in the middle of things. She was just plopping down on a chair when she noticed Valde Delego sulking in the very back of the common room. She smiled, and gestured for him to join her. He obeyed, though he dragged his feet and hunched his shoulders as if he wished to be invisible. Durelin was not sure if it was because he did not want anyone to know he was attending such festivities (whether purposefully or not), or if he simply did not want to be seen with her. Probably both.

“Yes?” he drawled as he slid gracefully onto the seat opposite her.

“Fancy seeing you here,” Durelin said with a grin. He knew she was getting a good deal of amusement simply out of his presence. “But of course you’d have a soft spot for Elempi.”

Valde sneered, but did not speak for a moment. He seemed to struggle with himself before admitting,

“I assigned littlemanpoet to the Shire.”
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Old 06-06-2008, 07:19 PM   #335
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1420!

The grey-clad wait-staff appeared with three tall earthen vessels brimming clear-gold. THey seemed to glow.

"I say, " said Beech.

"In honor of the new Bard, " said Oak.

Willow said nothing, only swaying a little as he reached for his draught.

Hiriest protested. "They brought none for me? None for the harper?"

"You're tall enough, " replied Oak.

"Perhaps I should try some," said Lindo.

"I think not!" said Beech.

"Well then, Lindo, we must stick together, and enjoy our ale, " said Hiriest. "And they don't need to grow any more, really. It's vanity."

THe five young men raised their drinks to each other, and Lindo smiled. "The Three Trees do have a leafy look. To littlemanpoet!"

"To the Bard!"

"Ode to the Bard! Ode to the Bard!" The chant arose, and caught on around the room. "Ode to the Bard!"

With ale and voices raised in song
We cheer the teller of tales along
and wait for the next tale to be borne--
Ode to the Bard! Ode to the Bard!

Not ale enough nor song have we
Forth to elempi sent in cheer
SO songs and many flagons of beer are
Owed to the Bard! Owed to the Bard!"

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Old 06-07-2008, 05:49 AM   #336
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Hiriest took his ale in hand, and turned to the various guests. Lindo rose to join him. Together they roamed the Inn; they approached Undómë and greeted her with a bow.

Oak, Beech, and WIllow lingered over their draughts a little longer, but soon they wandered as well. Arry chatted with Raefindan and elempi; Beech and Willow turned to join them.

Oak sought out Durelin, who sat with one Valde Delego. He peeered at them from beneath mossy eyebrows, and and watched as they popped pistachios, which smelled odd. He looked then at Piosenniel, sitting in the corner, watching the goings-on with interest.

"Hmmm, " he said. "These grow far to the south, in sandier places. I haven't seen pistachio trees since Beleriand." He sniffed them.
Pio's eyes sparkled, and she offered him a handful. WIth a wave of his leafy hand, he declined.

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Old 06-07-2008, 02:08 PM   #337
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Groin’s short, broad, dwarf stature helped him to enter the inn unnoticed. So this is what it’s like in Gondor, he thought to himself. Normally he wouldn’t travel this far south, out of the borders of the Shire and Rohan, but he had heard Little Man Poet’s stories and he could not help but to come and give his best wishes to the noble bard.

He surveyed the inn and its guests; he spotted Durelin, who he knew, talking with some strange folk. He stared in awe at the trees that moved, drank, and even talked. This certainly was a queer country.

He unfastened his weather stained cloak, which had faded from a deep forest green to a grayish color, and placed it on a hanger. His mail shirt glittered in the light as he walked up to the bar for ale, but he stopped when he had sighted the guest of honor surrounded by a host of people, who were all congratulating him. Groin chuckled to himself, continued to the bar and grabbed a mug.

“Here’s to Little Man Poet,” he said to the bartender, and raised his mug, “May his superb writing talents grow even more in the company of the esteemed loresmen of Gondor!” And having toasted LMP he drained his mug.

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Old 06-08-2008, 07:42 AM   #338
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A hobbit came up. Elempi recognized Arry, and smiled.

The hobbit spoke. ‘Been good to write with you, sir,’ he said extending his hand. ‘Just wish there had been time for another opportunity to game together.’

Elempi shook the hobbits hand with pleasure. "I would have like that. I still wince when I think how I put words in your mouth that one time at the Green Dragon. Hope you can forgive me. I can get carried away, you know."

Before Arry could reply, a sudden shout arose.

"To the Bard!"

"Ode to the Bard! Ode to the Bard!" The chant arose, and caught on around the room. "Ode to the Bard!"

With ale and voices raised in song
We cheer the teller of tales along
and wait for the next tale to be borne--
Ode to the Bard! Ode to the Bard!

Not ale enough nor song have we
Forth to elempi sent in cheer
SO songs and many flagons of beer are
Owed to the Bard! Owed to the Bard!"

This was too much. Grinning, Elempi said, "Excuse me, Arry, I need a beer." With a grin and nod from Arry, Elempi and Raefindan made their way to the bar. Elempi asked for a tall frothy best of the house from Pio. Raefindan ordered a red ale. While he waited for the drink, Elempi looked around and saw off in the shadows both a young lady of pronouned writing skills (pardon the pun) and a lanky dark figure apparently trying to dramatically hide, and his eyes popped open. It was Valde Delego and Durelin! "I am going to have to have a chat with them before this is done!" he said to himself.

Pio set a tall one in front of him, and he took in a long pull of the smooth nectar.

"Not to mention, Raefindan, I must make the aquaintance of Oak, Beech, and Willow, shepherds of three of my favorite trees."

"By all means!" said his drinking partner.

A Dwarf bellied up to the bar and made quick work of his first one. Elempi recognized him. "Groin! Good to see you!"

The dwarf grunted his greeting which did not change his surly expression one iota, which Elempi figured was typical of Dwarves. He nodded his excuses and he and Raefindan strolled over to the Ents.

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Old 06-12-2008, 05:14 PM   #339
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"Last Tapestry post was a bit too warm, " said Beech.

"Eh, I'd like another draught please, " said Oak.

Willow waved in agreement. They edged away from the fireplace, avoiding candles.

"Raefindan, "said Beech, "we think it is time to hear how you cool things down. How about a nice rain?"

"Long rain, " agreed Oak.

"Big rain, " whispered Willow, swaying and sweeping. "Much rain. Great deep-to-the-roots rain--"

Raefindan turned to Elempi. "Can I really do that?"

Elempi grinned.

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Old 07-08-2008, 04:33 PM   #340
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Durelin bowed her head slightly to Oak, when she noticed eyes under a leafy brow were on her. She could not help smiling. The Seventh Star was the only place in which she had ever seen an Ent, though she had seen many strange things even in her brief time. This was an excellent place to find the stuff of stories, old and new. The perfect place to find some inspiration, to catch rumors of a new adventure that called for questers, Durelin thought as she stared at pistachios.

Looking around, she was surprised to catch sight of someone familiar. She had not seen Arry in quite some time, and supposed she had missed him among the crowd until now. She would have to have a word with him soon, perhaps about a new adventure. No, it is likely too soon…

After seeing an older familiar face, Durelin was very pleased to see a newer one. She waved to Groin, but she would not bother him with any talk of adventures. She had already dragged him into one, and then left him and his fellows on their own for much of it. Yes, it is too soon… But then, that adventure was nearing an end…

“I’d prefer you not draw so much attention to yourself…” Valde hissed.
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Old 11-03-2009, 10:43 PM   #341
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Bęthberry is a guest of Elrond in Rivendell.Bęthberry is a guest of Elrond in Rivendell.Bęthberry is a guest of Elrond in Rivendell.
"Strange, strange," whispered the woman almost to herself as she peeked into the window of The Seventh Star. "I could have sworn I heard pleasant voices on the wind coming from this place. But I see only an ugly intruder hustling his wares, as if this were a common warehouse."

The motes of dust glimmered inside as the sunlight seemed to bend with the wind, but remained mute.

The woman looked across the street to see if any familiar faces were gathering at the other inn--the Lamb and Flag. Yes, yes, there they were, celebrating some sort of moot. What would it take, she wondered, to entice them back to the Star? She thought silently for a bit. Oh well, at least perhaps I can push that pushy intruder out of the Star and bury his tawdry wares.
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Old 11-04-2009, 07:19 PM   #342
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A screech split the dust motes, and the peddler crashed into the oaken door, wrestling with the latch, and then burst out into the street, wares scattering on the cobblestones. After stomping his foot and shouting imprecations, he thrashed about for a moment, and then stopped, inspected his injured toe, searched about, gathered his wares, and marched off towards the marketplace grumbling.

A small mouse poked his nose out of the door, twitching his whiskers. The peddlar's foot had not tasted pleasant, and the mouse sat on his hindquarters and rubbed his nose with his paws. Nevertheless he was pleased that the intruder had left.

Now if only Bethberry would take his place. And perhaps an ent, or three.

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Old 11-17-2009, 09:50 AM   #343
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Bethberry crouched down at the window at the contatenation of sound and curses and disturbance that followed--or proceeded--the errent peddlar. Once he was safely down the road, she rose and turned to the door, catching sight of the wee mousie.

"Was it you we have to thank, for ridding us of the unneighourly peddlar, Wee Mousie?" She hadn't talked to a mouse in quite some time, but didn't think that would ruin the conversation. Any language could always use practice.

The mouse looked up at her, swishing its tail, as if to say, "Well who else do you think?" Then swiftly it ran off, back into the Star, and Bethberry followed.

I thought I had heard some Ents asking for rain, she mused to herself. And wondered if she had any of Mum's old talents in her to comply.
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Old 11-22-2009, 08:06 PM   #344
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"Big rain, " whispered Beech.

"Long rain, " hoomed Oak.

"Much rain, for laughing streams and running rivers, " pleaded Willow, trailing long wispy branches through the dust.

The mouse wiggled his nose at Willow, careful to avoid his spreading roots. Wilow saw it, and frowning, swept a trailer towards him.

"No fear, " squeaked the mouse. "I've no desire to be caught inside a snicking crack!" and the mouse scampered up the Oak.

"Tickles, " said Oak.

"I'll get him, " offered Willow ominously.

"Bethberry!" called Beech. "Big rain, before Oak is caught between Willow and a Mouse!"

Bethberry sighed. "Nothing like pressure, " she muttered. Outside the Inn, a light pattering began on the streets.

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Old 11-27-2009, 07:16 AM   #345
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Each breathing a sigh of relief, the ents shuffled out the door into the rain. It came faster and thicker, up from the sea with a sweet south wind. Anon the streets shone, and then rivulets began to run down towards the gates.

The mouse was soon bedraggled, crept down Oak's back, and took refuge in the inn again. But the ents each found a place by the streetside where they could stand in the rain, arms outstretched. The rain washed and comforted them, cooling tempers caused by ticklish mice and too much dust. They breathed easily and peacefully. One by one they closed their eyes and settled into naps filled with lovely dreams.

A couple strode past, hastening to reach their home and get out of the sudden rain. One looked up in surprise at the three gnarled old trees that had suddenly appeared by the inn door.

"I know the King's elf-friend hath said we grow too many stones and not enough trees, " she said to her husband, "but haven't they planted saplings in the lower rings? Whence came these hoary wizened trunks?"

Her husband shrugged. "They could have brought us fruit trees. These be good for naught but the forge."

They hastened on, but the old wife cast many a backward glance towards the old inn doorway til the curve of the street hid the trees from view.

Bethberry poked her head out the door, and whispered. "No fear of the forge for you. Sleep now; sleep, and dream of wind on the hillside."

A sigh from Beech was the only answer.

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Old 11-27-2009, 05:58 PM   #346
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Corman muttered about the skies giving no warning before they decided to leak. The world had suddenly turned a hazy grey: with no blue in sight, the sky was a blanket of cloud. The rain was already seeping into his clothes; it had caught him without a coat. He hurried through the streets of Gondor, looking for a relief. Any overhangs from buildings were already crowded in, and he wasn't about to duck into a shop without any intention of buying anything. He preferred keeping on good terms with the keepers, especially along this row -- he wore out boots like no other man.

Leafy branches caught his eye, and Corman hurried toward them, huddling under their cover between two of three trees. His back was pressed up against the bark of their trunks before he bothered to consider where these trees had come from. There weren't trees in this level of the city. There wasn't room for them! He looked up into their large and gnarled branches, his brow furrowed, but did not move from his spot. He already felt a little warmer.

The man twisted around and looked behind him at what the trees were blocking, as they interrupted the roadway lined with various establishments. There were pleasant windows and a large oak door, but he couldn't make out the sign above through the tree branches. Was it an inn? He turned himself back around. Like the one across the street, he realized -- "The Lamb and Flag." Maybe he could duck in there, instead.
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Old 11-27-2009, 08:36 PM   #347
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It had been a long, long time since Bethberry had danced, any kind of dance, let alone the kind her mother had taught her. She was out of practice.

But she persisted, weaving slowly around the darkened Star and leaving in her wake coiled footprints in the dust. The wee mousie watched her, wrinkling his nose. This was something he had never seen before.

Slowly, ever so slowly, and then calmly picking up tempo, Bethberry wound her way around the old Inn, feeling the energy of the world flow through her and out again into the sky above. The rain softly pattered at first, then picked up speed. The ents lumbered outside and positioned themselves under the open sky where the rain poured down on their parched limbs and leaves.

It wasn't welcomed by the denizens of the city, not by any means, for they were long distanced from the earth, in their towering city built layer by layer up as if to defy the very ground it was built upon. Bethberry was surprised, even shocked, by a couple whose unhappy voices drifted into the Inn. She looked out and caught their dissatisfaction. Then she looked at Oak, Beech and Willow and smiled. They were well pleased with the draught of fresh water. She whispered to them on the air and then retreated into the Inn, dancing more slowly now. She was exhausted. It had been such a long time since she had touched the earth this way.

She hadn't even seen the man who huddled under the Ents for protection. But finally she moved into stillness, a stillness that made a perfect moment. Here, now, the Inn was alive with possibility.

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Old 11-30-2009, 03:30 AM   #348
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The man looked around, up through the branches, at the gnarly trunks, into the Inn window, and at the door across the street. His boots were worn; perhaps he was a wanderer.

But deep roots are better than wandering, even for a man. Beech hoped that the refugee would stay.

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Old 12-08-2009, 09:34 PM   #349
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Corman watched the rain fill the cracks between stones in the road. As it began to collect, the water ran near his feet in a small ribbon down the sides of the street. Perhaps he could make a run for it, to the lit windows of the inn across the street. But as he stood with his arms crossed under the cover of the strange trees, breathing in the air the rain had made suddenly fresh, he found himself...rather comfortable.

His boots felt as if they had been mortared to the stone, his feet felt heavy, and he found his mind drifting far away from the warm and welcoming Lamb and Flag. Corman shook his head. His feet were probably starting to numb from the cold and wet, his boots rain-soaked. He twisted around to look at the building front behind him again.

With three trees growing out in front of it -- though he did not recall them growing but only appearing -- this establishment could not be active. Curious, he slipped between two of the trees, stepping carefully over roots with wonder. He put his face and a hand up to one of the windows, peering inside.
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Old 08-25-2010, 07:15 AM   #350
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Question The tale she will probably never have time to write...

The heavy inn-door swung open, and a slender hobbit stepped inside. Seated several tables into the inn were a ranger and the young loremistress, both of whom stood. "Well met, Lindo, " said the ranger. "Welcome, Loremaster," said the loremistress with a slight bow.

"Mellonin. Ravion." The hobbit bowed to each in turn, waved for a half-pint, and took the proffered chair bolstered with several cushions.

They echanged several pleasantries, til Ravion said "And now, I am as eager as you are to know why Mellonin sent for you."

"Indeed, " said Lindo, turning to Mellonin.

"Well, I am wondering... Perhaps I shall write a new tale," said Mellonin, with a shy smile.

"Good heavens, you have not finished the last one," said Ravion. "Do you not think you owe us the final pages of Tapestry first?"

Mellonin ran her fingers down the wet sides of her glass. "The tale is mostly told. But how can I write about my own Mellondu's grief?" she said.

"How is he?" asked Lindo.

"Moody and sad. He will not look at women or talk to them. He spends all his time at the forge, but he never sings, and he does half the work he used to."

Lindo shrugged. "You must not be surprised. What mortal could forget Nimrodel? He will do well to be healed of his loss ere he fades from his prime."

Ravion did not like the flash in Mellonin's eyes, so he changed the subject. "What is this new story you wish to write? And why?"

Mellonin smiled again. "Partly it is all this talk of elven ships sailing west. Mellondu often speaks of Amroth's ship. But elves are not the only ones that sail. I think I shall tell the tale of a Numenorean voyage, of the Dunedain."

Lindo's eyes sparked. "Really."

She hid a smile. "Not that I can spare the time, of course, but still. I can feel the characters coming to life."

Lindo's half-pint arrived; he paid for it and sat back. "I sailed with a Dunedan once. Go on."

Ravion grunted; so that was why Mellonin had sent for the hobbit.

"And Mithadan was his name. And his ship was called The Lonely Star," Mellonin's eyes glowed and she leaned forward. "Tell me more of him."

"I asked you first, " said Lindo, poking a finger at her. "Who are these characters coming to life?"

"I must learn more of ships first."

"Tell me who they are!" Lindo did not budge.

"All right. Elendil's fleet... Tall ships and tall kings, three times three. You know the rhyme?" They nodded. "This is not the story of Elendil. It is the story of the man at the tiller, and the men who steered the ship."

Ravion blinked. "Does not the man at the tiller steer the ship?"

"He obeys commands, he does not choose her course," said Lindo. "The officers do that, by the captain's will."

"Exactly. But this tillerman has a broken heart."

"Did not they all?" said Ravion.

Mellonin had not thought of that. "Well I know they all grieved the downfall of Numenor. But the tillerman's grief was sown before that."

"By whom?"

Mellonin blinked. "I do not know." She gave an embarassed little laugh, and shrugged. "I only know he is heartbroken."

"Perhaps his previous captain broke him, " Ravion growled. Mellonin winced.

Lindo shrugged. "Perhaps he served under a Black Numenorean. Perhaps your tillerman was part of the force that invaded Valinor."

"Perhaps, " said Mellonin. "But I do not know. I only know the officers do not understand his grief."

"Officers? Ah. So we have Elendil's fleet of nine ships. Our ship has a fearful and brokenhearted sailor at the tiller; and-- officers. They are...?"

"Weary and hardworking and determined to be brave. Too hardworking to have much compassion on the tillerman. But what if the tillerman keeps making small mistakes?"

"Small mistakes."

"Perhaps not quite finishing things right. Or off at the tiller by a few degrees, that sort of thing. So that in the dark, they lose sight of the rest of the fleet."

"That is no small mistake, " said Ravion.

Lindo shifted in his seat. "The drowning of Numenor... Elendil's fleet was scattered, was it not? I saw the drowning of Beleriand; one might lose one's way or one's ship with no mistakes at all. But go on. No mercy from the officers?"

"And the tillerman is breaking, slowly," she replied. "And so are the things he is supposed to take care of, because he is too distraught to make sure the little things are correct. He has little strength left."

Lindo studied her. Captain Mithadan had been fierce about many "small" things. "So the more mistakes he makes..."

"The angrier the officers become, and the more the tillerman's heart is pushed to the breaking. Only they have nowhere to go but forward."

"So," said Ravion, "what happens when the ship starts to break?"

"Well," said Mellonin, "I am not sure what will break first, his heart or his ship."

"If they got separated, they have a palantir?" said Ravion.

"This was the ship carrying the White Tree. No palantir, " said Mellonin firmly. "But Elendil was aboard."

Lindo said, "Surely Elendil kept a palantir."

Mellonin primly shook her head in turn. "No. No Palantir."

"But look here, " Ravion replied. "They made it. All nine ships came to Middle Earth. It cannot have been so bad."

"Driven by the wind and tossed," murmured Lindo. "They made landfall up and down the coast of Lindon. No captain wants to be at the mercy of the wind. So what happens to our tillerman?"

"Over the side with him," said Ravion.

"You cannot mean that!" said Mellonin.

"They might, " said Ravion gloomily.

Lindo disagreed. "Able-bodied sailors are not cast away. Besides, there was nothing Black about Elendil."

"But the captain and his officers...?" said Ravion.

"...were not Black Numenoreans either. They would bow to Elendil," finished Lindo.

Here Mellonin leaned forward; this was what she wanted. "So if Captain Mithadan had been in Elendil's place...?"

Lindo lifted his half-pint. "Mithadan would not let the broken man fester."

"But the tillerman was not visibly broken, " said Ravion. "Was he?"

"No, he hid his grief," Mellonin said.

"So how would Mithadan have known?"

"The officers were discontent, and so Mithadan would have known," said Lindo evenly.

Ravion shook his head. "The officers knew that he was making mistakes. Stupid mistakes. That does not mean a broken heart."

"But if it does, " said Lindo, "it takes more than discipline and anger to find the brokenness. If the tillerman is a good man, you fight for him. Mithadan would have."

"How?" said Ravion. "And how would he even have known that he was broken?"

Lindo smiled sadly, shrugged, and then burst out laughing. "Why, if I knew that, I would be a sea captain, " he said.

Mellondu sat bolt upright. "Do you not know how he would know?" Ravion looked equally dissatisfied.

Lindo sobered, and spread his hands. "I am a loremaster! Mithadan had a way with his men that I could never have. He had a good head and a good heart, and he knew how to use them well. That is rare, I guess, even among navies and armies."

"So," said Ravion. "Mithadan would take charge of the tillerman and... do what?"

"No, " said Lindo. "Mithadan would take the weary officers aside, strengthen them, and show them how to lead the tillerman."

"But the tillerman is broken."

Lindo nodded. "And it will take much more than a beer, or a night of drinking, to put him back together. Broken trust is a difficult thing, is it not? Perhaps taking orders from a Black Numenorean is more horrible than we can imagine; with orcs you know they are rotten through and through; but in a Black Numenorean there might have been enough nobility left to confuse a good man. What happened to the tillerman before he joined Elendil?" He shuddered, thinking of Gamba's ordeal. "Human sacrifice, dark sorcery... or was he just swept up in the invasion of Valinor?"

Mellonin shook her head. "I do not know that part of the tillerman's story. I do not even know whether it was the Black Numenoreans."

Ravion grimaced. "Without knowing what his story is, how will Mithadan train the officers to care for him?"

"That I do not know," said Lindo. "I am a loremaster, and no healer. Neither was Mithadan a healer; he was a captain, and a leader of men. But Elendil was a king, and the hands of a king are the hands of a healer, and so shall the rightful king be known."

"But I thought, " said Mellonin, "that you would know what Elendil would have done."

"No, only what Mithadan would have done," Lindo replied. "He would have strengthened the weary officers, perhaps teaching them when to wield mercy. As for the tillerman, if it was healing he needed, he would have found it at the hands of the king. "

"Kings are busy men," said Mellonin.

"Seamen are valuable," replied Lindo. "Besides, Elendil had four ships-- and according to your story, three of them were nowhere to be seen. He had time for the tillerman."

"Oh, dear, " said Mellonin. "Mithadan would not deal with the tillerman, but Elendil would. Even though he far outranked the officers in between?"

"But not as an officer," said Lindo. "As a healer. And as an officer, he would not neglect training the younger officers, even as Mithadan would have."

"It makes sense, " said Ravion. "Elessar still goes to the houses of healing."

"It doesn't make sense to me, " said Mellonin. "Not yet."

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Old 08-25-2010, 07:07 PM   #351
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"What doesn't make sense to me," said Lindo, "is Elendil not keeping a Palantir. And I am not so convinved that Elendil's ship carried the White Tree."

Mellonin sat back in her chair and waited, trying not to scowl.

"I propose, " said Lindo, "a visit to the library."

Mellonin brightened. "Very well."

It was Ravion's turn to scowl. "Must we?"

"There is no need for you to come," said Mellonin hurriedly.

Ravion snorted. "No doubt I would ruin your fun?" He laughed. "Well, I would. So go to your library. And I shall go to the docks. I have never lingered there."

Mellonin smiled. "Now I wish I could go both places!"

They filed out. Drowsily spreading their leaves in the sunshine, three gnarled trees-- an oak, a beech, and a willow-- guarded the front of the inn.

"Wonderful, shaggy old trees, " said Lindo. "Marvellous."

Ravion shrugged. "They weren't here a year ago." He headed down towards the gate, and they turned up the street.

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Old 08-26-2010, 06:40 AM   #352
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Pipe

"So Isildur's ship bore the White Tree, " said Mellonin. She couldn't really be unhappy about it.

"And no word of who had the palantiri. They could have all been on one ship for all the records say, " conceded Lindo. "Although I cannot imagine such short-sightedness-- er, your pardon. Still, whether they knew where the other ships were or not, it made no difference. Their sails were torn and their masts were snapped; utterly at the mercy of the sea they were tossed to the western shores of Middle-earth. Small mistakes had no bearing on the ruin of Numenor or the escape of the Faithful."

"Then I have no tale to tell."

Lindo re-stacked the parchments. "Not at sea. And your tillerman cannot have been part of the invasion of Valinor, for by order of his father, Elendil's nine ships bode apart, waiting on the eastern shore. So we still do not know what broke the tillerman. But the fleet of the Faithful waited on the eastern shore of Numenor for some time, before the great wave fell and they were driven eastward. Perhaps yours is a shipyard tale, and not the story of a voyage."

Her disappointment was plain. "What's the fun in that?"

"I do not know, " said Lindo. "And neither will you, if you let that stop you."

"Hmph, " said Mellonin. Then, "I wonder how Ravion is getting along down at the docks."

"At the shipyard, you mean?"

She glared at him, and they replaced the parchments on the shelves. She lingered over the last sheaf, straightening it.

"So many questions. They don't even name the ships."

Lindo turned to the door. "There is time to dream."

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Old 02-10-2011, 10:53 AM   #353
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1420!

The hobbit, the loremistress, and the ranger had departed, and the inn was echoingly quiet once again.

Nose twitching, the mouse explored under their table. They had left no crumbs. Nor had they left any droplets of beer, for which the mouse felt a little sad; he had noticed that he slept well after drinking the strange-tasting drops.

There had been a man at the window, staring in from under the trees. Perhaps he would return, and drop some crumbs. Or bring some friends who would drop some crumbs. The mouse sat up, and sniffed, and rubbed his face with his paws.
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Old 02-10-2011, 08:18 PM   #354
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Bethberry lay curled up in a corner near the fireplace, a large rug wrapped around here. She had drifted into a long, deep sleep after her dancing, sensing the heady expectation which the rain had brought to the atmosphere but too overwhelmed to stay awake and respond to it. She hadn't even caught the conversations between several of the Inn's customers, so tired was she.

But now she felt a movement at her feet, pulling at the blanket. Was it time so soon to wake up, she wondered? She tried to sleep some more and ignored the patter of paws up the rug over her legs, but the movement was insistent. She could no longer hear the rain outside.
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Old 02-11-2011, 06:27 PM   #355
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Suddenly Bęthberry heard the rain again, even if it was the cold wind dancing inside that awakened her in the first place. Nogrod slammed the door closed as soon as he was inside to keep the weather outside. It took a moment for the warmth of the hall to surround the people inside again.

Nogrod glanced around and nodded to everyone inside and then took off his soaked jacket and boots leaving them beside the door. After getting himself a goblet of warm wine spiced with honey, cardamon and cloves he took a free comfychair from near the fireplace and sat down. Slowly stirring the hot drink with a spoon and sniffing the flavour for a moment he finally met the few questioning eyes.

"Eh, yeah, I'm Nogrod, from up north... I thought..." he was quiet for a while like trying to find the right words to say what he meant to say.

"I'm Bęthberry, nice to meet you Nogrod", a woman welcomed him from the corner beside the fireplace.

"Oh, thank you." Nogrod answered gaining a few moments to formulate what he had in his mind.

"I was just thinking that maybe it was a high time for me to find company from here... I mean my little birds have just flown out from their nest and I've been quite curious as to how others feel about it..." He took a sip from the hot drink and gazed at the fire. "I mean is it usual to feel both empty and happy, is it usual to feel proud of what time does and betrayed by time at the same time?"
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Old 02-11-2011, 08:24 PM   #356
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The door slammed open again, with another gust of wind and rain. In stepped two small figures, their cloaks and hoods thoroughly plastered to their forms by the rain. The one on the right made a strange thumping noise, suggesting by its gait a crutch. As soon as the door was shut (no easy feat), the other helped her out of her cloak, revealing a hobbit in her early thirties with dark brown ringlets and a crutch under her right arm. She, in turn, unfastened the clasp at the other's neck--a male, this one, a good head taller, with fairer hair.

Sodden cloaks draped over their arms, they looked momentarily back outside, where the rain was still raging, then walked over to a corner and wrung out their cloaks there. "Awnings," he said to her. "You'd think they'd have heard of them down here."

The woman laughed as water spilled about her foot. "Awnings don't look particularly grand, though, do they, Alaric? And much good they'd do us in this kind of wind!"

When the cloaks were as dry as they could be expected to be, Alaric turned around and noticed, for the first time, the presence of others in the inn. "See, Kira?" he said, touching her on the arm. "I told you it wasn't deserted!"

"Yes," said Kira, "but it's terribly quiet." Nogrod and Bethberry were talking in one corner, but they could see no one standing behind the bar.

Alaric shrugged, and walked to the two people sitting by the fire. "Excuse me," he said. "Do you know who is the proprietor of this inn? We need a room for the night--preferably on the ground floor, if you can call land this high up 'ground.'"
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Old 02-12-2011, 09:18 AM   #357
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'He has warm, quick and bright eyes, this stranger from the north,' thought Bethberry as she was called away from her sleep. It was as much the aroma of the man's mulled wine that finally woke her as his words. She felt a nudging at her feet and looked down to see an expectant wee mousey patiently waiting. While answering Nogrod's question, she searched her pockets to find the crumbs of bread she usually kept there for the animals.

"I suppose how one feels about time's effect depends on whether one looks behind or forward, or simply takes each day and moment for what it offers," she replied, with a slight grin.

Any further reply was halted by the arrival of a very drenched couple. "Why,' wondered Bethberry again to herself, 'couldn't we all enjoy the anachronism of umbrellas, which had been so plentiful in The Shire at one time?'

"I'm afraid the Innkeeper has been called away, so we are making do as best we can. There is mulled wine here and food in the kitchen. You both look like you could use some warming up. I think you can help yourself and do as Nogrod here did, leave some coin on the counter. I'm Bethberry, by the way. And you are?"
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Old 02-12-2011, 10:51 AM   #358
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A hooded head peered into the room, and the door, held firmly against the wind, closed quickly behind another cloaked figure. Estelyn looked around the room, taking in the people and the fire, and removed her wet cloak, shaking it gently before hanging it up on a hook. She smiled when she saw Bęthberry.

"Hello, my friend!" she exclaimed, holding out both hands to grasp those of the other woman. "No greeting hug today - I'm drenched!"

She walked to the fireplace, where the pot with mulled wine stood, and poured herself a beaker. Then she said, "I had hoped to find you here, Bęthberry! Will you introduce me to your drinking companion?"

Her friend turned to the man and said, "Of course - this is Nogrod, from the north. He asked if we feel of two minds like he does when the young fledgelings fly from the family nest."

"That is a good question," Estelyn answered. "Alas, I cannot reply properly, for I have no experience of my own in this matter. Yet it is often so, that change brings both joy and sorrow, for we must let go of one thing to have room for another."

She then turned to the two hobbits. "We do not often see Periannath in Gondor, though perhaps more than in earlier times. What brings you here?"
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Old 02-12-2011, 01:17 PM   #359
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Alaric nodded distractedly at Bethberry's statements. Evidently he was still feeling the effects of the weather. "Yes, food and wine would not go amiss at the moment, though I doubt I'll be able to reach the counter as... Nogrod? ... did. Oh, and my name is Alaric Took, and this is my wife, Kira."

Kira stepped forward and nodded her head at each of the other two guests--for some reason, outside of the Shire and Bree few had heard of the custom of hand-shaking. "Pleasure to make your acquaintance, Bethberry and Nogrod."

The door opened, and another lady entered the room, helped herself to a drink, and spoke. "We do not often see Periannath in Gondor, though perhaps more than in earlier times. What brings you here?"

Alaric was at the fireplace, reaching up to follow Estelyn's example, so it was left for Kira to speak. "What brings us here? There are many answers to that, and each one's longer to tell than the last. The shortest one, though, is that we're looking for the Thain's Book, the copy of the Histories that made its way to Gondor long ago, and we want to make a copy of it, since our original perished nearly twenty years ago and none of our own copies are complete. But for now, we're just looking for a place to stay for the night, out of this dratted weather."

Alaric pressed a cup of mulled wine into her hand and she sipped at it appreciatively. "That sounds about like the whole of it. Now, what's this about food in the kitchen? I, at least, am famished, and if there are some step-stools, I'd like to rectify that shortly."
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Old 02-12-2011, 08:27 PM   #360
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Nogrod was just mulling at what Bęthberry had said when the two halflings made their entrance. He nodded to the halflings only to be caught up with yet another person coming in. After Estelyn had took her goblet of wine and given him some more food for thought he was forced to concentrate on the two hobbits again.

It was like they were two children with the hassle and buzz about them. It was dear memories time... Oh, the energy of the young..., he thought to himself while mulling about the comments Estelyn and Bethberry had made.

He raised his goblet towards the hobbits "To the health of all Periannath..."

After taking a short sip he glanced at the two: "I know nothing about any "Book of Tháin"... and I don't know anything about this place either as this is the frist time I'm here, but like Bęthberry said, I think you could fill your appetite from the kitchen, just leaving a coin or two to the counter when you leave?" He looked at the two women who seemed to be more at ease with the place and found them nodding.

With that he turned around to the two ladies. He toyed with the goblet for a moment before getting to it.

"Well, I thank you for your reasoned words, but to be frank, I'm actually not having that kind of a problem with myself... It's actually more like the contrary - if there can be a contrary to the middle-road?" He took a deep draught from the cup and then set it down to the table in front of him.

He smiled, but in a way one was not sure what it meant - maybe not even he himself. It seemed genuine though.

"I mean, I'm more than happy about it, I'm proud of it even if I can't claim to reap the laurels there... but something bangs in the back of my head saying I should mourn it. And I actually do feel like it every now and then."

He looked at the ladies, not sure if he had made his point understandable.

He frowned and leaned back on his chair.

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