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Old 03-27-2011, 08:36 AM   #121
Nerwen
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Binn said, "You know, there have been official revelries up in the Citadel for years, ones that the King himself must surely have approved! Mightn't there be an official account of the way things happened? If only we had a way of getting up there..."

"We-ell, I suppose I could go," said Asta doubtfully. "But they don't allow just anyone up there, I believe... Brinn, do you think this Lord Sador would write me some kind of letter or something, so the Tower Guards would let me through? Is it worth asking him? Only, we have to have some reason– after all, he's meant to be here to tell us how things are done; we can't just say we don't trust him."

Asta realised that her sister had not quite said that anyway, but she assumed Brinn must share her suspicion that the terrible old Lord Burlach was, for some reason, setting them up for failure.
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Old 03-27-2011, 01:41 PM   #122
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“We have quite a lot to tell you", Harrenon said. "We seemed to have a rotten luck when we first did research for this play. I am sorry to say this, but most of what we have thought was true is actually wrong.”

That was no exaggeration. Their conversation with Bergil had been long and fruitful - so much so that Coldan had had to borrow quill and paper from the tavern's landlord to take down some notes - and little of what he had told them matched the way they had been about to represent their main characters.

"He's right", Coldan told Brinn. "Ve met an officer of the Steward's White Company who was an errand boy for the Houses of Healing during ze last days of the War and came to know some of ze Ringbearer's companions - most notably ze halflings Peregrin (who, it seems, vasn't a prince after all) and Meriadoc. According to our officer, it vas ze latter who helped ze Lady Éowyn slay ze Vitch-King; and he vas quite sure neither of zem ever mentioned an elven maid named Mary as a member of zeir Fellowship." He looked at Asta unhappily and bit his lip. "I'm sorry, Asta; I really am, but zat's ze plain truth."

"This is all very well", Brinn put in before her sister could throw another tantrum about refusing to play a halfling, "but didn't I tell you to gather information about the Men of Gondor? All of them?"

"I vas getting to zat", Coldan hastened to assure her, grateful to change the subject. "He had some very interesting things to say about the King, vich bear to be quoted literally." He leafed through the sheaf of notes he had brought with him and, having found the pertinent lines, proceeded to read. "Quote: 'Rugged and tanned he looked when I first saw him, like one long vont to sleep rough and valk abroad in every veather, and yet noble and kingly, stern of countenance but kind in his demeanor, jesting viz ze halflings even ven he vas veary from battle. Only much later did it become known to us zat he had long fought ze Shadow in many lands, even here in Gondor, under many names and guises', unquote, emphasis mine." He tucked the papers back under his arm. "Much as I hate to admit it, it looks like Branor's spy-king idea has a grain of truth in it - although our informant vas quite adamant zat ze King never had any secret traffic viz ze Enemy; he seemed to consider ze mere suggestion blasphemy." He cleared his throat. "Zere's a lot more, about Boromir and ze lord Denethor, and Prince Faramir and ze Lady Éowyn, but it's a long story, and I'd like somezing to oil my throat for ze telling."
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Old 03-27-2011, 04:15 PM   #123
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Two young men smiled affectionately as Thiliel sprinted across the yard into the inn as fast as her skirt would allow her. It was now safe to leave the girl and go their own way.

Thiliel ran inside and almost knocked over the innkeeper. Immediately she flung her arms around him. “Uncle! I’m so glad to see you!” her joy radiated from her face. “I’m so happy that I could come! Mother didn’t want to send me, but our new neighbours said that they were visiting Minas Anor too, so we convinced her to let me come with them.” Thiliel took a quick look through the door that she left ajar. “Oh, I think they’ve left already! It’s too bad I couldn’t introduce them to you!” The girl hugged Ingold once more, oblivious to the inn’s customers eyeing her queerly.

The man smiled back at his niece. “It’s good to see you too, lassie. Right now I am very busy, as you can see, and I don’t have the time to speak with you.” Thiliel saw the truth in his words: he was referring to one of these lengthy talks that they used to have. “It’s all right, Uncle,” she reassured him, “I can also help you with something, maybe?” Ingold pretended to consider his answer. “You are probably tired from the road. For today you can walk around, see the city, or rest a little in your room, if you want to.” Thiliel just started to walk away, when Ingold added, “Oh, darling, I forgot – before you go, can you please take some food over to a woman outside by the carts?” Thiliel nodded enthusiastically. The man handed her a tray with a mug of water and a dish of steaming potatoes. “Her name is Celebrindal. She has black hair. You’ll recognize her all right. If she wants something else, tell me. Will you?” Thiliel nodded again, and then scuttled off.

She has noticed the wagons in the courtyard when she just came, and wondered about them, but the excitement of seeing her dear uncle again, almost five years from their last parting, completely wiped out everything else. Now again her curiosity shot up. When she reached the carts, she found not one, but four people, who were discussing something amongst each other.

“Good day, sirs and ladies! I am Thiliel, I just came here today, and I’m helping my Uncle Ingold. He asked me to deliver this to Mistress Celebrindal.” With these words the girl carefully handed the tray over to the dark haired woman who was sitting on a chair, and curtseyed. “If there is anything you want, please tell me, and I’ll fetch it for you.” She smiled at the group, continuously wondering about them.
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Old 03-28-2011, 12:29 AM   #124
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Rollan

"That's the spirit!" Rollan told Amdir. "You just wait, we'll make this such a success that that Lord Burlach will want you back in a heartbeat! And then--if you like--you can have the pleasure of telling him 'no'!"
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Old 03-28-2011, 12:36 AM   #125
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Brinn

"Asking Sador is worth a try at least," Brinn had told Asta. "We can't say he can't be trusted, you're right. But we'll find out how much he can be, by what he tells us. And there has to be another way to learn, if that doesn't work."

Then, after much musing and some waiting, Harrenon and Coldan had returned, and with much welcome news.

Well, welcome insofar as it meant progress! Even if it sounded as if a lot of work came with that progress. Brinn itched to snatch the papers right from under Coldan's hand, but she tucked her hands away. "Well done, both of you," she said. "Please, feel free to take the noon meal in the common room; Rollan and Amdir should be there."

Amdir--right! "Oh," she said. "We were paid a visit this morning by the new Master of the Revels. After much posturing, rewarding, and possible threatening, he had the courtesy to send us a minder, one Sador, who will be working with Aldarion on the script. And there is other news that perhaps Amdir would rather tell you himself. But let's go over your full report after you have eaten."

Just then she saw a sweet-looking maiden approach with a steaming tray. “Good day, sirs and ladies!" she said. "I am Thiliel, I just came here today, and I’m helping my Uncle Ingold. He asked me to deliver this to Mistress Celebrindal.”

"I am she," said Brinn. "Thank you, Miss Thiliel. As you can see," she said, pointing to her bound foot, "I turned my ankle yesterday, and have been told to keep off it for at least a week, so I'm dependent on the service of others. It was very kind for your uncle to think to send someone to look after me, and if I should need anything, I'll get someone to fetch you straightaway." She fished around in her purse, produced a small coin, and pressed it in Thiliel's hand.
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Old 03-28-2011, 03:57 PM   #126
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Thiliel thanked Mistress Celebrindal for the coin, curtseyed again, and went off. She could now go to the market to get herself a sweet! Or maybe a new pretty ribbon to tie her hair with. She'd wear it on the festival. Or maybe not. Uncle Ingold was right - I am tired! After all, we've been up and walking with the sun. I should go to my room now, and perhaps have a nap. I'll go to the market tomorrow...

The girl bounded into the common room; even though she was weary she couldn't resist. She slowed down to avoid knocking the tables over and gave a wave to her uncle. He winked at her but continued on with his work. Thiliel looked around her, taking in as much of her surroundings as she could. How comfortble and inviting the inn looked! She aways thought that. Especially when it's filled with people, and they are all enjoying a delicious lunch, or dinner, or whenever they are all gathered here for whatever they want. Lunch time is a wonderful time, she thought, even though lunch had just started, and the inn wasn't yet packed like it would be about half an hour later. No, it's not a lunch - it's a feast! In the highest tower of a castle! And they are all lords and ladies of different lands! And Uncle Ingold is the King! And I'm the royal princess!

Letting her imagination run wild with each lord's story, she picked up her skirt and danced her way to the hallway. She was spinning faster and faster, laughing at her game, when, about ten feet into the hallway, all of a sudden she collided with a girl around her own age.

"I'm terribly sorry!" she apologized sincerely to the girl, helping her to steady herself, even though Thiliel was quite dizzy, "I didn't see you! I was playing that this is a palace, and I'm the princess, and I was dancing and not looking around. I like playing these making-up games! Do you want to play with me? You can be the princess too! We'll both be princesses! Oh, I forgot to introduce myself - I'm Thiliel. The landlord here is my Uncle Ingold. What is your name?"
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Old 03-28-2011, 04:18 PM   #127
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Entering the common room, Coldan bumped into Aldarion, who, it seemed, was just about to leave.

"Vatch your steps, man!" he exclaimed, more puzzled than irritated; he had assumed that the playwright would be long gone, carrying out the assignment Brinn had given him. "Vat are you doing here anyvay? Shouldn't you be researching in ze city?"

"Watch your own", Aldarion retorted. "Things haven't gone quite as planned here. We've had a surprise visit from the most high and mighty Lord Cirdacil, newly appointed Master of the Revels; Rollan and Amdír are in there, they can tell you all about it, if Brinn hasn't already. If you'll excuse me now, I have work to do."

"Vell, good luck zen! You'll need it if you vant to match vat ve've gathered zis morning." With these encouraging words, he turned away from Aldarion to scan the inside of the common room, which was getting quite crowded with guests for nuncheon; a warm, delicious smell wafted out of the open hatch from the kitchen. He spied Amdír and Rollan, already busy with their meals, and made a beeline for their table, narrowly evading a collision with Ingold, who was darting about the room taking orders.

"If you please, Master Ingold", he said, grabbing the innkeepers sleeve before he could move on, "I'd like a dish of zose yummy oven potatoes you sent to Mistress Celebrindal, and - has ze new vine from Emyn Arnen come in yet? Excellent, I'll hev a flagon of zat to wash 'em down, please, zank you very much." They had only had a light meal with Bergil, and these heady southern wines needed a solid foundation.

Nodding a greeting to his two friends, he dumped himself into a chair and his sheaf of notes on the table in front of Rollan. "So, I gather it's been an eventful morning for all of us. Vat's that I hear about ze new Master of ze Revels? Zinks he can boss us around, does he? And he sent us vat - a minder? A chaperon? A censor, more likely. How dare he!" The idea that some pompous aristocrat presumed to interfere with the Players' artistic freedom outraged him - although, he suddenly found himself thinking, maybe it offered new perspectives. Perhaps he should have a word with this - Sador? Was that the name Brinn had mentioned? - who was going to 'work with Aldarion on the script'; if he could convince the man, this could be his chance to get some of the changes to the dialogue he had always wanted to make implemented.

"Not zat some of us couldn't do viz a chaperon", he went on, his mood a good deal mellowed. "Vere are our two miscreants, by ze vay? Sleeping off zeir hangover, I guess?" He turned to Amdír, a dismal suspicion suddenly flaring up in him. What could Brinn have meant with 'news that perhaps Amdír would rather tell you himself'? "Zey did come back to ze inn with you, didn't zey?"
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Old 03-28-2011, 04:47 PM   #128
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The new man surely was boring - he just got a room and went in there. Sereth followed him quietly, and found herself thinking about his limping. It was weird he did not lean on any stick. Sereth's first thought was that the man was faking his limp, but then she thought that if you were faking being lame, it would make much more sense to have a stick (basic theatre, Sereth, basic theatre! the lame and the old are recognised just because of the stick!). Proud of her thinking, she followed the man until he went to his room.

There was a soft thump - maybe some baggage falling on the floor - and then another, louder thump, combined with the creaking of the bed. Okay, so he just went to bed. How uninteresting, Sereth thought. She noticed, though, that the man had forgotten his door ajar. Poor him! He needs to get up and limp here to get it closed. It must be very hard for him. So, quickly, she pushed the door closed and retreated.

She was walking back to the direction of the common room when something bumped into her.

"I'm terribly sorry!" the something said in a girl's voice. "I didn't see you! I was playing that this is a palace, and I'm the princess, and I was dancing and not looking around. I like playing these making-up games! Do you want to play with me? You can be the princess too! We'll both be princesses! Oh, I forgot to introduce myself - I'm Thiliel. The landlord here is my Uncle Ingold. What is your name?"

Sereth was left quite speechless. The stranger was a girl of her age or maybe a bit older, dressed in bright-coloured clothes and looking very happy. But - playing making-up games? Princesses? Dancing around?

"I'm Seri," Sereth said after a silence that was a tad too long to be comfortable. "Or Sereth, actually, Seri is just a nickname. I am an actress of The King's Players."
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Old 03-28-2011, 05:04 PM   #129
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Sador sat up on the broad but lumpy bed as he heard the none-too-distant noise of human collision and childish prattle, alerting him to the fact he'd left his new chamber's door open. At that moment a draught infiltrated too, disordering some of his papers; just as Sador was irritably raising himself up after them, the door clicked shut at last. Probably another breeze.

To his extreme annoyance, Sador couldn't find the note he'd been writing at all. He was a young fellow who thought a lot - perhaps even too much, and while talking to himself sometimes eased the incumbent pressure, he usually found writing to himself rather clearer. But of the latest scribbled instruction he found no sign, and frustrating though it was, he was forced to get another shred of spare parchment out of his pack, ink up his quill, and get it down again.

The original had wafted far beyond the doorframe, an unprepossessing scrap with a list of figures, expenses of some kind perhaps, mostly bedaubing it, but between them a single sentence, written at such speed as to be hardly comprehensible except for two clear capital As at the beginning of spidery names, and another, ordinal number interspersed among the words, Third. Sador had no thought for this lost marginalium and neither, most likely, would anybody else.

He opened the pack's last buckle and sprawled its contents upon his bed. There were no changes of clothes after all, just papers, papers, papers, some of them even full manuscript books without binding. Sador was interested in none of these for the present, and only ceased his rummage when he reached a curved wooden object; one of those very Eriador pipes, popular at court, which so irritated his father. When he'd retrieved a pouch of leaf, also, he filled and lit it. At least his temporary stay in this brutish hole would allow him to indulge the weakness and calm his nerves beyond that stern paternal gaze...

His father had, as was his wont, just made things a little bit harder. After the impetuous dismissal of the loyal company carpenter who would have, Sador suspected, answered to his official employer with some degree of reliability, the rest of the troupe, too, would be bound to feel bad feeling against him, Sador, as Cirdacil's son. Probably Aldarion would be intrigued enough to be reasonable, but the rest? Alas, Sador thought, if he was to be of any use to his father's plans, let alone his own, he would soon have to get up, walk about and be as, well, as damned winning as he could...

Whatever state things were in, for instance, by the next rehearsal, he would be absolutely obliged, he mused grimly, to enjoy it. After the respite of this pipe, he would have to set a smile on his face and energy in his limbs, and force them to stay where they were.
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Old 03-28-2011, 05:13 PM   #130
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Thiliel's eyes widened. An actress! Thiliel has seen a play just once in her life; she hasn't seen any actors, though. The people on stage were real people, who lived for real, laughed for real, and cried for real. 'Actors' was just a word in Thiliel's world for a very long time. And, how could this confused girl be... an actress?

"It's a pleasure meeting you, Seri! I've never met a real actress before! How do you act? And who are the King's players? Do you mean that you play making-up games for King Elessar?" Think before you open your big mouth! Thiliel scolded herself immediately. That question was too absurd to be true, and it could have offended Sereth. "Please forgive me if my question was impolite, not to say rude," Thiliel tried to correct her mistake. Then a sudden idea came to her mind. "Say - are these your wagons outside in the yard? And do you know Mistress Celebrindal? Is she also an actress?" Thiliel's previous curiosity returned to her in full measure, and was getting quite out of her controll.
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Old 03-29-2011, 01:15 AM   #131
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Asta paused at the doorway into the common room and directed a look black as thunder at Coldan. In her heart she knew it was not the prompter's fault that Mary was a hobbit and not an Elf, but she felt like punishing someone.

Coldan, however, avoided her gaze, pretending to be absorbed in his conversation with Rollan and Amdĺr. She was sure he had seen her, though.

She moved on, down the passageway. This part of the inn being short on windows, it was rather dim here even in the daytime; she might have walked right into Sereth, if the chattering of the girl's companion had not given warning.

Her eyes adjusting, Asta recognised the second girl as Master Ingold's niece, whatever her name was. Asta had already put her down as an overly flighty and excitable tyoe, and now she seemed much more interested in pumping Sereth for theatrical knowledge than in helping out her uncle. But that was Master Ingold's affair; for her part, Asta thought it would do Sereth good to have a friend near her own age. The child had been dreadfully moody lately.

The newcomer's door was closed, and there was no answer to her tentative knock. She did not repeat it. On second thoughts, perhaps it would seem too forward of her, rapping on the door of a strange young man's room. Both the girls had turned to watch her, as it was. No, she would have to wait until such time as Lord Sador condescended to leave his room and mingle with the company.

As she retreated, Asta caught sight of something white, lying there in the dark passageway. She bent to pick it up. It was a scrap of paper.
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Old 03-29-2011, 09:39 AM   #132
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He turned to Amdír, a dismal suspicion suddenly flaring up in him. What could Brinn have meant with 'news that perhaps Amdír would rather tell you himself'? "Zey did come back to ze inn with you, didn't zey?"

"No," said Amdír, a bit more curtly than he might otherwise have done. "They did not want to return, and I was more concerned with the setpieces than them."

"Go easy on Amdír," said Rollan, "he's having a rough day. Lord Cirdacil has already given him grief for not keeping a tighter rein on those two, and has fired him for his troubles."
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Old 03-29-2011, 11:04 AM   #133
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"It's a pleasure meeting you, Seri! I've never met a real actress before! How do you act? And who are the King's players? Do you mean that you play making-up games for King Elessar? Please forgive me if my question was impolite, not to say rude."

Sereth could not help smiling. The older girl's childish manner made her feel relaxed, and she was happy to demonstrate her professional knowledge. However, when she was just about to reply, she noticed Asta who walked past them and knocked on the newcomer's bedroom door. What did she want of him? Had the glances been that serious between them? Feeling slightly disgusted, Sereth was happy to hear the girl called Thiliel continue:

"Say - are these your wagons outside in the yard? And do you know Mistress Celebrindal? Is she also an actress?"

"Yes, they are ours. Mistress Celebrindal is my... friend and she is our director and manager, but does a fair bit of acting and writing too. We are now doing a play on the War of the Ring and yes, the King is coming to see it, if you meant that, and lots of other important people too - like the Lord Samvais of the Periannath! It makes me a little nervous, though - you see I play Frodo of the Nine Fingers."

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Old 03-29-2011, 11:48 AM   #134
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Harrenon had gone to join Coldan, Rollan and Amdir and was there just in time to hear Rollan’s last words. He frowned. That he had not expected.

“Fired him?” he repeated. “But how? He can’t fire Amdir just like that. And who is he going to replace him with anyway?”

Harrenon stopped abruptly when he saw the other three looking at him strangely. He shook his head and gave a shamefaced smile.

“I’m sorry, Amdir,” he said quickly. “It was tactless of me to ask about a replacement like this. But what happened, really? And isn’t there anything you could do? Isn’t there anything we could do for you?”
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Old 03-29-2011, 03:01 PM   #135
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“I’m sorry, Amdír, it was tactless of me to ask about a replacement like this. But what happened, really? And isn’t there anything you could do? Isn’t there anything we could do for you?”

Amdír privately doubted that Cirdacil would replace him at all. The duties of a Master of Revels to those he was patronising were unclear. Amdír had originally been assigned to assist the Players because Lord Hallas, in his enthusiasm for the arts, had simply asked Brinn was she wanted help with for their run in Minas Anor. Since Brinn had said she wanted some fuller set pieces since they had a full stage in the city, Lord Hallas had given them a carpenter. It was also a bit of shrewd penny-pinching on his part, since it meant that he could now pay part of Amdír's salary out of the royal coffers. Unless Cirdacil also had a household carpenter he wanted to be released of the full burden of employing, Amdír doubted there would be a new carpenter from the Master of Revels.

"I will be fine," said Amdír. "I am not only in the service of the Master of Revels. But if you wish to help me be revenged on Cirdacil of Burlach, I would ask that we make our performance for the King every bit the success Cirdacil clearly wishes against."
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Old 03-29-2011, 03:54 PM   #136
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"The War of the Ring! Why, Uncle Ingold told me so many stories about it! He fought in the War, and was wounded, and that's why he was released from the army."

Thiliel was amazed. Sereth was playing one of the most important roles in one of her favourite tales ever! She heard it so many a time...

"But... how is that possible? Frodo of the Nine Fingers was a man... Well, a Perian. But you're a girl!" She took on a puzzled expression, trying to figure out how could this bit of common sense could work out.
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Old 03-30-2011, 03:56 PM   #137
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"Zat ve shall, Amdír, zat ve shall", Coldan assured the carpenter. "Zat conceited old niggard isn't vorthy of your service. A pox on him and ze horse he rode in on! Ve'll show him, never fear. Harrenon and I made good progress zis morning and found out a lot about ze King and ze ozer lords and ladies zat should help us get our script right, if zat chaperon Lord Vatsisname has encumbered us viz doesn't meddle too much."

Just at this moment he caught a glimpse of Asta suddenly appearing in the doorway only to shoot a look at him that, had it been an arrow, would have gone straight through him and nailed him to the back of his chair, and then just as suddenly she was gone again. Well, that had been predictable, and no use telling her again he had only reported the truth (she probably knew that well enough and just couldn't help herself blaming him anyway). He briefly considered going after her and talking to her, but right then his wine and potatoes arrived, and he decided to first let the matter cool down a little before he approached her again.

"To tell you ze truth", he continued, "zat was largely Harry's merit." He raised his cup of wine to the younger man. "You did very vell at ze armourer's. I don't know how I vould hev got out of zat smithy viz my hide whole if not for you, never mind I vouldn't hev zought of asking Bergil to tell us all zat stuff. Zat man was a gold mine!"

Over the meal, he briefly told Amdír and Rollan how they had come to meet Bergil and the gist of what they had gathered from him, while they in turn filled him in on the details of Lord Cirdacil's visit; but every now and then, his mind strayed away from the conversation. The image of Asta's brief appearance and the look she had given him kept popping up again and again before his inner eye, distracting him, nagging at him.

This had to stop. He had thought that before, but this time he felt he had to act on it.

Except he had no clue how to go about it.

Only when they had all scraped clean their plates did he remember that Brinn was still waiting for his and Harrenon's comprehensive report on their findings; and at the same time he suddenly had an idea.

"Harry", he said, "Brinn still vants us to report to her in full vat ve found out. Tell you vat, vy don't you go and give her all ze details? You deserve to reap ze glory. Take my notes along to help your memory. Besides, I'd like to hev a word viz Rollan and Amdir about a matter of no relevance to ze play zat would only bore you."
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Old 03-30-2011, 09:42 PM   #138
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Branor and Therian found Brinn and she was not pleased with their dishevelled appearances. No doubt, whatever they had been up to was part of the reason for Amdir's firing.

"I know you told us to go out in the morning, but Therian and I figured we would do better if we went out at night." Branor said.

Brinn crossed her arms, it looked like she was searching for words to confront them over how they have done nothing but blatantly sabotage the play and get Amdir fired. Her expression relaxed slightly though when she discovered the boys had listened to her instructions, aside from the sneaking out business. Also, Branor has seemed to completely drop the notion that Aragorn was a double agent, another relief.

Therian first remembered to tell Brinn about the riddle their wisened informant gave about the four hobbits: Smials! Naked walk and naked lie, clothesless hobbits under sky.

Branor cut in because he had still not been able to figure out that riddle, and thought it was therefor inconsequential. "The Lord Samwise is definitely Frodo's servant Sam. He and his family are planning to attend the performance so Aldarion needs to begin a major re-write. Aldarion's got Mary the Elf all wrong. Mary the Elf should be Merry the Hobbit, as no records of an Elf Mary in the Fellowship exists.

Although, we may not have to scrap this completely. The Lord Samwise talked in detail on the quest, Sauron's servants had mistaken both he and Frodo as great elf warriors. In fact, Samwise was enamoured by the Elves, and blushed at the thought of being an elf warrior. My suggestion would be to make Samwise, Frodo's loyal elf-warrior as a tribute to the old Master, but scrap the whole idea of Mary the Elf. Make Merry the Hobbit instead. The Hobbit who slew the evil demon king."

Branor was trying to throw whatever wrenches he could into Aldarion's script. Therian elbowed him, reminding Branor that he had forgotten one thing. "Oh yes, since Merry is most definitely a hobbit, and like the other hobbits he was a strong champion, Therian is more than suitable for the part."
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Old 03-30-2011, 11:37 PM   #139
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Rollan often played the bumbling fool, but he was rather shrewd. He'd seen looks like that before, on many a man's face (and, once a long time ago, his own!). Leave the beloved wife to handle all the play nonsense; this is real work! He ordered another round of drinks as Harrenon left--not enough, he hoped, to recreate last night's situation, but just enough to loosen Coldan's tongue a little more.

"Now," he said smoothly, "what's this matter of no relevance, Coldan?"
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Old 03-31-2011, 04:43 AM   #140
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Coldan blushed. That happened to him all too easily; he hated it, but he just couldn't stop it.

"Vell, you see... you're a married man, Rollan, and you, Amdír, have been, so both of you should have some experience viz, er, viz vomen." He sighed deeply, exasperated with himself. "Oh, whom do I zink I'm fooling! It's about Asta, of course. I guess you've noticed how I feel about her. Manwë's teeth, I bet zere's nobody in the whole company who hasn't figured it out by now, including herself! But I heven't ze faintest how she feels about me. Most of ze time she barely seems to tolerate me, zen again she can be quite nice at times. Right now she's angry with me - vich is at least unambiguous, if not vat I'd vish for. I just don't know vat to make of her.

Yes, I know, you'll probably say I should just ask her. I've tried to, but somehow I never get around to it. It's a crying shame, really - I zought nothing of picking a fight with a veteran soldier who probably could have tied me into a knot, and boy, you should hev heard the speech I gave him! But ven it comes to Asta, my tongue is tied, my palms sweat, and I blush like a little girl. It's intolerable.

You know her quite vell, Rollan - after all, she's your sister-in-law. What do you zink, is zere a ghost of a chance that she might, you know, take a liking to me? Vat vould a man hev to be like for her to vant him?"

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Old 03-31-2011, 09:31 AM   #141
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"Why, it's very simple," Sereth said, smiling. She was feeling more and more comfortable with this discussion, enjoying it, even. "It is a play, you see. A woman can be a man and a man can be woman, it's all about the skill of the actress or actor, but costumes and make-up of course help too.

You see, the periannath are small. I'm the smallest of our group. So I play the perian. See?" She drew and imaginary sword from her belt and pointed it at Thiliel while gripping something invisible in her left hand: "I challenge thee, Sauron the Lord of All Evil! Let thee draw they sword and not hide behind thy black walls any longer! For the day has come when thou shall answer for all thy misdeeds against the Free Peoples - behold the One Ring in the hand of your enemy!"
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Old 03-31-2011, 10:40 AM   #142
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"'When thou shalt answer', Sereth, and 'in the hand of thine enemy'!" Asta snapped. "Really, is it too much to ask that you get your lines– not to mention your grammar– right?" She swept past the girls without waiting for Sereth's response.

Obviously the child should have been practising, instead of gossiping with the other girl– but then, how much of the play was left intact by now anyway?

"Drat that Coldan!" Asta muttered. "Why did he have to be so good at asking questions?"

It was too dark there to read the lettering she could faintly see on the scrap of paper, so she went out into the courtyard. Therian and Branor had returned at last and were over at the wagons, busy making an excited report to her sister. Therian looked quite happy, for once. No doubt, Asta thought sourly, he had bribed someone-or-other to swear the Lady Éowyn was really a man.

She turned her attention to the writing on the paper– which quickly added to her frustration. Lord Sador might have been a noted scholar and thinker, but– if it was indeed his hand that had scrawled this– he was anything but an accomplished calligrapher. Only a single word, "Third" was at all clear, though there was one that looked very much like the name "Aldarion" and another that also began with "A", but then trailed off into a meaningless scribble. After some puzzling, Asta decided that she could make out the word "tomorrow" near the end of the sentence. The rest she had to give up as indecipherable.

It was maddening indeed, for if she had been correct in her reading of the name, it must have something to do with them. "Aldarion, Third, tomorrow," she repeated to herself, softly but aloud. "Whatever can it mean?"

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Old 03-31-2011, 04:39 PM   #143
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Aldarion strolled casually through the streets of the third circle. Though he had business to attend to, he could not help but allow himself an easier pace so as to enjoy the people and places of the great city. He had clothed himself in some of his finest and most martial looking attire, capped off by his beloved sword, a gift from his father, upon his hip.

He gripped the hilt fondly as he bent to inspect the wares of yet another street vendor. Though he seldom wore it, Aldarion cared for the blade regularly, and as often as he could find absolute privacy in his travels he would get it out and go through various routines with it. While doing so he often spoke aloud as if his father were there, for it had always been their tradition to spar whilst discussing all matters great and small. Though his father was no longer around to lend his voice to the conversation, Aldarion nonetheless left his solitary sessions feeling as if he had received fresh perspective on his current questions and concerns.

As he approached the gate to the fourth level Aldarion turned up a lane leading towards the towering inner wall. As he neared the end of the narrow way a young boy stood up quickly from the steps of a house ahead and dashed inside, calling excitedly to the occupants of the home.

"My, he's grown in the past year," thought Aldarion. "He may end up as tall as his father."

The boy's father was a soldier of Gondor named Bregolas. Bregolas and Aldarion's father had both saved the life of the other during the siege of Minas Tirith, and later they recovered together in the Houses of Healing, during which time they became good friends. Aldarion always visited when he had the chance, and today he not only had opportunity but additional motivation as well. Bregolas was likely to be helpful in working a few kinks out of the script.

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Old 03-31-2011, 05:37 PM   #144
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Thiliel didn't mind the sandy-haired woman leaving. She appeared to be another actress from the same group, but she was so different from Sereth, snappy and irritable.

"I, Sauron the Great, the Darkest of all Dark Lords, do not fear thy words!" Thiliel made up on the spot, to echo Sereth's lines. She stretched out her hand, as if preforming a powerful curse, and said in the most dramatic voice she could muster, "Never shall victory be yours. For the army of the West shall crumble against the very walls that thou speak of. Behold now the might of the Lord of all the Living and the Dead!"

Thiliel couldn't keep a straight face any longer. Sauron the Almighty burst out laughing and fell in a heap onto the floor, unable to contain himself. Thiliel just couldn't stop; she laughed so hard that tears streamed from her eyes.
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Old 04-01-2011, 12:40 AM   #145
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Rollan only grinned. He'd love to welcome Coldan into his family!

"Well," he said, "here's three mites of advice for you, that my own pa told me when I first wanted to start courting Brinn: be confident, be patient, and be very, very stubborn. And I know they're all a lot easier said than done! But. You can't go around acting like you're terrified of her, just because you might take a shine to her. You've got to respect her"--he pounded his fist on the table, maybe a little too heavily--"but you've also got to show her she should respect you, and your intentions towards her. Oh," he added, "and flowers don't hurt either.

"As for Asta herself--well, it's right hard getting into a woman's mind, and I've given up trying. She seems to think you should know exactly what she's thinking, and whether what she says is truly what she means. I don't think Asta's one of the worst in that matter, but as soon as you think you know a woman..." He snapped his fingers in the air. "That's part of what makes married life such an adventure! But go ahead, give her a try. Why, even if the worst happens, you'll be no worse off than you are now--better, even, for you'll actually know a good deal more than you do now."
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Old 04-01-2011, 12:47 AM   #146
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Well, Brinn thought to herself, that riddle, at least, is utterly useless. The last thing we need is an arrest on grounds of indecency!

"Thank you for your information," Brinn told Branor and Therian. "Though I have to wonder--Elf Warrior or not, why would the Lord Samwise and his family think it acceptable to see him portrayed as one when he most clearly was not? Especially if he was embarrassed by it?" She thought a moment. "Still, if the play is lacking action sequences, that's a good way to put them back in.

"So you've told me about Merry and Sam... but what about the other two? Did you learn anything more about them?"

She ignored, for the time being, Branor's clearly-fed advice concerning Merry and his suitable actor. She'd have to talk this over with Asta.
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Old 04-01-2011, 07:09 AM   #147
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Therian explained what the old man had told them in his moments of lucidity. He finished with a summary. "So it seems that Peregrin, the one most famous in this city, didn't do a whole lot until he got here. Except for turning the White Wizard's home into a garden. Maybe a new place to use the witch's trees?"

Branor said, "And Frodo... well... it seems like he was always almost dying. Up until the very end. Therian is great at death scenes, by the way. Have you ever seen him moaning in pain? He's great. I could punch him for you, show you what I mean..."
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Old 04-01-2011, 07:27 AM   #148
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Brinn raised one of her eyebrows, "That won't be necessary."

"You sure? It won't take long to show!" Branor was all too excited and Therian wondered if he was just looking for an excuse to punch him to show off to Brinn.

"I'm sure." replied Brinn.

"Suit yourself." shrugged Branor. "Oh, Frodo and Sam fought...and beat...Sauron's pet. Shelob I think was the creatures name? Yes Shelob. This is why the orcs thought Sam was a great elf-warrior, because Sauron loved his pet and the orcs made sacrifices to it. It must have been some monstrous deformed beast."
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Old 04-01-2011, 04:25 PM   #149
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Harrenon was still elated by the way things had gone earlier that day with Bergil. He felt even better when Coldan had sent him to give Brinn the rest of their account of what they had found out – even though he also recognised it as a pretext for the former to speak alone with the other two. He left to search for Brinn, being in such a good mood that he decided not to mention to Coldan that no one had called him Harry since he had been about seven years of age and that he would let few people get away with that.

He found Brinn talking to Therian and Branor. He was glad to see the two had finally returned to the inn. For a while he had been worried they would have to send a search party for them. He nodded to the two and addressed Brinn:

“When they finish with their report, perhaps you can find time to listen to the rest of mine, also. I have Coldan’s notes, too, so you can check them. There are still some things that Bergil told us, about Boromir and Denethor and he did talk quite a lot about Eowyn too.” Here Harrenon paused and cast a furtive glance in Therian’s direction. “I tried asking Bergil whether it was true that Eowyn had been given the body of the man to be able to defeat the Witchking. It seems that no. Actually, when he heard that, Bergil started laughing and asked about the person who had told us that. Apparently, he was very interested in whatever beverage he was consuming when he came up with such a rumour.”
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Old 04-01-2011, 05:48 PM   #150
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Rollan's advice had Coldan quite befuddled. Did Asta really expect him to read her mind? If he could do that, he wouldn't have had to ask for advice in the first place. And flowers? Seriously? It wasn't like he hadn't thought of that himself, but the one time he had tried to give her flowers she had looked at him as if he'd offered her a dead duck and all but flung the bouquet in his face. Maybe, he pondered, yarrow and tansy just happened not to be her favourite flowers; come to think of it, the roots and clots of soil still attached to the stalks might have had something to do with it, too.

Being patient was easy - what else had he been in the last three years? - , and he could be as stubborn as an ox if he had set his mind on something, like when he had defied his father by choosing to live with an acting troupe over the family business. Confidence, on the other hand, was his big deficiency, at least as far as women were concerned. And respect? He thought he respected Asta all right, but how was he supposed to make her respect him? Even when she was friendly with him, she never seemed to take him seriously.

In one point, however, Rollan was absolutely right. He didn't really have much to lose.

"Zank you for your open ear and your kind vords", he said, turning his cup and watching the wine swirl inside. "You hev given me a lot to zink about." Not that he hadn't already done more than enough thinking and too little acting up to now. And right then he remembered a thought that had quite lapsed from his mind since yesterday; time to do something about that while he was in Brinn's good books.

He emptied his cup in one draught and rose. "Last round is on me." He left a couple of coins on the table to pay for the drinks and his meal and strode out of the common room.

In the courtyard, he found not only Harrenon talking to Brinn but also Branor and Therian, who had finally returned from whatever they had been up to since he'd left them on Lamedon Square. All the better. Asta was there as well, standing a few steps apart from the group and apparently studying a crumpled piece of paper, from which she briefly looked up to glower at him. He felt that obnoxious blush rising in his cheeks again, but did his best to ignore it. Fighting the instinct to avoid her in her present mood, he walked up to her and said:

"Listen, I understand zat you're upset because you can't be a heroic elf-maiden, but it's not my fault she never existed, nor is it my fault zat Aldarion got zat wrong in the first place. Neverzeless, I'll try to make it up to you for zat. In ze meantime, can you please stop looking at me as if I hed just wrecked Smaug's gears with a sledgehammer."

So, that was out. Now he could only hope he hadn't angered her even more, but instead of waiting for a reply, he turned to join the little group around Brinn just in time to hear Harrenon say:

“I tried asking Bergil whether it was true that Eowyn had been given the body of the man to be able to defeat the Witchking. It seems that no. Actually, when he heard that, Bergil started laughing and asked about the person who had told us that. Apparently, he was very interested in whatever beverage he was consuming when he came up with such a rumour.”

Perfect. Just the opening he needed. "Indeed", he hastened to affirm, "and zat's vy it's plainly absurd zat Therian should play her; he doesn't vant ze role anyvay, and it's beyond me vy you keep casting him in it. I hev an idea, Brinn - vy can't Asta be Éowyn? She looks ze part, and besides ve both know she's going to be unbearable for ze rest of ze month if she's stuck viz Gollum the She-Orc as her only major role. She'd make a gorgeous shieldmaiden, and Therian vould do much better as a halfling hero or vatever you've got." Or at least no worse, he was going to say, but stopped himself in time. "Vat do you zink?"
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Old 04-03-2011, 10:01 PM   #151
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"Will you do it, Asta? I know it's awful have to learn a new part at the last minute, but you must already know most of Lady Éowyn's lines."

Asta opened her mouth to say exactly what she thought about having to take on Therian's cast-off rôle, but Brinn's pleading look stopped her short.

"All right," she agreed reluctantly, realising she had no business making things any more difficult for her sister. "I suppose I can do it. It's not as if," she allowed a trace of bitterness back into her voice, "she has that many lines to learn, after all."

Unlike Mary, the Shieldmaiden only appeared in a few scenes; yet, now that she thought about it, Asta could dimly remember that Éowyn had once been a somewhat larger rôle, and Mary a smaller: they had changed places, somehow, over time. She frowned. That was really quite odd, wasn't it? How had it happened, exactly?

Brinn's sigh of relief was quite audible. "Oh, good. You'd better go and rehearse with Coldan. It was all his idea, by the way," she added, giving the prompter a grateful smile.

Avoiding Coldan's gaze, Asta concentrated on winding a tawny tendril of hair around her index finger. She was not at all pleased by this development, as she had planned to let Coldan stew in his own juice a little while longer– especially after the way he had spoken to her just now.

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Old 04-04-2011, 01:50 PM   #152
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As Vëandur made his way down from the Sixth Circle of the City to the Fifth, he found himself hearing various snatches of conversations from townsfolk as they teemed through the streets.

".....so the King wouldn't let them...."

"......Revels is up to something....."

"......started a row in that inn, they did...."

".......King's Player's here! Let's hope this time they....."

Frowning slightly, Vëandur wondered, not for the first time, what those "King's Players" were. Some traveling group of clowns, from what he could gather.
Anyway, it mattered little to him, since his time in the City looked to be as brief as usual. The Captain was as anxious as the rest of the crew to be off and away from this place of tame townsmen and their wives and children.

Vëandur knew he should not be so quick to judge these people and their quiet lives full of small troubles and joys; it was not so long ago that great events had happened here: the armies of Mordor had besieged Minas Anor, then called Minas Tirith, and had been rescued (as usual, he thought with a grin), by the coming of the fleets of Pelargir.

That much he knew, anyway, from the tales of those who had returned to Pelargir itself and had brought what news they could. And the rest? He didn't know anything but wild rumors, but he was certain the true events had been just as glorious as the coming of King Elessar to Pelargir and the defeat of the Corsairs and the south-men.

As he approached the entrance to the Fifth Circle, he slackened his pace. A breeze was blowing, the beloved south-wind on which he could almost taste the salt. He had some bread in his pocket, and he sat down upon a stone bench in sight of the gate to eat it.

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Old 04-04-2011, 01:58 PM   #153
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Within half an hour of arriving Aldarion was already leaving the house of Bregolas. It turned out that Bregolas was up in the seventh circle doing some sort of important soldiering. His wife had beamed as she informed Aldarion of Bregolas's most recent promotion, but Aldarion was not surprised- Bregolas was a fine experienced campaigner and roughly ten years his senior, perfectly poised to be moving up.

After saying a brief hello to the three children that were in the house, Aldarion departed with an invitation to return the following afternoon to dine with the entire family, Bregolas included.

Quite soon Aldarion was through to the fourth level and heading for the fifth. His destination- the fine house of Lord Borondir.

Aldarion was not certain as to the specifics of Borondir's relation to the various families of Gondor, but knew that he was somehow connected with Hurin the Tall, Warden of the Keys, the Lord that had ruled Minas Tirith for a short time when the army marched against the Black Gate. Aldarion was also certain Borondor was some sort of relation to Prince Imrahil.

Aldarion's father had served under Borondir for a few years after the Ring War, assisting in mopping up the remaining hostiles in Harad. Also serving with them had been Borondir's only remaining son, Cirion, and he was great friends with Aldarion's father. Unfortunately the friendship was cut short thanks to a Haradrim arrow, and Borondir was left without family, having previously lost his wife and only daughter to an illness, and his two other sons in the siege of Minas Tirith.

Lord Borondir was getting old now and retired from any serious work, though he was open with counsel any time someone came seeking it. His passion these days was visiting children in the Houses of Healing, entertaining them with stories and the like. He was a kindly old man and missed his family very much, and Aldarion would not think of passing through Minas Tirith without seeing him. Borondir had always been enthusiastic about Aldarion's career, pointing out to Aldarion, "You are doing the closest thing possible to living the tales that I so love to tell!"
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Old 04-04-2011, 02:44 PM   #154
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As Vëandur sat, a youngish-looking man came through the gate.

He looked to be near Vëandur's own age, and was girt with a sword. The man looked at Vëandur as he walked nearer.

"May I sit here?" he said.

"Of course, friend", said Vënadur. He stood and held out his right hand in salute. "Vëandur son of Falastur."

"Aldarion son of Galador", said the other, doing the same.

"Well, friend Aladrion", said Vëandur. "I know not your errand. But if time does not press you, perhaps we can take our ease for a moment."

Smiling, Aldarion said "I may spare a few minutes."

Both then sat.

"Well, you are from the coast-lands, I am thinking? I come from Pelargir, myself."

"Why do you think that?" asked Aldarion.

"I spoke no secret, I hope", said Vëandur. "Your speech betrays you. One on my ship is of the Anfalas, and the sound of your words is like to his."

"Your ship?" You are a sailor?"

"I am", said Vëandur, and the pride in his voice was unmistakable. "Like my father, who died in the action at Pelargir, I serve in the fleets."

"As the captain?", asked Aldarion, thinking of things he'd heard about sailors before. Few of them were especially pleasant.

"Captain? Nay", said Vëandur with a laugh. "The helmsman am I, and I consider it a great honor. Captain I may yet be though, one day, when I am proven. My errand I have just completed was to my captain in the circles above. He is at council with others of his rank. Do you come from the coast, as I thought, Aldarion? A soldier you are, I deem. Though, as I, I think you are too young to have fought in the War".

"I am from Dol Amroth. My father fought, in the conflict", Aldarion said guardedly.

"And with valour and prowess I doubt not. In these days of peace, I wonder if we shall have such a chance to prove ourselves in battle."

"I'm not a soldier", said Aldarion. "I act with the King's Players."

Vëandur gaped at him with astonishment. "Your pardon!" he said. "I meant no offense. It's just that....well....you have the look of a valiant man, and with the blood or warriors in your veins, I thought you must be a fighter in the service of the King."

"Sorry to disappoint you," said Aldarion, and Vëandur thought he struggled to conceal some emotion.

"No, forgive me, friend Aladrion. But tell me then what manner of folk are the King's Players?"

Aldarion began to speak, and Vëandur did not interrupt him.

When he had finished, Vëandur said slowly "Ah! Well, I had that wrong too! So you are re-enacting the events of the war. I can see the good of it, I guess; people need to be reminded. Still, though...." and he hesitated. "it seems a waste. Great service you could give to the Crown, as did your father. You have also the noble blood of Dol Amroth, which works in you. Why choose you a life such as this?"

"Because I wanted to," said Aldarion with a shrug. I have loved acting as you have loved the ships. Each man must choose his own calling."

"That is true," said Vëandur. Still, though. I think on what my own father said to me when I was young: 'Be ashamed to die until you have won some victory for Gondor,' is what he would say. I have lived my life with that in my heart."

Aldarion said nothing, but looked as if he wanted to leave. Vëandur stood, and bowed before him.

"Your pardon, for my forward words," he said. "My blood runs hot at whiles, and my tongue is freer than it should be. I will leave you now to your errand. I would very much like to see your play and your version of the great events of the War, but I fear my ship shall leave soon. If I see you not again, may you fare well, and free".

Bowing again, Vëandur began to walk away.

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Old 04-04-2011, 05:44 PM   #155
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Coldan couldn't believe his luck. Not only had Brinn accepted his proposal without much discussion, she had indeed ordered him and Asta off to another private rehearsal, the second one within two days!

He hurried to collect his copy of the script from his room, dreading that Asta might disregard her sister's instruction and sneak away while he was gone, but to his relief she was still there on his return. He found them a quiet nook near the inn's stable, separated from Brinn and the others by the mass of the Players' wagons, sat down on a mounting block and looked at Asta, who was playing with a strand of her hair in a way that he didn't know whether to interpret as thoughtful or nervous, or both. Her expression wasn't half as angry anymore - rather, she looked puzzled, and not at all happy with this turn of things. Something was clearly bothering her.

"Vat's amiss now?" he asked softly. "I zought you vould be pleased if I got you another heroine role for ze one you hev lost. True, Éovyn's is not as large as Mary's vas, but who knows? After vat ve hev learned, and vat ve may still learn, much of ze play will hev to be rewritten. Maybe ve can convince Aldarion to give you more lines. And you get ze glory of slaying ze Vitch-King yourself instead of only assisting."

"Maybe", she nodded, without brightening up noticeably; but she let go of her hair and seemed to pull herself together. "All right, where do we start? In Edoras, where I meet the future King, isn't it?"

Only a day ago, he would have plunged into the rehearsal without further ado, but something in him had changed since then, beginning when he had talked to Rollan, for the first time openly admitting his feelings for Asta to anybody, and he wasn't going to be as easy and accomodating today.

"Eager to be done viz it?" he asked, looking at her face inquiringly. "Come on, it can't be zat bad to be alone viz me for a vile, can it? Or are you still cross viz me?" He couldn't keep a note of bitterness from seeping into his voice. "Did you enjoy Aldarion snogging you so much zat you von't forgive me for spoiling your fun? You two can still do zat offstage, if you vant to; but zen do me a favour and go someplace vere I von't hev to vatch."

Too late, he snapped his mouth shut. Judging from the heat he felt in his cheeks, his face was as red as a carrot, and he had a distinct feeling he shouldn't have said that.

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Old 04-05-2011, 02:30 PM   #156
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If one of the cart-horses had suddenly started calling her names, Asta could hardly have been more astonished. Her mouth opened and closed several times before she found her voice.

"Why, how dare you! You...you..." she rifled her memory for the perfect insult, the one that would shrivel Coldan where he stood. Oh yes: that was it. "You Easterling!"

Coldan sprang to his feet as though the mounting block had just turned red-hot. They stood glaring at each other. From Coldan's expression, Asta might just as well have struck him across the face (which had in fact been her first impulse).
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Old 04-05-2011, 02:50 PM   #157
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But before Vëandur had taken more than a step, Aldarion said, "Before you leave, I wish to ask you a question... About your chosen profession. I always ask sailors this, and none of them have ever given me a satisfactory answer."

Vëandur stepped back towards Aldarion slowly, not certain what to expect.

"I'll be straight to the point," continued Aldarion. "What is the supposed attraction of the sea? To me, the sea is merely a bunch of water- an overgrown washing basin." Vëandur's jaw dropped, but Aldarion pressed on without pause.

"The primary difference between the two is that the sea can drown a man more easily, or get him eaten by one of the violent creatures contained within its depths. To go sailing about on it seems to be entirely pointless and serves only to tempt destruction. And please don't speak to me of the beauty of the sea. Water is formless, simply filling whatever hole it is tossed into. Only in union with rock and earth does water gain definition and become interesting, like the great Rauros. Out in the middle of the sea it is simply flat as far as the eye can see- so very dull and monotonous. The only logical reason for having ships is to counter enemy ships, or to gather food. This whole idea of sailing for the sake of it, and tales of the "allure of the sea".... It has always seemed rather absurd to me."
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Old 04-05-2011, 03:50 PM   #158
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Vëandur looked at Aldarion, and his face was unusually thoughtful. He had never been asked, nor had he ever even considered the question he had just been asked.

"Why the Sea?" he said slowly. "Why does it call to me, and so many others? I know not the answer. I have heard it said that in its voice we hear the sound of far off ages, and indeed that it alone speaks with the same voice as it did when Númenor still rose above the waves, and even longer ago, when Men like Tuor and Túrin walked the world." He paused for a moment.

"All my life have I lived with the Sea, and by it, with the fish it gives us. I respect it, for such a man who does not is a fool. But I do not fear it. If the Sea wants my life, I shall freely give it, as the Sea has given to me and those of my kin for so long." He looked at Aldarion closely.

"I wonder that one who was born in Dol Amroth should speak so. I know not how one who hears the voice of the Sea can be unmoved and not enchanted by it. But if such is the case with you, perhaps you do well to avoid it". He turned again to go.
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Old 04-05-2011, 04:51 PM   #159
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The girl was on the floor, laughing so hard that she was crying. Sereth felt her annoyance at Asta flow away as it was replaced by helpless mirth. Thiliel's laugh was contagious. They laughed for what seemed like minutes until Thiliel finally got up. Sereth's eyes were moist too and she wiped them. She sighed. "I'm afraid I have to go now, though," she said. "Our rehearsals must be continuing soon. See you!"

She went out of the door, and found Branor and Therian, and of course Harrenon of all the actors, grouped around Brinn. "Brinn," she said, keeping her eyes steadily on the leader of their troupe. "What's up? Are we rehearsing? And I met the innkeeper's niece, her name is Thiliel and she said we should ask the innkeeper about the war because he has lots of stories about it."
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Old 04-05-2011, 06:22 PM   #160
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Therian gaped at Branor and wondered if it would be imprudent at this juncture to kill him in his sleep. When had they discussed him quitting the role of Eowyn, his only role in the entirety of the show? They had not. When had Therian given Branor permission to convince their boss to reassign his part? He had not.

And so they stood there as others approached, and Therian now, instead of having a role he did not like, which may someday be promoted to a role of brilliance - because nobody denied he had the talent for a greater role... Now Therian had no role. No part. No lines to memorize, no scenes to rehearse.

He had known long enough that Brinn did not like him much and would look for any excuse to can him, and as he pondered traveling back to Bree alone and disgraced, he took a moment to seriously consider constructing a terrible accident by which Branor would be incapacitated. His friend, the idiot, seemed completely unaware he had just lost Therian the only job he had.

Therian could think of no way to broach the subject to Brinn without reminding her that she could now guiltlessly pretend the change in roles was Therian's official resignation. He knew that she would be well within her rights to send him off now without further ado, considering the situation done and final.

So instead of talking, instead of contributing to the discussion, he stood like a lump, considering myriad ways to seek revenge on his idiot best friend for possibly ruining his life and career.
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