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Old 10-22-2009, 02:55 PM   #1
Durelin
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Durelin is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.Durelin is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.
Ring Wight Fright: "Fog on the Barrow-Downs" RPG

Bree, 2939 TA

They had first talked about going at night - sneaking out of their beds, climbing out their windows, and sneaking back in an hour or so before dawn...they all had talked that way, but none of them was about to say, "let's go tonight!" They had all heard the stories - who hadn't? It was the last mistake anyone made, to end up in the Barrow-Downs when the light of the world went out.

So it was that a small group started down the East Road in the late morning - they were just keeping to the road for now, of course - toward the East and toward the gloomy mounds on the edge of the Old Forest.

It had been Edwin's suggestion, that morning when they all had nothing better to do than chores (and yeah, sure, they'd be back in time to finish those before supper, he reassured those concerned), that they should enter the Barrow-Downs like they had talked about. They all wanted to know if the stories were true, if the mounds were really even tombs like people said. And how many Breelanders could say they had been that far from town, much less into the Downs themselves?

Well, Edwin was going, and if he went alone, all the better perhaps. He could tell them whatever he liked about the place when he got back, and they would have to believe him.

Needless to say, Edwin did not go alone. He and his friends told their plan to anyone they passed on the way whom they could trust (meaning no adults and no snitches), and soon a few party members became several, and so forth.

Soon they wandered off the road, Edwin leading them - but only ever allowing himself to walk slightly out front of the others - toward the ominous green mounds and lonely stones, and the dark and tangled mass of the Old Forest beyond.

For now the sky was clear and the sun shown comfortably above them...


Join the fun! Anyone may post - just try to follow the basic RPing rules. This is an informal RP just in time for Halloween - see the discussion thread for some details.
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Old 10-28-2009, 12:08 AM   #2
Bęthberry
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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.
Stooped and favouring her left leg, the old woman wrapped pulled her shawl tighter around her narrow, boney shoulders as she dragged a small cart behind her. She snuffled as she limped along, as if the autumn wind had chilled her breath and stiffened her legs and hips despite the shining sun. Her hands bore traces of her endeavour, her nails filled with dirt, for Meg Rushlight was harvesting peat. There was a good market for it if she could find the richest patches and if it didn't rain and dampen the peat.

And the best peat was found near the old barrows, so there she was headed, even though she'd never tell anyone where she found her peat as she would never then get a pretty price for it.

Startled, she heard voices and turned around. "Who would be coming out ta th'barrows?" she thought. Then she saw them, a rag tag group of childerns with that Edwin in the lead. She didn't fancy meeting them, not at all, so she searched for a hill or stone to cover her presence.

Last edited by piosenniel; 01-04-2010 at 01:49 PM.
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Old 10-31-2009, 05:36 PM   #3
Mithalwen
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Mithalwen is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Mithalwen is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Mithalwen is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Mithalwen is lost in the dark paths of Moria.
Jessamy Woodseaves was one of those who joined Edwin's party. She hadn't exactly been invited but having four elder brothers made a girl adept at finding ways of joining in with things that hadn't been intended to include her. Tall for her age (which was ten) even by the standards of the Big Folk, her long legs meant she could easily keep up with the older children and there was absolutely no point in telling her she couldn't or shouldn't do things because she was a girl.

That was a battle that her mother fought with her on a regular basis. Jessamy had been born a full fifteen years after her eldest brother and perhaps no child could fulfil the hopes of so long a wait, certainly not one whose from her earliest years had preferred trailing after her brothers around the family's farm near Staddle, to playing with dolls and wearing the pretty dresses her mother lovingly made her.

It wasn't that Jessamy wanted to deceive her parents but it was the only way to get any freedom. And so it was that Mrs Woodseaves waved her daughter off from the kitchen door in the belief that Jess would complete her errands in Bree and then spend the rest of the day with her friend Calendula Boffin. She never suspected that Jessamy knew full well that the Boffins had gone to spend the Dame school's Autumn break with family in the Shire and that though she would pass the South Gate wearing a new blue wool dress and her hair in beribboned bunches of ringlets, she would leave by the West Gate in some of her brother's cast offs and her hair in a messy and truth be told somewhat gingery plait. She had managed to slip enough food from the larder for a decent picnic and this she carried in a little oil cloth knapsack along with her cloak.

She wasn't expected back for hours and so really there would be no harm done...

Last edited by Mithalwen; 11-02-2009 at 05:14 AM.
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Old 11-01-2009, 03:42 PM   #4
Estelyn Telcontar
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Estelyn Telcontar is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.Estelyn Telcontar is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.
Ouch! Oh dear, she’s trying to pull my laces tighter. Looks like she had too many birthday parties, afternoon teas and second breakfasts in the past year. Even here, away from the Shire, there are enough Hobbits to provide an active social life, and for them, that means meals.

I always know it’s autumn when she pulls me out of the drawer. I guess a Hobbit doesn’t have opportunities to wear a black bodice for the rest of the year. That’s why I spend most of my existence crushed under bright yellows, cheerful greens, and earthy browns – ugh! That’s more depressing than the colour of my fabric.

Ouch again! I don’t know which will tear first, my laces or the eyelets. Something’s gotta give when she attempts to press her ample shape into my svelte form.

Sigh... I suppose that means she’s off to do something adventurous on this day of deathly hallows. You’d think she would have outgrown such pranks by now, almost at the end of her tweens. We could have had a comfortable evening at the Green Dragon, checking out the “Biggest Pumpkin” contest to see if a Great Pumpkin shows up. But no, that would have meant food and drink; the strain would have been too much for me.

I can only hope she’s not going out to collect treats!

On the other hand, if she lets herself get scared like she did last year, the sudden intake of breath could wreak havoc with my seams.

It seems I am doomed no matter what happens today – or tonight. This could well be the last day of my existence. Now that’s scary!
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Old 11-01-2009, 07:46 PM   #5
Durelin
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Durelin is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.Durelin is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.
As soon as he was convinced that his feet had stepped over whatever border there was between the quiet hills of western Bree-land and the even quieter hills of the Barrow-downs, Edwin felt a chill come over him and hoped dearly that no one would see the goosebumps on his arms. He thought about unrolling his sleeves, but that would be too obvious. They passed the first barrow a little ways off to their right, as Edwin could not quite bring his feet to veer in that direction. He stared up at the stone, which looked like it was being swallowed up by the barrow, as it was half grown over with green. It really was a bit chilly... No, no fidgeting, he told himself. Too awkward.

He turned around to walk backwards pretend-casually. As he turned, though, he thought he caught a glimpse of movement behind the barrow, but when he turned his head to look directly at the barrow again, there was nothing there. His stomach tied itself into a knot, and for a moment all of his being was focused on that barrow.

Edwin found himself tripping backward, barely catching himself from falling, as someone bumped straight into him. Apparently he had stopped walking, as well. barrows and wights all but forgotten, Edwin did his best to recover. "Watch where you're going! Is this just an afternoon stroll, or do you actually want to check out one of these barrows?" He was still looking at the barrow they had just passed, not sure if he wanted to know if he really did see anything or not.
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Old 11-02-2009, 07:03 AM   #6
Mithalwen
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Mithalwen is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Mithalwen is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Mithalwen is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Mithalwen is lost in the dark paths of Moria.
Jessamy who had found her clothing a little too warm on the walk was now grateful for the hairy wool sweater. It's mustardy coulour was not the best complement to rusty hair but its hem fell near to her knees and having forgotten to bring gloves she allowed the too long sleeves to slip over her hands. Even so she too shivered a little but would not think of getting her cloak from her bag while there were boys still in shirtsleeves.

The Downs did not seem such an enticing place now. She had seen them before but only from the road - her father had taken her along on a short trip to the Shire a few years ago when he had been looking in to growing pipeweed, and in the early light of a clear midsummer morning they had seemed ripe for exploration and quite unthreatening. But now she was not safely tucked in the back of the little farm waggon with the reassuring presence of her father and eldest brother on the boxseat. She only had the company of some other children scarce older or larger than herself and suddenly she felt a little scared. she had never been so far without adults or at least one of the big brothers, who, much as they had grumbled at times at having their pesky little sister tag along, had succesfully protected her from any peril of the world greater than bramble scratches or grazed knees.

But they were all grown now or nearly - the eldest Silas was married and living in Archet where he worked with his father-in-law, a woodman, Seth worked with his father on the farm and the younger two, Bryn and Filbert apprentices in Bree-town and so not free to join the expedition even if they knew about it.

Her nerves made her answer to Edwin more scornful than she really intended.

"Of course we do! You aren't scared are you". The sun seemed to have faded from the sky and she silently chanted to herself "I am not scared, I am not scared"...

Last edited by Mithalwen; 02-10-2010 at 07:32 AM.
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Old 12-07-2009, 03:19 PM   #7
Durelin
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Durelin is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.Durelin is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.
A howl came from the woods, and Edwin tore his eyes away from those orbs shining in the darkness of the Old Forest. He ran, and hesitated a few moments in front of a barrow, staring at the darkness of the stone-framed opening. A man had been buried in there, a long time ago. And they say he later walked again, that he was filled with an evil spirit... But there had been no one who knew anything but stories for generations.

There was another howl that could be heard across the Downs, and Edwin thought he heard from somewhere nearby the scratching of claws on hard, cold earth. He shuddered, and ducked into the barrow, holding his breath as he pressed himself against the wall of the barrow near the doorway. He would not go any further into the mound. But how could he escape the nose of a wolf smelling like he did? The boy was completely torn between two fears, one very real and the other unknown, but both clutching strongly at his heart.
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Old 12-08-2009, 12:44 PM   #8
Mithalwen
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Mithalwen is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Mithalwen is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Mithalwen is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Mithalwen is lost in the dark paths of Moria.
Meanwhile back at the farm...

The life of a farmer’s wife was always busy but now that three of her children were no longer living at home there was a reduction in Sukebind Woodseaves' workload that almost disconcerted her. She had spent years cooking for a family of seven and now there were only four of them. Less food to prepare, less laundry to do and the house seemed to stay a lot tidier even though Jessamy was one of those still living in it. Things had almost seemed normal during harvest when all the boys had returned to the farm to help - as was the custom in Breeland. The welfare of all depended on a successful crop gathering so many were diverted from their usual occupations. But Harvest had finished some weeks ago and Bryn had returned to the forge and Filbert to the Pony and the farm seemed very quiet again.

It seemed particularly quiet today - Seth and Erling were ploughing and had taken food with them so not to waste any of the short day and dry weather and she didn’t really expect to see Jessamy much before nightfall. She had made quick work of preparing a stew for supper and it was already simmering gently on the range. Dough was proving in a covered bowl by the hearth and she decided there were enough eggs to use up the old loaves in a bread and butter pudding. but this too was the work of few minutes for a skilled cook. She thought of the the skein of fine white wool she had bought at market a couple of months ago and had put aside fearing that she would tempt fate if she crafted too soon for her first grandchild due in early spring. Maybe it was not too soon now. She smiled at the thought and went out side to rinse her hands under the pump. Returning she admired the winter jessamine that flowered by the kitchen door its flowers like yellow stars against the green. A welcome bit of colour in the darker days she always thought and like many Breelanders, Sukebind had named her daughter for a favourite flower. As she passed into the parlour to dig out her needles and patterns she thought of Jessamy and hoped she was having a nice time.

Last edited by Mithalwen; 04-09-2011 at 06:47 AM.
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Old 12-09-2009, 06:28 AM   #9
Mithalwen
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Mithalwen is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Mithalwen is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Mithalwen is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Mithalwen is lost in the dark paths of Moria.
At that moment Jessamy was not having a nice time at all. Shrouded in her cloak, ghostlike save for the bright tangle of her hair as she stood on the top of the barrow the folly of the venture was beginning to hit home.

Although the downs started only a few miles from Bree she knew that they spanned about ten miles at their widest, from the Greenway to the Old Forest and from her vantage point she saw that the shadows of the trees were much closer than she thought they should be. How could they possibley have wandered so far... there wasn't the time. Yet she could see the trees but neither the Greenway nor the Shire Road. Then she remembered one of the stories she had heard... that the trees of the Old Forest were said to move. She had dismissed it at the time as just one of those things elder brothers tell you to scare you but now she recalled her father saying there were legends in the South of trees that walked. As the light dimmed it seemed all more plausible.

Jessamy could not decide which possibility was worse - either they were too far away to have any hope of getting home before night or she was far too close to a living moving forest.

Then she heard the howl and courage failing she added her own wail to the air.

Last edited by Mithalwen; 12-22-2009 at 12:14 PM.
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Old 12-22-2009, 12:29 PM   #10
Mithalwen
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Mithalwen is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Mithalwen is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Mithalwen is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Mithalwen is lost in the dark paths of Moria.
"This is no good" thought Jessamy. If she could climb up here on two legs she was pretty sure whatever was howling could make it on four and she was just making herself conspicuous. The sensible thing to do would be to set her back to the fading sun and try to bear left a little - that way she should hit either the East Road or the Greenway sooner or later. She wouldn't get home on time but she would get home. She had her cloak she had food she would be alright.

"But what about the others ..." she thought. They wouldn't know she had gone and they might be looking for her, she reasoned. Part of her mind argued that they had probably gone already.. and even if they hadn't she could get help as soon as she got back to the town. Another part reminded her that she had wandered away. Jessamy was torn, the longer she delayed the less likely she was to get back on familiar terrain before dark but she couldn't just abandon the others without trying to find them.

She slid down the barrow and started to call the others' names:

"Edwin... where are you?"

Last edited by Mithalwen; 07-31-2010 at 12:48 PM.
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Old 12-23-2009, 07:24 PM   #11
Durelin
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Durelin is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.Durelin is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.
Karl caught up with the dog to find it staring and sniffing in the direction of one of the barrows in the Downs. It had caught the scent of something, and Karl now could smell it as well.

"Duke," he called, "shut up and get away from there. I'm not bringing you home again if you go after a skunk."

With one more urging, the dog gave up its sniffing. Karl grumbled under his breath about Duke being "worthless" as the dog attempted to follow him from ahead rather than behind. He had a single rabbit in the sack over his shoulder. He had almost had a bird...

Since the cur had broken the edge of the forest into the Downs, Karl decided one rabbit was enough to last him. He was comfortable in the Old Forest -- though obviously he avoided it at night -- but the Barrow-downs made him shake and feel like a hundred eyes were on him.

So he stopped dead in his tracks when he thought he heard a voice. Duke gave a short bark in response and Karl hastily shushed him. The man scanned around him, focusing especially on the barrows, but saw nothing. While he was straining to find whatever it was that was causing goosebumps to rise on his skin, Duke took off toward one of the barrows a good way off.

"Duke! Get back here! Duke!"

~*~

Edwin heard Karl berating his dog, and breathed a little easier for the moment. Part of him wished to leap out of the barrow and beg the man to take him back to town, but the rest of him was more concerned with what the man might think of a boy in the middle of the Barrow-downs smelling like a skunk...and what the others might think when the man brought him home.

He steeled himself, trying not to inhale too much and keeping his eyes on his feet until he was sure Karl and Duke had moved on. He rushed out of the mound, kicking up dust and stone. Perhaps he could find somewhere to wash up...though he dared not enter the Old Forest. If he managed to get lost in the Downs, he could only imagine how long he might find himself wandering that tangled, unfriendly mess of trees.

Last edited by Durelin; 07-22-2011 at 12:36 PM.
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