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Old 02-11-2006, 11:37 PM   #2601
Enedhilion
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I tell the two to lower their voices, as I peer out the window. The horde is passing through...Oh how I cannot stand the smell of orcs.

"Pause a moment...they are leaving!", I exclaim.

It seems that these orcs are on their way to another city. We should stay out of their way for the time being. Stay in the inn...If they were to attack here, they wouldn't see daybreak. There must be a number of warriors present who would stop the fiends.

The commotion has ceased, died down. I can relax once more.
The thought of orcs surfaces tension inside.

I became thirsty and had not realized. I ask the barkeep for another pint.
Yes...pints always wash the troubles away...
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Old 02-12-2006, 02:54 AM   #2602
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1420!

~*~ GREEN DRAGON INN FACTS ~*~

The Green Dragon Inn is located in Bywater, just off the Great East-West Road.

It is the 4th Age, year 12. By the Shire Calendar it is year 1433 S.R. (Shire Reckoning).

King Elessar is on the throne of the Reunited Kingdom of Arnor and Gondor.

Mirkwood has been reclaimed by the Elves and is now called Eryn Lasgalen.

Paladdin Took, Pippin’s father, is Thain of the Shire. (Thain is an honorary title for the military leader of the Shire. The title has been held in the Took Family since the position was first established in 3rd Age 1979 with Bucca of the Marish as First Thain.) Paladdin Took dies in year 13, and will be succeeded by his son, Peregrin, ‘Pippin’, Took.

Samwise Gamgee is Mayor of the Shire, having succeeded Will Whitfoot in 1427 S.R.

The Innkeeper, in the Green Dragon Inn of this forum, is: Aman – a young woman from Rohan.

Before her, the Innkeeper was Piosenniel, and before her it was Dwarin, the Dwarf.

*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+

Other ongoing characters in the Inn:

Ruby Brown, Hobbit – not married – server and maid

Buttercup Brownlock, Hobbit – not married – kitchen assistant and maid

Vinca Bunce, widowed, Inn Cook (character played by Piosenniel)

Derufin, General handyman/jack-of-all-trades round the Inn; Man from southwestern Gondor (played by Envinyatar) - AWAY AT PRESENT

Zimzi (Zimziran), wife to Derufin; a skilled potter from Lindon(played by Pio) - AWAY AT PRESENT

Meri - Stablemaster

Tim Woodlock - Stableboy; Wren - his younger sister: humans, originally from Breeland (characters played by Folwren)

*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+

Ongoing characters from outside the Inn:

Halfred Whitfoot – local Shiriff from Bywater and Postmaster for this area of the Shire; his pony’s name is Dumpling.

_____________________________________________

Please Note:

No 'SAVES' are allowed in the Inn (except for modifications needed to be made by the Moderators or Innkeeper).

With the exception of the Innkeeper and the Moderators, no OOC (Out Of Character) comments are allowed in the Inn.

Only the Innkeeper, Amanaduial, or the Moderators move the timeline for the Inn forward.

Visitors to the Inn will need to read the posts that come before theirs to get an idea of what time it is in the Shire, what the weather is like, and what is happening.

No violence is allowed in the Inn or on Inn grounds.

Please be familiar with the rules for the Inn and Games in The Red Book of Westmarch, the first topic in the Shire.

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About Elves in Shire RPG's:

Please use this description from Tolkien when crafting an Elf:

Return of the King – Appendix F: Tolkien’s description for the Quendi (The Speakers) – the name given to the Elves by themselves after they first awoke in Middle-earth.

“They were a race high and beautiful, the older Children of the world, and among them the Eldar were as Kings, who now are gone: the People of the Great Journey, the People of the Stars. They were tall, fair of skin and grey-eyed, though their locks were dark, save in the golden house of Finrod; and their voices had more melodies than any mortal voice that is now heard . . .”

Please use this as a guideline for describing your Elven character’s appearance.

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EVERYONE

Please be familiar with The Red Book of Westmarch which gives the rules for posting in the Shire RPG's and in The Green Dragon Inn.

Thanks!

Piosenniel, Shire Moderator

Last edited by piosenniel; 02-12-2006 at 03:32 AM.
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Old 02-12-2006, 03:33 AM   #2603
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1420!

TIME OF DAY

It is now a fair evening in the Shire; the stars are out.

There is a large party in the Inn's front yard - tables are loaded with food, desserts, drinks. Several barrels of ale have been tapped, compliments of one of the Hobbit brewmasters.

There are tables and benches scattered over the front lawn. Twinkling little lanterns hang from the trees. To one side of the verandah there is a little stage set up for the musicians and a large area cleared for dancing.
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Old 02-12-2006, 03:33 AM   #2604
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1420!

Green Dragon Inn players:

Please take note of the following rules/guidelines found in the The Red Book of Westmarch, one of the threads found at the top of the Shire Forum, and the one which contains the rules for posting in the Inn and in RPG's.


1.)

Quote:
There is to be no independent RPG'ing within the Inn. Don't try to play your RPG storyline by coming into the Inn thread with it.
Please attempt to fit into the present story line you find at the Inn and interact with other players who are writing in it.

----------

2.)

Quote:
SERIAL POSTING

The Shire would like to encourage writers to take time to do more thoughtful and descriptive posts.

Serial posting between writers is discouraged, especially since it tends to become more dialog oriented than descriptive.

Two and a maximum of three well done posts is enough for one day for a writer to a game or the Inn.

Please try to keep to this request.
The Barrow-Downs style of gaming prefers posts which are highly descriptive in their writing and much less based on dialog.

----------

In reference to that is this rule in the Red Book -

3.)

Quote:
3. Short chat-style posts which encourage other players to post in a chatty style are also not allowed. Be descriptive, and try not to use a lot of dialog.
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Posts which the Shire Moderators feel are not working within these guidelines will be returned to their writers for edits.

--Piosenniel, Shire Moderator

Last edited by piosenniel; 02-12-2006 at 03:49 AM.
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Old 02-12-2006, 11:56 AM   #2605
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-- Callë greets Aniriel --

Callë had not really thought to stop at the Inn. She had plenty of food in her rucksack and a full skin of fresh water, too. But the sounds coming from what seemed a large party in the Inn’s front yard drew her down the path.

She stood in the night shadows of a small stand of beech trees, her pale blue eyes taking in the goings on. Tables groaned with platters of foods and desserts. And there by them were casks of ale and another table with pitchers of other drinks available. Callë put her hands on her belly which had suddenly began to tell her how hungry it was. And not for the dried meats and waybread she had in her pack.

She tied back her dark brown hair with a thin leather cord she pulled from a pocket in her tunic, smoothing the wild and wavy locks back so as to look presentable. She polished the toes of her boots a bit – rubbing them on the back of her dark leggings. Her tunic was clean enough; she’d put it on just that day. Callë stepped out into the soft light of the tree lanterns and made her way through the crowd.

The Halfling who poured the ale gave her a friendly look as she took up a mug. She wandered to the table of food and filled a plate with bread and cheeses and a ripe, red apple atop it.

‘Where can I sit?’ she wondered, her eyes searching for an empty chair and a friendly face. There at a table sat another young woman, a mug of ale in her hands. She had a friendly face and seemed to be enjoying herself, listening to the lively music.

Callë made her way to where the dark haired woman sat. ‘Pardon me, miss – may I sit with you? My name is Callë, and I don’t really know anyone here.’ The apple, which had been precariously perched on her plate, took a mind to make a leap for freedom. It landed on the table top and rolled quickly towards the other woman’s hand.
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Old 02-12-2006, 12:23 PM   #2606
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"I think," said Marcho, "that we should make our escape before we're seen."

Posco was spinning his empty mug of ale first in one direction, and then the other, and he looked shyly about. "You make it sound as if we were criminals, Marcho," he said. "The worst anything could do is talk to us."

"And don't you think that's rather awful?" said Marcho. "If someone comes and talks to us, it won't be me that suffers the most. I'll simply be annoyed. But you'll be quite frightened. I'm only thinking of you, Posco."

"I won't be frightened," said Posco, though his eyes widened in more than a little alarm as he once again surveyed the large crowd of people. "I'm not as shy as I once was."

"Then why don't we flee from these riots and go to Lily's home?"

Indeed, why didn't they? Would Lily really and truly be here? He liked to think she would, for it would be so much easier to have a chance meeting at the Inn, rather than an official calling at her home. But whenever he reflected on it for a lengthy amount of time, his heart would begin to sink, for he realised how absurd it was to hope that she would happen to be at the Inn simply because he was. No doubt he would return home disappointed, and Marcho would be annoyed for having to travel such a long way for no reason. Not that Marcho really and truly had to go, but Mrs. Brandybuck didn't like her shy little boy wandering to and fro about the Shire.

Posco sighed, and once again looked about him, but this time his eyes inclined upwards, and he could not help but smile softly as he saw the twinkling lights hanging in the trees, looking like falling stars that had been caught in their descent. Their light fell softly upon the grass, a golden dance floor for frolicking shadows. The place was certainly magical, and where magic was, wouldn't Lily be there also?

"I think... I think Lily will be here," he said. "I know she'd love it."

Marcho gave a little moan, and resigned himself to his unhappy fate.
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Old 02-12-2006, 01:42 PM   #2607
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"Pardon me, miss, may I sit with you?"
Aniriel looked up at these words and found herself face to face with a young woman with dark brown hair and blue eyes carying a plate that was laden with food.

"My name is Calle,"the woman continued, "and I dont really know anyone here."

As she spoke, an apple slipped from her plate and landed into Aniriel's hand. With a smile, Aniriel handed it back to her new companion.

"Greetings, Calle." she said. "I am Aniriel and I, too, know no one in these parts of the world. My home lies away south in Dol Amroth. Do sit down. Ale and good food have to be shared with someone in order to be truly appreciated. Also, it does not do to sit alone while everybody else is making merry."

For the first time since she had reached the inn, Aniriel felt truly joyful. At least she was not alone anymore. At least she had someone to talk to, someone she could befriend easily. It was better than sitting alone and listening to the voice inside her saying that it would have been better not to come here, that she had been reckless. Maybe she had been, but it was too late now for repenting. Why not enjoy herself if she had come this far?

"So tell me," she said to Calle. "where do you come from and what brings you here?"
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Old 02-12-2006, 01:56 PM   #2608
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A dwarf saunters out of the night, into the subdued light of the lanterns. He is adorned in simple travelling clothes: a corslet, under linen and leather garments designed more to turn the wind than an axe. He rests a halberd upon his shoulder as he surveys the yard; the weapon is of simple, light make, so as to be easier to walk with. He wears no helmet, but prefers a cloak and hood of dark grey. His head is shaven, but for the braided brown hair of his beard.


The dwarf fills his mug -carried all the way from home in the Lonely Mountain- and chooses a seat by himself, removed from all the activity. After draining the beer, he takes out an old, much-used pipe and lights it. Sitting back and observing the activities of the patrons, he kicks off his worn boots and lets the grass soothe his sore feet. Ah, Baldin, it doesn't get much better than this, he thought to himself.
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Old 02-12-2006, 03:53 PM   #2609
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Ibun greets Baldin


Ibun Lodestone leaned back in his chair, his feet propped on the Inn’s front porch railing, and followed the progress of the Dwarf in the dark grey cloak across the grassy sward. The fellow he noted had taken a seat at an out of the way table, and made himself at home.

Boots off! A pipe in one hand, and a mug of ale. And a decidedly satisfied look on his face.

Ibun stuffed his own now cold pipe in his vest pocket and fetched a pitcher of the dark-as-night ale from the cask he’d won earlier in the day. ‘Can’t be letting your mug get dry now, can we?’ he said as he approached the Dwarf’s table and offered to pour a refill. ‘Ibun Lodestone,’ he went on, ‘from Khazad-dûm.’
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Old 02-12-2006, 04:16 PM   #2610
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‘Dol Amroth! Why then you’ve come even farther than I!’ Callë took the offered seat and sat her plate and mug of ale before her. Taking up the small knife that hung at her belt, she took the wayward apple and cut it in two, offering half to Aniriel. ‘Might as well share it – it did seem to favor the both of us!’ she laughed.

‘I’ve come up from Dunland,’ she said. ‘Near where the River Isen runs into the Great Sea. Word had reached us of the High King and his new peace he’s made in the land. And that he’d begun to restore the old ruins north of here – the ones called Annuminas. We had many stories among my people how Elendil sailed from Numenor after the sinking of the island and founded a great city there.’

Callë took a bite of bread and cheese and chewed thoughtfully on it. ‘And now that there is peace in these lands, I would like to see it for my self.’

‘What about you, Aniriel? What brings you through the Halflings land?’
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Old 02-12-2006, 05:43 PM   #2611
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Baldin greets Ibun with a friendly smile as he pours himself some of the fine ale. He doesn't mind the interruption of his solitude; indeed, the pitcher of ale put him in just the mood for a friendly chat.


"Khazad-dum, ye say?" Baldin lifts an eyebrow in recognition and mild surprise. "Why, I myself come from the Lonely Mountain, and am in fact on a sort of pilgrimage, you might say. I've known some of the stout dwarves who accompanied Thorin Oakenshield to reclaim the mountain, as a young dwarf, and had got the itch to follow their own route back here to the Shire."
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Old 02-12-2006, 11:02 PM   #2612
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"...a fair lady from Gondor who may or may not have been born in a noble family who is not afraid to travel to a far-off land is unique indeed."

Losse snorted, catching a little of his mirth. "Your friend did you no favors, teaching you that. Remind me to teach you the rules of it, ere I leave you, so you don't accidentally lose fingers...or worse. And as for my lineage?" She paused. "Well, whether you believe me or not, 'tis true, though I will admit my story would be far less interesting without it, and that would be a sorry thing, 'twould it not?"

She smiled suddenly, showing Farael a brief glimpse of the carefree, joyous, youth she ought to have been the whole time. "Truly, it matters not one way or the other. I have no way to prove it except for a pendant my mother left me, but I don't know if it is unique or not. And even if it is...well, I may have been taught fair manners, but what place would I have in the Court of the Prince? I am a thief. I have no memory of any of my mother's people, and my only memories of Belfalas are brief. My only visit to Dol Amroth in adulthood was necessarily fleeting, and I certainly wasn't going to look anyone up. You are an intelligent man, I'm sure you can understand my occasional need for haste, and silent passage."

She caught a glimpse of the young man's expression at this allusion to her profession and let ring an honest laugh. "Any mention of my profession makes you nervous, doesn't it? Don't worry...you're safe from me as long as you don't pull my hair again, and your elven friend is no fun anyway. Relax...tell me your own tale. It would please me to know how a countryman found his way out here."
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Old 02-13-2006, 09:06 AM   #2613
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Thinlómien is wading through the Dead Marshes.Thinlómien is wading through the Dead Marshes.Thinlómien is wading through the Dead Marshes.Thinlómien is wading through the Dead Marshes.Thinlómien is wading through the Dead Marshes.Thinlómien is wading through the Dead Marshes.
Grimhorn

Grimhorn took the pipe and had a smoke. "Good", he agreed shortly and after a while he handed the pipe back to Rían, who had obviously wanted to change the subject of the discussion. Grimhorn wondered why. This wasn't his favourite topic, but he had a reason. Why would this young man so fiercely avoid the topic of Grimhorn's father? That was something Grimhorn didn't understand. Unless the boy knew more than he let on...

"Well, Sundryboy, I probably missed what you were talking about. Swearing? What is there, that is not to be spoken about? My father is a man long dead. What is there, that you promise not to talk about?" he asked and paused for a while. Before the young man could answer, he added: "For I see no reason for being silent about my father; I wouldn't surely introduce myself as "the son of Grimgor" if there was something shameful or horrible in his name, or would I?" The lie slipped easily from his lips. Too easily, he told himself. I am getting too used to this; more used to than is honourable to be.

He knew that he knew a good deal more about Rían's father than the man probably assumed. Uneasily, he wondered if Rían knew as much of his.
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Old 02-13-2006, 01:11 PM   #2614
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"What reason brings me here?" asked Aniriel and stood silent for a few moments as if pondering on the meaning of these words,"Well, it was not exactly a reason but more a...well, a sort of whim. Yes, this seems the right word for it. I have heard a lot about this place, and one day I just decided to come here."

She paused remembering her mother's astonished face when she had told her she was leaving. Smiling at the memory, she continued:

"My parents never really agreed to let me go. They tried to talk me out of it. But, in the end, they had no choice but to give in. I think they knew in a way that it was not totally my fault. I just felt that I had to come here and I knew that I would not have any peace if I did not. But maybe these feelings run in the family. My brother used to have such whims, too."

Aniriel's thoughts went back to a day not long before the Great War, when her brother had announced that he would be going with Prince Imrahil's army to aid Minas Tirith. Their father had told him not to go, that he was too young for war, and that battle was bound to come to Dol Amroth, too. And, when it came, would he not rather die near his mother and his sister than far away from them? But Aniriel's brother was adamant.

"I am sorry that my decision has to be different from yours." he had said. "You know that I would rather be with you in my last moments; yet I cannot remain, I am sorry. I feel that if I do not go there I shall lose my peace for ever."
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Old 02-13-2006, 02:09 PM   #2615
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"My brother used to have such whims, too," Aniriel had said.

"Going off to war is hardly a whim!" Callë's eyes clouded for a moment, recalling her own losses. She took a deep breath and let it out slowly. 'Sorry to have gone all grim on you for a moment. She sipped slowly on her ale.

"I never had any brothers. All sisters in my family. Four of them plus me. Near drove my mother mad when we'd get to bickering, for we are quite different in temperament. My father of course called us all his darlings and never could quite understand why mother had so many complaints." Callë grinned, remembering a scene or two from her earlier years, "Of course, they are all married off now. With fine, fat little babies of their own to fuss over."

She took up her apple half and bit off a piece. "What about you? Just the one brother?" She munched on her mouthful of apple. "Did he find his peace . . . serving in the war . . .?"
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Old 02-13-2006, 02:27 PM   #2616
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'Thorin Oakenshield is much revered among the Dwarves of Khazad-dum!' Ibun said, raising his mug in a toast. 'Here's to Thorin, King Under the Mountain!' He drained his mug in a single draught.

'I'm on a journey westward, myself, to The Blue Mountains. It is said that some of our kin established themselves there after the foul shadow overran Khazad-dum. But now that we have cleared out their lairs and have started putting their wreckage to rights, our King has sent out messengers to those of our scatterd Folk, telling them they are most welcome to return.'

He dug into the pocket of his vest and found his pouch with pipeweed and pipe all neatly tucked inside. 'Good stuff! This Shire pipeweed. Better than I found in Bree, at least. Help yourself, if you'ld like.' Ibun fixed himself a pipeful and sat back in his chair to enjoy it.
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Old 02-13-2006, 04:40 PM   #2617
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Baldin grins as he reaches for some of the weed. "Thank ye," he simply states, before filling his pipe for a second round. Musing for a minute on the smoke drifting up in front of his nose, he turns back to Ibun.


"I was just pondering where to go from here in my own journey. I had thought of goin' as far west as Hobbiton, to bring the route of the olde troupe to its beginnning. From there, however, I have as yet formed no set plan. Mayhaps I will journey to the Blue Mountains myself; I believe I have some kin there. Or I could make my way south and east to Khazad-dum; it 'twould be fair to look upon the works of my ancestors, and I am of a mind to help in the rebuilding myself. In any case, I have no great desire to go back to Dale and the Lonely Mountain so soon, and after so little adventure." The nearby fire of the lamps glimmered in his eye for a moment as he uttered the last phrase. As if in continuation of the thought, Baldin took some materials from his light pack and began to polish the broad blade of his halberd.
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Old 02-14-2006, 11:20 AM   #2618
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"Did he find his peace...serving in the war?"

How strange this sounded, Aniriel thought. She knew too many things about war to think that no feeling of ease could come from it. Yet she had never been in a battle, never knew what really happened there. And her brother had told her many times that she could not understand such things, and that maybe it was better for her not to.

"Maybe he did find his peace." Aniriel answered . "He returned changed, though. I could not clearly say in what way. He seemed the same cheerful lad, but sometimes there was something in his voice or in his eyes that did not belong to him. Well, 'tis said that no one comes unscathed from such a battle. My brother had fought bravely, I was told. Fiercely, even. But he was wounded and I doubt not that, had it not been for Lord Elfstone's healing skills, he would have died. He is now one of the King's messengers. He spends most of the time in Minas Tirith or on the road on one errand or another..."

Aniriel paused. She took a bite from her apple half, watching Calle, thoughtfully. She seemed one to whom she could tell many things without regretting later. And also, she wanted to find many things about her, too. She had never met someone from Dunland before.

"So," she continued after a few moments of silence, "You said that you had four sisters, Calle? I would have liked a sister, too. Are you the youngest of your family? I am, you see. My brother used to tease me a lot when we were little. I did not like it much, then, but now I confess that I sometimes miss those times..."
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Old 02-14-2006, 02:53 PM   #2619
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White Tree Belecbor – The “Mighty Endured”

“How strange and unnatural the simple things are too me,” spoke Belecbor quietly to himself, as he arrived in front of the Green Dragon. A great revelry had commenced for the evening, and many were gathered in celebration over the days end. No war had been won, or kingdom saved, just the rewards of a day’s hard labour.

“You will find the greatest bliss for life in the Shire,” he had been told by a man who had travelled eastward after the Great War. “It has the spirit of a kingdom, and the richness of a farm. No great worries or troubles follow you there.”

Belecbor had finally learnt what that man had meant; this place was what he had longed for in the depths of himself, after so many years of hardship. His long hair greying did not seem so grey and nor his scarred faced seem so marked; those many battles with Corsairs and Harad seemed but a distant memory,

As he looked around Belecbor felt out of place here, wearing the garb of a knight under Angbor in a place of relative peace. Under his travelling cloak, he felt his light elvish steel mail and sword, was unwanted in a place like this. Yet, many of the folk here seemed too have travelled from many different lands, and wore and assortment of items.

“Greetings stranger from the west,” said one of the Hobbit maiden’s. “Are you in need of anything?” She looked up at the tall and strong man, as a child looks at a parent, and yet this was not a child, but a woman of some years. For a man who has never really seen a hobbit up close, tis a strange experience at first.

“Many thanks, madam,” Belecbor replied. “But, I do not require anything at this time.” The hobbit maiden nodded and moved on.

Looking around the yard, Belecbor noted an empty table near the edge of the party and took a seat there. His thoughts pondered on what he would do first, when another hobbit maiden approached him.

“Welcome,” she said. “Would you care to leave your arms with us and rest for awhile, it is not comfortable to carry all that steel at all time.”

Belecbor looked at her; there was innocence and kindness about her that he had not seen in many. “Nay,” he spoke. “I am quite comfortable as I am.” Although this land was a land of peace, Belecbor was not quite ready to put down his arms yet.
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Old 02-14-2006, 03:02 PM   #2620
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Lily had ridden hard and fast from Buckland to the Green Dragon. The journey, which should have measured a couple days, could be measured in hours and had exhausted her pony Clover. She did regret pushing him so hard, but her cause was urgent – desperate, even. The news she had heard in Buckland hardly bore remembering, but Lily could not forget.

Only a short while after riding into the Shire, a rather forward hobbit lad about her age had stopped her on the road and, not recognizing her as being from those parts, had asked her where she came from and where she was headed. She had told him she had ridden from Bree and that she was going to the house of Posco Brandybuck, but at this he began shaking his head. “You won’t be finding Posco there – he’s taking a trip out Bywater way. He left just a couple days ago,” he said. Lily guessed that he might be visiting his aunt, as he had been when she met him, but then the lad grinned as if in anticipation of some joke. “But listen to his – rumor has it that he’s gone to find his bride!” Lily paled. After finding her voice again, she pressed him for information, but the lad had none to give. With her thoughts whirling she had thanked him hurriedly and rode on towards Bywater and the Green Dragon.

Surely there must be a mistake – Posco loved her! Unless… unless that was the true reason her uncle had not passed her letters on to him? Perhaps Posco had written, saying that he had found a new lass, and her uncle had wanted to somehow spare her feelings and so had not shared this news? Suddenly she felt sick at having left without speaking further to her uncle. After all, Tommy Banks was a fine lad – had leaving him and Bree been a mistake? A lesser hobbit would have turned tail and slunk home, but not Lily. Despite that horrible word throbbing in her head – betrayal – betrayal – betrayal - she needed to know the truth.

She had nudged Clover on to a faster and faster pace, forcing the pony to dig into his deepest reserves and stopping only for a brief break as the sun began to set. But now, only a short way from the Green Dragon, she knew that he could handle the pace no more, not after having ridden almost continuously since dawn with the second half of the journey being the harder. She dismounted to lead him the rest of the way there, his head hanging and his steps heavy. But even her guilt at this could not block out the myriad of other emotions that were running through her mind: anger, fear, depression…

As the Green Dragon came into sight, she realized that a party was going on in the front lawn. She grimaced at this. Once she would have enjoyed the sight, but now – it would make it that much harder to hide if Posco was here right now. She did not think she could bear to face him, not yet. So she approached from behind the stable and was able to lead Clover inside seemingly without being noticed. Next she would have to look for him from some discreet location. She had to sort herself out before he saw her – because the anger and the fear, those could be forgiven and muffled. But he had loved her, she knew he had, and his betrayal stung more fiercely than a thousand knives. The hurt could not be muffled – not the hurt.
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Old 02-14-2006, 03:55 PM   #2621
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Rían took his pipe back, watching the big man in front of him. Grimhorn’s facial expression and the content of his words seemed to match. But they were in a dark contrast to his own experiences of the “Owl’s eye”. There was a hint of foul play here. But to a what degree? How much did he really pretend, how much did he really know, about his father, abut my father, about me...?

“Hide and seek” –games with identity were quite familiar to Rían. And after becoming quite good at them also, he had even learned to like them. But this time it was both much more challenging (which as such was not a bad thing at all), and more dangerous (which was a bad thing indeed). Normally his case for bravado was in his quick wits, fast imagination, and a good memory. He was quite a virtuoso in coming up with “instant” life histories, and in creating all those small incidents of life from scratch. These made his characters so believable. But now, there was a real danger, that this man in front of him knew already too much – and what was the most nauseating thing for Rían - he hadn’t the faintest idea, how much he did know.

This was a tough one. There were no safe paths at sight, as there usually were: being exotic enough, not to be known, but familiar enough, not to rise suspicion. At least, he would have to come up with something now, and come up with it quickly. Grimhorn would propably become more suspicious, if he would seem to be pondering his replies for too long, if he would give out the impression of reflecting his words too carefully. He should just act as casual as he could.

Rían had concentrated on puffing his pipe while thinking. Now he took the pipe from his mouth, turned it upside-down and knocked it tenderly a couple of times against the table’s side, to get rid of any already-burnt weed. Before taking the next puff, he raised his eyes to meet Grimhorn’s, and said, as calmly as he could.

“As I told you, I have no intention to go on bragging around about this. You know what I mean – even if you have just told me otherwise. There sure is no problem in being a son of Grimgor in general, how rare that name is. But being the son of the “One that runs at dusk”, could be a different thing?”

A light attack makes for a good line of defence. He would have to play as confident as he could, as though there were no risks for himself – that this all was about Grimhorn and his past. Pressing Grimhorn lightly, with confidence, could make Grimhorn draw back and change the subject. Well, that was the ideal. Anyhow. He had drawn his first line of defence now.

Then, suddenly, Rían decided to go even further, for an offer for a peace, that could in this situation, also count as a back-up for him. This was kind of all-or-nothing-game now. As he opened his mouth, he realized this. It was too late to withdraw...

“As we both have been raised along the banks of the Great River, you must also know the old saying: “no man is the same as his father, no child of yours is the same, as the children of your children”. So, no-one should be blamed for the sins’ of their elders? I truly have nothing against you, and hope just for the best for you, my fellow beorning. I say, we sit, drink another ale with lighter subjects, and maybe share some more weed, and then depart as friends?”

This was peaceful, and it didn’t deviate from the truth too much – he had lived two years at northern Anduin in his childhood. But if Grimhorn would just forget – or decide to overlook – his earlier mentioning of Mirkwood, and all that came with it. He would be safe then.

Rían leaned back in his chair, took a long puff from his pipe, and waited for Grimhorn to react. It had not gone so badly, taking heed of the circumstances, so far...
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Old 02-14-2006, 06:16 PM   #2622
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Gróin Redplate

Gróin walked slowly down the path, weary from his travels. Even though he was a Dwarf, Dwarves can't do much after not eating. His haversack had been empty for quite some time and he was really starting to feel the pains of hunger. It was then that he heard the sounds of merriment up ahead. "Sounds like some kind of party," Gróin thought to himself. "And where there's a party, you can bet there's food there. And probably the best ale in the country and..." he continued thinking of all the delicious foods and drinks they would have as he walked down the path towards the sounds.

As he got closer, he smelt all different foods: freshly picked apples, pies and a whole assortment of other delicous smeeling food as well as the ales. Gróin stayed in the shadows, trying to make himself look presentable: he brushed off his dusty tunic, wipped his face with his kerchife and tightened his belt. He quickly looked himself over and was satisfied with what he saw. He stepped into the pool of light and stared around.

There was an assortment of people there; Men, Hobbits and other Dwarves. He made his way through the crowd to where the food and drinks were and grabbed a plate and piled it with food. He walked over to he Hobbit serving drinks and got an ale.

He turned around to go find a seat and accidentally ran into a lovely young lady. "I'm sorry miss, I'm just in a rush to eat. I haven't eaten in days. I'm Gróin, Gróin Redplate. And you are?"

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Old 02-15-2006, 12:12 AM   #2623
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‘And what sort of adventure do you look to have, Master Baldin?’ asked Ibun. He watched with interest as Baldin worked over his halberd with his polish cloth. The weapon was a delight to look at; the craftsmanship superb. And the way Baldin worked over the blade spoke much of the closeness, or so it seemed to Ibun, between the wielder and the weapon.

The weapon he favored was his double-bladed axe. His brother had made it for him many years ago. It was well weighted with an edge so keen he often said that it would split a a single hair as easily and neatly as it would cleave an Orc head.

‘Very nice blade . . .’ he said, tamping down a new bowlful of pipeweed. He nodded at Baldin’s halberd. ‘Be more than welcome in Khazad-dum. Still rooting out those last few nests of foul Orc in the deeper caverns . . .’ Ibun sat back in his chair, his legs stretched out, one ankle resting on theother. His gaze drifted slowly round the merry scene about him.
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Old 02-15-2006, 02:10 AM   #2624
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Callë laughed, a deep and merry sound. She slapped her thigh as if she had just heard the funniest thing ever. ‘Oh my goodness, no! Not the youngest!’ She shook her head, her generous mouth bowing up into a huge grin. ‘Sorry . . . I’m the middle daughter in my family. And glad of it!’

She lined up five pieces of cheese on her plate. ‘Now these two are my older sisters,’ she said moving the first two pieces, the ones to her left, forward. ‘Anni and Alli; born just a year apart. And being the first two, my mother had a lot of time and energy to put into their upbringing. They are much like her . . . and in fact they seem more like her sisters than her daughters, now that they are older.’

‘And these,’ she went on, pushing forth the two on her right, ‘are my two younger sisters. Britta, two years younger than I and a spirited little filly as her Rohan husband calls her. And wasn’t that a scandal in the family, the whole village, really. Marrying a man of the Mark – ancient enemies of we folk of Dunland. My mother took to her bed for weeks, certain she would die of embarrassment.’ Callë rolled her eyes and sighed in a dramatic manner.

‘Beryl, the gem of my father’s eye, is four years younger than I. Mother was determined to make a suitable match for her, and did so at last – the marchwarden’s youngest son. Poor Father! He would rather she had not married at all. She is much doted on by him, even now.’

Picking up the middle piece of cheese, Callë held it in the palm of her hand. ‘And here I am. In the middle and quite wonderfully ignored for the most part. As long as I stepped not too far outside the social boundaries my Mother fancies for herself and her brood, I was free to explore the village and surrounds on my own, make friends with all sorts of people in the village and critters in the small forested area near us. A ghost child . . . that’s how I often thought of myself.’

Callë gathered the cheese up and stuffed them into a bun. She munched on it, swallowing the mouthful down with a healthy swig of ale. ‘At any rate . . . there they all are, married and happy for the most part I think. And good for them, I say!’ She raised her mug in salute. ‘And here am I, traveling north, free as a summer’s breeze. And very happy, in my own way.’

She sighed, a well satisfied sigh, and pushed away her now empty plate. Sitting back in her chair, she gave Aniriel a smile. ‘What about you? I’m traveling purely for my own pleasure. Is it the same for you?’ She thought not; the women seemed to have some secrets hidden behind her eyes. But she kept her own counsel, wondering what Aniriel would say.
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Old 02-15-2006, 12:08 PM   #2625
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Aniriel had listen to Calle's storry fascinated. She envied Calle for the freedom that she had always had. It had not been the same in her case, of course. And how could it have been? She was the only daughter of an important person in Dol Amroth. There were laws that had to be followed, barriers that could not be broken. And her parents were very strict, especially her mother. Not that they did not give her love or rob her of all freedom, no, of course not!. But she still yearned for a different life, a life in which she could go wherever she wanted and talk to whoever she desired.

Her thoughts where enterrupted when Calle asked her if her journey was due only to pleasure. Something in Calle's voice told Aniriel that she suspected that it was not so. Well, she should have forseen this would happen. She could not hide her secrets for ever, not in an inn full of people. She wondered if she should tell Calle everything, or if she should restrain herself, for the moment at least. In the end she decided to tell the truth, or, at any rate, part of it.

"Pleasure brought me here," she began, "although, not only pleasure. There were other things as well, grim things you could say. Or maybe grin is too strong a word for it. But anyway, something happened and I had to leave. No, wait!" she added wanting to prevent Calle from interupting. "Do not missunderstand me. I did not shame my family in any way, I was not even tempted to do it. But there were some things that went wrong for me. I thought then that I had to go, nay, I needed to go. I did not tell my parents this, though. All that I told them was that I had always wanted to travel, and that, now that the war was long over and the roads were safe, I should do it. I do not think they believed me, though." She added as an afterthought. "My mother made me promise that I would return."
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Old 02-15-2006, 05:16 PM   #2626
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Glancing up from his work with a grin, Baldin replies, "Aye, my adventures tend to shorten a few orcs, and that is to my liking. But often I find that one who looks for adventure is the one whom adventure finds, and many times the adventure that finds him is not the one he was looking for. Who knows what adventures may befall a dwarf between here and the mountains?"


Baldin falls silent, focusing once more on his weapon. After thinking for a little while, he makes up his mind. "Ibun, my good dwarf," Baldin says, "the idea of bringing some Moria orcs down to size appeals to me. I shall make my way to Khazad-dum, after completing my journey to Hobbiton and making provisions while in the Shire."
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Old 02-15-2006, 07:47 PM   #2627
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Lily had settled her weary Clover in the stables and was now venturing outside into the party. She did not wander blindly into the middle of it, however; she remained in the shadows beneath a large tree, scanning the party for Posco. It would be no good if he saw her. Many people had gathered for the festivities, and the company was every bit as varied as Lily remembered from her last stay at the inn. She had begun to think that perhaps Posco was not here at all; after all, he hated large crowds, and viewed this prospect with despair and relief alike. She would not have to hide, but she did not know how she would ever find him otherwise. Just as she was about to emerge, she spotted him all the way across the lawn with another hobbit, Marcho, she thought. He faced away from her, and away from the table of food as well – an excellent prospect as she now realized that she was quite hungry.

She cautiously moved out into the heart of the party, blending in with the crowd, she hoped. She would load up a plate of the delicious-looking food and find some new people to sit down with, all the while keeping her eyes and ears open for some news. Always keeping people between herself and Posco, she wandered over to the food table and found herself some dinner and a cup of cool cider. Just as she was looking around for someone to sit with, a Dwarf turned around and bumped into her, causing her cider to slosh over the edges a bit, but causing no further harm.

“"I'm sorry, miss, I'm just in a rush to eat. I haven't eaten in days. I'm Gróin, Gróin Redplate. And you are?"

She made herself smile at him. “My name is Lily Thistlewool,” she answered, “and while I have not eaten in days, I have not eaten since breakfast, and hard riding makes for hungry work.” She nearly bit her tongue at this; just display her urgency for the world to see, why didn’t she? “But I was just looking for a place to sit down – perhaps we could eat dinner together?” The opportunity could not be passed up. Sitting alone would simply be too conspicuous.

Gróin nodded. “That would be well.” He started to move towards Posco’s table, and Lily thought fast. “I think there are more open tables over here,” she said, indicating the opposite direction. This was absurd, as there were plenty of open tables in both directions, and Gróin looked at her rather strangely but followed her without questioning. Lily picked a table in the middle, well blended into the party. The pair sat down, and Lily quickly started off the conversation, eager to take the focus off herself. “So, Master Gróin, I take it that you have just arrived here? Might I ask what brings you to the Green Dragon?”
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Old 02-15-2006, 08:25 PM   #2628
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"My name is Lily Thistlewood," the lady had said “and while I have not eaten in days, I have not eaten since breakfast, and hard riding makes for hungry work. But I was just looking for a place to sit down – perhaps we could eat dinner together?"

"That would be well," he responded and made towards another Hobbit sitting at the other end of the yard.

“I think there are more open tables over here,” she said, indicating the opposite side of the lawn. He was rather confused by this sudden change in where to sit and looked at her with a strange expression in his face. None the less, he followed her to where she was heading. He didn't feel like being alone in a country he didn't know. They sat down and he was Gróin was just about to tuck into his dinner when Lily abruptly asked “So, Master Gróin, I take it that you have just arrived here? Might I ask what brings you to the Green Dragon?”

"Well, yes, I have just arrived and I'm quite happy to have found this wonderful Inn. Green Dragon you called it?" He looked around the lot towards the Inn and saw the sign which was hidden from view by the crowd of people in front of the food table which was set up right in front of the Inn door. "As for my travels. I'm just wandering the country on my way to the Blue Mountains. Thought I'd take in some scenary before heading to the place of my kin," he said, thinking back to when he was just a young Dwarf when he and his family would travel to the Blue Mountains for family visits. He remembered when he and his cousins used to play hide-and-seek in the vast mansions of the Blue Mountains. "How about you? What is it like here in this peaceful country? Have you been on any travels?"

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Old 02-16-2006, 11:18 AM   #2629
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Silence had fallen on the table of Posco and Marcho, with the former growing more tense with each passing moment, and the latter growing more annoyed. Posco had realised from the first how futile it was to seek Lily in such a far away place, and now he was beginning to see how ridiculous he was for coming up with such a ridiculous scheme. Having Marcho as his companion made things no easier. If his brother Blanco had been there, he would have been constantly cheering him up, quite confident that Lily would come. But Marcho could do nothing but express his doubts.

"I think," said Posco, standing up abruptly, "that we ought to go inside. Everybody else is out here, and it would be a bit quieter indoors."

"They've probably locked the door," said Marcho.

Posco sat down again. Perhaps they had done exactly that. With everything to do outside, perhaps they didn't want the bother of looking after the Inn itself. Yet how peaceful it would have been indoors! And Posco stood up again.

"I'm sure they haven't locked it up," he said. "After all, there are plenty of people attending this party who will find their beds in there, and might not want to stay up too late."

"Everybody stays up late at a party," said Marcho. "They'll come staggering in drunk, I'm sure."

"Lily won't," said Posco, rather absently, for he was occupied with plotting out how he could get to the front door as obscurely as possible.

"Lily won't be anyhwere," said Marcho, "except in Bree, where she belongs."

Posco sighed a mournful sigh, and left the table. To his great relief, Marcho didn't follow him. Perhaps in the quiet of the abandoned Common Room, he could rekindle his hopes that Lily would come. If he could just have that hope for a few days... maybe at the end he could gather enough courage to go to her home. But for the present time he shuddered at the thought. Just imagine if her uncle opened the door.

Alas, the Common Room was not quite as empty as he had hoped. Apparently not all visitors to the Inn were enjoying the party. A lone hobbit, his travelling cloak still wrapped about him, sat by the window, gazing out at the bright lights and merry dancers. Posco considered leaving, but decided that the company of one hobbit was preferable to the company of many hobbits and other stranger things. He attempted to make his way unheard the opposite side of the room, but the stillness did not allow for even the slightest noise to be unnoticed.

The lone hobbit turned about to see who had entered, and instantly was on his feet, hurrying towards Posco. He took him by one hand, and then the other, and laughed heartily.

"Posco, my dear brother!" he said, releasing one hand to clap the poor confused Posco on the shoulder. "Why, don't stare at me as if I've come out of the Old Forest with a legion of hideous creatures behind me! Don't you recognise me?"

"Blanco," said Posco, and his rather weak smile was accompanied with a sigh.

"I was afraid Marcho would kill you," said Blanco, "so I told Mother I was just going to follow you, because I fancied a bit of adventure myself. Where is Marcho, anyhow?"

"He's sitting at a table out there," said Posco, with the faintest of gestures. Oddly, he felt his heart sinking within him, despite his previous thoughts that Blanco would be welcome company. Marcho was a grumpy old hobbit, but at least there was only him. Posco did not want to have an audience witnessing his meeting with Lily. And least of all he wanted Blanco to be there. He had an odd feeling concerning Blanco and Lily.

Of course Lily loved him. There had never been any doubt about it. She had loved him more than that Tommy Banks, whoever he was. But ever since their first visit to the Inn, the visit that had brought Posco and Lily to meet and love each other, Blanco had not been quite so attentive to Miss Marigold back at home. He would smile kindly at her, and he would speak with her, but his head wouldn't turn to watch when she passed by him, and he would no longer sit by the Brandywine composing poems to her golden-brown hair.

Was Marcho the only reason Blanco had come to join his brother? Could it be that another besides Posco longed with all his heart to see Lily again? Posco looked desperately at his dishevelled self, and then to Blanco, who, as usual, was perfectly neat and tidy. And no longer did he wish for Blanco's company.
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Old 02-16-2006, 11:21 AM   #2630
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Astilwen couldn't help but smile back as Tilionwen's face lit up. She didn't know quite what she'd done, or if she'd done anything at all to help this poor woman. Just talking might have been the catalyst that finally allowed her to free herself from the fear and sadness that had plagued her sanity for so long, but whatever the case, she certainly looked happy now. She was very glad to hear that Tilionwen would be returning to her father. She could imagine how much the man must be missing both his daughters, and the joy he would feel knowing that one at least was alive and relatively unharmed.

"Why, I seem to be forgetting my manners! I have never asked your name. And while you're at it, I guess it's your turn to tell me your tales. Anything to cheer me up; I never want to go back to that miserable life again."

"I'll be glad to try! My name is Astilwen. I'm from the Shire so you'll know the old tales I'm sure, of the famous travellers and the battle. Those have been told so often now the walls probably know them!"

She was grateful to see Tilionwen laugh at the comment, and hastliy set about recalling amusing stories from her home. She soon had the other woman in fits with a tale of her little brother, who had once been sitting at the garden gate playing a game with some sticks and stones, when an older hobbit had passed by and bent down to see what he was doing.

"I'm playing war." The little hobbit had said. "Would you like to join in?"

The old hobbit had agreed and had sat down to take the opposing side. The two had been playing for a good hour or so when Astilwen's mother had returned. Unfortunately, she rounded the corner just in time to see the old hobbit play-beating her youngest son over the head with a stone. Filled with motherly outrage she had pulled the poor hobbit to his feet, picked up his cane and chased him down the road with it screeching,

"How do you like it?!"

Astilwen herself always laughed when she remembered the story, and did so now, getting out the ending amidst giggles.

"When she finally found out what had really happened she went round to the poor things house and apologised. We made him cakes and sweets for weeks until he finally came back and said he'd enjoyed the whole event, that it had been the most excitement he'd had in weeks!"

She lost her voice as the laughter overcame her, and the two sat for a while chuckling to themselves. Astliwen's mind wandered for a moment, and she stopped laughing as a new question formed.

"But when will you leave? I don't wish you to go but if your father lives a long way off you will have to go soon or travel through the winter."
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Old 02-16-2006, 01:37 PM   #2631
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Ibun gave Baldin a great grin. The tips of his mustache curved up until they nearly touched the corners of his eyes. And those same eyes glinted merrily at the thought of another strong arm to aid in the recovery of the Deeps.

‘Well, then,’ he said, reaching into the inner pocket of his vest. ‘This calls for something a bit stronger than Shire ale to celebrate!’ He pulled out a silvered flask, all worked with fine traceries, now much smoothed over with age. ‘A wee dram of Dwarven spirits is what I’m thinking.’

Ibun poured out a finger’s width each in clean mugs and passed one to Baldin.

May your ax be sharp
Your forge fire hot
And your beard grow long and thick as Durin’s!


. . . he spoke, raising his glass to his tablemate.
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Old 02-16-2006, 02:41 PM   #2632
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As Aniriel spoke, Callë watched the expressions on her face. She wondered what dire things had happened that drove the woman from her home to seek . . . what? Pleasure? A peaceful mind? Was she running to something or away? What could so fair a maid have endured that would set her on such a path? Perhaps when they knew one another better, Aniriel would tell her. Or perhaps not . . . there were some secrets best left locked away, or so she'd found.

The Shire was a pleasant place, she mused. One in which a burden might be laid aside. But the very pleasantness of it had its own dangers. The air here was sweet, and thick as honey, or so she had come to think of it. A traveler might find herself made to feel so safe and so drowsy that her feet might cease to travel on and years later that same wanderer might find themselves old and wrinkled and sitting in the Dragon holding the same mug as when first she’d entered through the oaken door. ‘One could fall outside of time here, somehow,’ she thought to herself. ‘Even a fair land such as this might prove perilous in its own way.’

Callë shook herself out of her musings and smiled at Aniriel. ‘I would not even begin to think that you might shame your family,’ she said, wanting the woman to understand she harbored no ill thoughts of her. ‘Whatever burdens you bear, I hope your traveling has eased them somehow.’

The little band had begun to play another lovely. Callë’s eyes lit up at the familiar words and the lively tune; her feet began to tap to it. ‘Oh! I know that song. We sing it in my country.’ She stood up and grinned at Aniriel. ‘Let’s go over to where the band is and dance a little. Leave any troubles we have sitting here in these chairs!’

She looked to where a number of people were stepping lively to the music. ‘In my country, only the married couples or the ones promised to each other dance together. We maidens dance with each other. Is that your custom, too?’ She looked again and saw a number of Halfling women dancing with other women or by themselves. ‘What do you say? Shall we join them?’

***

In the village of Kilgory, there's a maiden young and fair
Her eyes they shine like diamonds, she has long and golden hair
But the countryman comes riding, rides up to her father's gates
Riding on a milk-white stallion, he comes at the strike of eight.

Step it out, Mary, my fine daughter
Step it out, Mary, if you can
Step it out, Mary, my fine daughter
Show your legs to the countryman


Well, I have come to court your daughter, Mary of the golden hair
I have gold and I have silver, I have goods beyond compare
I will buy her silks and satin and a gold ring for her hand
I will buy for her a mansion, she'll have servants to command

Step it out, Mary, my fine daughter
Step it out, Mary, if you can
Step it out, Mary, my fine daughter
Show your legs to the countryman


I don't want your gold and silver, I don't want your house and land
I am going with a soldier, I have promised him my hand
But the father spoke up sharply: You will do as you are told,
You'll get married on the Sunday and you'll wear that ring of gold

Step it out, Mary, my fine daughter
Step it out, Mary, if you can
Step it out, Mary, my fine daughter
Show your legs to the countryman


In the village of Kilgory there's a deep stream flowing by
On her marriage day at midnight she drowned with her soldier boy
In the cottage there is music, you can hear her father say:
Step it out, Mary, my fine daughter, Sunday is your wedding day.

Step it out, Mary, my fine daughter
Step it out, Mary, if you can
Step it out, Mary, my fine daughter
Show your legs to the countryman
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Old 02-16-2006, 04:28 PM   #2633
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"How about you? What is it like here in this peaceful country? Have you been on any travels?"

“The Shire is a delightful country – rather quiet, perhaps, but very enjoyable,” answered Lily. “But I am not probably the best person to ask about it – I come from Bree, and I have only been here once before. Hobbits in Bree often say that the folk here are strange, but I have not found it to be so. They’re really just the same, though perhaps they are more secluded here. From what I have seen of it, the rest of the Shire is not nearly so… varied in company as here at the Green Dragon. I suppose that answers your other question as well, though Dwarves are well-traveled folk, it seems, and my own journeys – from Bree to here, and I have spent some time in Buckland – undoubtedly seem rather inextensive.” Here she drifted off, for she caught sight of Posco standing up from his table. She felt a moment of panic when it seemed he might be coming her way – where could she go? – and was relieved to see that he had turned towards the inn, then gone inside.

She realized the silence that had settled over the table and felt like kicking herself again. Gróin had turned to follow her gaze, and now looked back at her. “Did you see something?”

Lily shook her head. “Just someone I thought I knew.” Which was true. She had thought that she had known Posco, but apparently he had not been quite how he seemed – surely the Posco that she had known would never have betrayed her in such a way. It still seemed impossible. She noticed that she had fallen silent again, and she smiled weakly. This was not going well. “This place brings back many memories,” she explained rather vaguely. “Even if my travels are few, I do rather enjoy it. It creates for rather memorable experiences, don’t you think? Though perhaps it becomes less exciting when you travel a great deal...?”
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Old 02-17-2006, 01:59 AM   #2634
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Tilionwen couldn't remember laughing so hard ever in her life, even when her sister was still alive. But here she was, with a kind hobbit-lady whose name she had only known a few minutes before, and already they seemed to be going along so well. As she listened to her stories she momentarily forgot - not for the first time that evening - about everything going on around her. She stepped into a new world with Astilwen, and in that world there was only laughter.

Their guffaws were soon reduced to chuckles, and then to complete silence. Reality came crashing back when Astilwen spoke again:

"But when will you leave? I don't wish you to go but if your father lives a long way off you will have to go soon or travel through the winter."

Tilionwen had also been thinking along those lines, but she couldn't bring herself to mention it. She had been having so much fun with Astilwen that she didn't want to leave the Inn and her company. You promised, she gently reminded herself.

"I intend to leave as soon as may be. Tomorrow morning, actually." Looking at Astilwen's eyes, Tilionwen thought she saw a glimmer of sadness in them. Must be my imagination. Or maybe not.

"But I still have a few hours," she continued with a reassuring smile. "Will you help me make the most of them?"
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Old 02-17-2006, 02:25 AM   #2635
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The widow looked down at her empty plate with some surprise. She hadn’t realized how hungry she was until she’d started eating. Now, after a delicious helping of roat chicken, gravy and mashed potatoes, she was still hungry. ‘Hobbit-life must be rubbing off on me’, she thought, amused. However, the Shire was a fine place possible to pick up Hobbit-like habits, so she decided she would indeed return to the food tables. Avoiding a newly-arrived dwarf and passing by a giant of a man sitting with a younger man with hair like fire, she made her way once more to the food tables. Even though a large gathering of hobbits had been eating steadily for some time, the redoubtable Miz Bunce and her helpers were equal to the challenge. There was still plenty of food to choose from, including several desserts. Widow Rosebank decided the hobbits had the right idea when she saw several hobbits fill their plates with two or three (or four or five) desserts at once. She couldn’t equal their appetites, but she did choose a crisp apple and slices of tangy cheese, a piece of carrot cake and one of the spice cookies made in the Green Dragon’s kitchen earlier that very day. Sitting back down, she continued to watch the crowd as she polished off the tasty sweets.

Step it out, Mary, my fine daughter
Step it out, Mary, if you can
Step it out, Mary, my fine daughter
Show your legs to the countryman


It was a familiar old song, and a tune she’d never been able to resist. In her youth, she'd been a fixture at any party in Bree with dancing and music, and her feet hadn't lost their urge to step and twirl to the jolly sound of a fiddle and pipe. She watched two young women, clearly strangers to Shire, get up to join the crowd of hobbit lasses dancing with the band. 'Seems like a good idea,' she thought, grinning in a most un-middle-aged way. Widow Rosebank tipped back her mug and finished off the last of her ale, then hastened to join the other dancing girls and women.
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Old 02-17-2006, 09:50 AM   #2636
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"Whatever burdens you bear, I hope your travelling has eased them somehow."

Aniriel smiled. Hearing words of comfort was something that seemed to belong to the past, to another life, a life in which she was still Aniriel of Dol Amroth. But it brought her solace to hear the strange girl speak such words to her, even if she knew not all of her secrets. If something good had happened in all of her journey, then that was meeting Calle.

As for her burdens, Aniriel thought, they would ease as time passes. Time diminishes almost everything, good and ill alike. Few, if any, are the things that can escape its deadly breath. Her cares would surely not make any exception.

The band had begun to sing another song, one that was unfamiliar to Aniriel. She noticed Calle was filled with delight at the sound of the tune. She clearly knew and loved the song. With a feeling of amusement mingled with excitement, Aniriel let her friend lead her into the dance. Many other girls had joyned in by then. And also, Aniriel noticed, a woman now no longer very young had come to dance, too. The song must have been very well-known and loved, then. The tune was lovely, and it lifted Aniriel's spirits. What would she gain by being gloomy? She was young, and hope must never leave young and merry hearts.

When the song ended, Aniriel clapped with the rest.

"Well," she said to Calle,"this was different from anything that I have heard at home. Very lovely tune! Although the words were rather cheerless."
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Old 02-17-2006, 02:57 PM   #2637
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“This place brings back many memories,” she explained rather vaguely. “Even if my travels are few, I do rather enjoy it. It creates for rather memorable experiences, don’t you think? Though perhaps it becomes less exciting when you travel a great deal...?” He allowed her to stare off into scilence as he thought back to the many travels he had when he was younger. They were all memorable in some way or another, yet none of them greatly stuck out.

He stared around in scilence at the crowd, remembering his travel on the way here. Ever since the King had taken over, the roads have been clear of any peril. Yet Gróin still wished to have some sort of thrilling adventure. Something exciting and daring. But he knew that chance wasn't going to happen any time soon. For now, he was just a traveller, journeying to the home of his kin. He suddenly remembered his manners and turned to Lily. He noticed she was still silent, staring intently at the Inn. "Lily? Is there something wrong?"

Last edited by Glirdan; 02-18-2006 at 09:50 AM.
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Old 02-18-2006, 10:43 AM   #2638
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Bumping into the Widow Rosebank

‘I suppose they are cheerless, in a way,’ said Callë. ‘Though, and I know it’s quite silly, but I admire the spirit the girl Mary showed. She obviously comes from a family where the father wants to better his name by tying it to the rich man’s. And he’s the sort who’ll not take his daughter’s opinions into consideration.’

She nodded her head, thinking on some of the girls she’d known in her childhood. Some of them she had envied for their nicer clothes and such, but the envy had come to an end when they were auctioned (for want of a better word) off by their fathers.

‘Mary couldn’t have escaped him alive,’ she said. ‘Not even her soldier could have protected her. Fathers, at least where I come from, have certain rights they can exercise over their children. Nay, she couldn’t escape him in life, so she did so in death.’

‘Not a way I’d have chosen, or at least I’d like to think so, but then I’ve never been driven to that extreme, have I?’

Callë turned, intending to lead the way to the drinks table. She was thirsty after the dance and thought a cup of cool cider would taste good. For a moment, she turned back to say something to Aniriel and bumped into someone in her path. It was an older woman . . . one she had seen dancing to the last song, she thought.

‘Begging your pardon, m’am!’ she said, reaching out to steady the woman with her hand. ‘I should know better than to walk one direction and look the opposite!’ Callë look properly chagrined at the outcome of her actions. ‘We’re off to fetch some cider,’ she went on. ‘Thirsty work, this dancing. Would you like some, too?’
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Old 02-18-2006, 04:58 PM   #2639
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"Lily? Is there something wrong?" Lily dragged her gaze back to Gróin, struggling to form an answer to this question.

“No – yes – well, sort of.” She sighed. “The trouble is that I do not know precisely what is going on.” She paused, wondering whether she should go on. Gróin looked concerned, curious, perhaps. “I will tell you the story briefly, for it is rather complicated and I do not know how much of it truly matters now.

“The last time I came to the Green Dragon, I met a rather shy hobbit lad from Buckland. In short, we fell in love – at least, I thought he did, and that is the mystery which I have set out to solve. But I am getting ahead of myself. We met here, but we both soon had to return to our homes. We rode together for a time, and I stayed at his home for a few days before heading on to Bree.” She fell quiet for a moment. “There was a lad in Bree – his name is Tommy - who had asked my uncle’s permission to court me while I was away, and my uncle gladly agreed. I live with my aunt and uncle, you see. I had known this by a letter, and the lad I met here, he wanted me to go through with it – he wanted me to make sure I was making the right choice. So I did, but it was not the same. I have since tried writing back to the Shire, but only a few days ago I realized that my uncle was not actually sending my letters. Apparently, he has been wanting me to marry Tommy more than I had realized. I confronted him, but have not spoken to him since. With only my aunt’s knowledge, I left Bree and rode to Buckland… but I found that he was not there. No… the lad who said he loved me… I heard that he had come here. And I heard that he came here to find his bride – not me, obviously, since why should I be here? But I knew nothing of it.” She broke off, finding no more words to describe her feelings. She felt that if she went on any longer, her calm facade, already slipping, would slide away completely.

“But… would it not be better to talk to him, find out the truth?” inquired Gróin.

“No! No, he must not know that I am here,” said Lily fiercely. “If he truly has come looking for another girl, then I will leave and go back to Tommy. But I will not beg him. And I do not want to hear his explanations.” Her voice trailed to a whisper. “Not yet. I can’t handle it yet.”
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Old 02-18-2006, 07:27 PM   #2640
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The sad eyes that Tilionwen turned on her after her question made Astilwen wish she hadn't said anything. She could see the fear in the other woman's eyes, and was about to try and take her words back when an answer came.

"I intend to leave as soon as may be. Tomorrow morning, actually."

She thought perhaps it was meant in a reassuring way, to let Astilwen know her advice had been heeded, but the hobbit couldn't help but feel upset at the knowledge this new found friend would be leaving in a few short hours. She knew it was selfish, and knew that even if she were able to make the choice as to whether Tilionwen stayed or went she would still encourage her to go, but she couldn't help but think that she would miss this woman. It seemed that her reaction had been noticed, as Tilionwen spoke again.

"But I still have a few hours, will you help me make the most of them?"

Astilwen smiled then and nodded.

"Of course! What do you wish to do with the time you have left? We could join the others and dance, or find something to eat?"
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