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Old 09-03-2003, 12:18 PM   #1
piosenniel
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1420! The Green Dragon Inn - Part 6

We had reached Page 10 on our last thread - the Barrow Wight's limit for topic length in the Shire.

Here is a new incarnation of the Inn for you to play in.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~ Carry on Shirelings! ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

_____________________________________________

Green Dragon Inn Facts:

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.

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:

Derufin, a Man from Ethring in the Ringló Vale, is the stablemaster and general handyman/jack of all trades for the Inn.

Vinca Bunce, Hobbit – ‘Cook’ – widowed runs the kitchen

Ruby Brown, Hobbit – not married – server and maid

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

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

Ongoing characters from outside the Inn:

Halfred Whitfoot – local Shiriff and Postmaster; his pony’s name is Dumpling.

Amaranthas Bolger – very old, crotchety Hobbit from Hobbiton, nicknamed ‘The Dragon’

Piosenniel – Elven, Innkeeper prior to Aman; married to Mithadan; has two children: a twin boy and girl; as yet unnamed infants.
_____________________________________________


At present, it is mid-afternoon of a pleasant, midsummer day in the Shire.

_____________________________________________

[ September 03, 2003: Message edited by: piosenniel ]
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Old 09-03-2003, 12:35 PM   #2
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Nuinyulma smiled inwardly to herself- Aman seemed to have a way of almost
reading people's minds but how could she bring up the subject of her home. She
tried to think of an idea while sipping her water but it was very difficult,
especially as Tiruviel's (that was the name that she had heard) attention was turning back towards the man she was sat
with.

Then as Aman finally laid down the second of Tiruviel's drinks which, Nuinyulma noticed had taken a very long time to pour, she asked to the shy-elf.

"So, Nuinyulma- how is your water?"

Nuinyulma was slightly taken aback but nevertheless, she saw her chance. "Tis good Aman, though not quite as good as the water from home."

Tiruviel's attention turned. "And, if you excuse me for asking, where might home be?"

"Oh- its the Golden Wood. I left when Galadriel did although I did not follow her path. I was and am still not ready." With that Nuinyulma smiled at both and taking her drink turned to go back to her seat.

"Wait, my friend! If you are an elf of my kin, you must join us. I am Tiruviel and my new friend over there is Caranel. We have both exchanged stories and I am keen to hear yours."

Tiruviel walked over to her table and pulled up another chair. Then, smiling in thanks at Aman, Nuinyulma followed her and sat down. She nodded to Caranel and he did so in return with a look of keen interest in his face.

"So. What brings another she-elf to the Green Dragon? For tis unusual though there are many races that visit here."

"I come from Lorien. I left when Celeborn and Galadriel did- though as I said to Tiruviel- I did not follow their path. My name is Nuinyulma and I wander through Middle-Earth. I have no such purpose except to meet new companions."

"I have visited many places too," he replied staring Nuinyulma right in the eyes, "for I am from Ithilien. Tell me- where have you been?"

"I walked the paths of the land you speak of and of Gondor. I have ridden across Rohan, passed by the mountains and visited Rivendell- though it is empty now."

Caranel smiled at the two elves. "Well. What interesting people you are. You are both from the same wood and yet..and yet..."

"We are so different?!" laughed Tiruviel.

"Yes! That is it! And why is that? Or do I ask too many questions for a man?"

[ September 03, 2003: Message edited by: elf-girl-63 ]

[ September 03, 2003: Message edited by: elf-girl-63 ]
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Old 09-03-2003, 01:31 PM   #3
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Novardaion started talking to Soronume. It was too long since he had last talked an elf an was enjoying it. He looked a Dynaviir... He was just sitting there.

"Dynaviir are you alright my friend? You are but too quiet!"

Dynaviir shakes his head. He understands that his old friend knows him better than most but not very well.

"Just thinking my friend... just thinking"
 
Old 09-03-2003, 02:08 PM   #4
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Sting

Tiruviel was amazed. She had been wandering middle earth for years and, in all that time, she had never met someone as like herself as this pretty she-elf was.
Two new friends in one day!

She felt like she could sit here all day - sipping frosty ale, sharing stories.
She wipped away a frothy moustache from her face as Caranel laughed. She grinned stupidly.

Then, all of a sudden, an idea burst into her mind - screaming at her. It seemed like such a brilliant idea at first, but, as she started thinking, she realised that it might not be a good one. Just imagine, all three of them roaming the land together. She wouldn't be alone any more, and they could keep sharing stories.

No. They were too different, and anyway she didn't know how they felt.
She didn't want to ruin anything.

Just leave it.

[ September 03, 2003: Message edited by: *Arwen* ]
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Old 09-03-2003, 02:26 PM   #5
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Pipe

Having conversed briefly with Novardaion moments before, a silence had taken the table. "How is it that you know Niniel?" Dynaviir asked, protectivly.

Soronume hesistated. "I'm afraid there is no elaborate tale there, Dynaviir. I met the fair maiden in this Inn, not so long ago. She was kind enough to allow me to join her and we have become friends, at least on my part." Niniel blushed at this comment as she replied, "and on mine Soronume." That short tale did not seem to put Dynaviir's mind at ease.

Soronume had noticed that Dynaviir had greeted him with some concern though whether that had been aimed at him directly, or strangers in general, Soronume did not know. However, Dynaviir seemed more ar ease now, and appeared to be happy to see the lady Niniel smile. It lightened Soronume's own heart to see her smile again. She had seemed so sombre of late.

Soronume sensed unease as the table. Though they seemed to have accepted his presence, Soronume could not help but think he was unwelcome at the table and he should take leave and await the lady Niniel at some other time. "Dynaviir, does my explanation not please you? You have such a look on your face that you appear uncomfortable, I should leave you if I am not welcome".
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Old 09-03-2003, 03:31 PM   #6
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Sting

Dynaviir looked at Soronume with no expression. He said blankly; "You are welcome, do not go."

Dynaviir sipped the last of his coffee. He looked up at Novardion. He was looking at him with some discontent, as if he was confused.

"Are you sure you are all right?"

Dynaviir smiled at him. "Yes, perfectly well, thankyou."

Dynaviir looked around the table. Niniel hadn't seemed to notice a change in tone, but she looked somewhat uncomfortable. Perhaps at the questions being asked. Dynaviir noticed both Novardion and Soronume were looking at him. He looked away.

"I.. I think I will go and see Doeinwei. It's such a beautiful day."

Before anyone could reply, Dynaviir had stood out of his chair. He politely waved to both Niniel and Soronume, but hastily walked away. Novardion was following him. He was stopped at the door.

Novardion held Dynaviir's shoulder and looked at him. "May I come, friend? I would enjoy meeting Doeinwei again, very much so. And I think you would appreciate the company."

Dynaviir was looking at the ground, but now he looked up. He was feeling awkward. "No, thankyou. But please, come any time. Just.. not right now. Please. I am sorry. I shall tell Doeinwei you are coming; I am sure she will be glad."

He turned, and without waving goodbye, Dynaviir walked to the door. He pushed it open and stood outside. Novardion hadn't followed.

He stood against the wall of the Inn and sighed. No one was nearby. He closed his eyes tightly. Things had seemed better that morning when he had seen Niniel. He had not been close - in his eyes it was close - to anyone for years, save Doeinwei. He had been lonely, and he was used to lonliness. He wanted to open up.. but he was afraid...

Afraid to be close to anyone, when he knew he could lose them.

He opened his eyes and looked at the sky. The sun shined down on him and he felt warm under it. He gazed at the clouds. Everything seemed so peaceful here. But he couldn't enjoy himself.

He had wanted to attack Soronume when he had first seen him. But why? Was it memories? His dreams? Was his mind reflecting on the past? What that man had done to her.. the woman he dreamed of.. it had changed his own life forever. It was beyond cruel. Some days, Dynaviir wondered if he could ever be close to anyone again. And then, he would always be on his mind. Him. The one, who had dealt the final blow to his torment.

Dynaviir now realised he was covering his eyes; shut tightly. He opened them and felt a tear trickle down his face.

Why was this so hard? Why couldn't things ever be the same again? Why.. why was he so afraid of everyone? Every time he saw a woman, any woman, scared by any man, he was reminded. And he wanted to hurt that man - whoever he was - because he would not accept it. He never wanted anyone to suffer like she had done..

Slowly, Dynaviir wiped his eyes. He stood up straight, and walked to the stables.

[ September 03, 2003: Message edited by: Dynaviir ]
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Old 09-03-2003, 09:49 PM   #7
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Sting

The warmth of Falowik's lips on her fingers pushed the heavy chill of her memories back a little. Another moment took crystalline shape in her memory and her face softened with relief and something else that shone in her eyes. The thump of two soup bowls meeting with the tabletop shook her from that moment. Too soon, she lamented. She wished it to stretch and enfold them both, but it could not be.

When Falowik asked her tell him of herself, she wondered how to. For surely if she did there would be no further moments such as the two bright gems that glistened within her, already given to her to keep alive this day. Halfred's arrival spared her a moment's time. It would be days before they set out and recruits were needed.

Uien recalled Falowik's lament at the time that had already passed. She had seen how it weighed on him when he had spoken of it to her. If they were to wait, then to good use was that time to be put. Recruits they would find. She watched Halfred walk away from their table and be swallowed by the press of people in the inn's common room. Falowik repeated his request to hear of her.

No, no reprieve then. But then, perhaps she did not need to fear. For Falowik was a man of clear sight and honour. Perhaps he would not see her past as she herself did. Perhaps... Uien broke the crusty bread that Ruby had brought out with the soup as she collected her thoughts.

"In Lothlorien I was born, when it was immortal and golden still. Dusk though sat on its borders and a parting lay heavy in the air of that wood. War was coming and the time of my people was ending."

Uien spoke softly, remembering a childhood both calm and restless.

"Often would I wander in the twilight as a child, beneath the stars and between day and night. That is why I am named as I am." She smiled then, remembering the faces of those who would speak that name. She smiled into Falowik's eyes.

"How you would have loved those woods, where the leaves and light were as golden as your hair Laurëatan. The years did not weigh so heavily and even in those latter years there was much to be glad for."

Uien paused, dipping a small piece of bread into the aromatic soup.

"Go on," Falowik said. Uien looked up at him in surprise and realised he indeed wished to hear. She pressed on.

"Two brothers did I have, older than I for I was born late in Lothlorien. There were no more children after us. Then the War spread through the lands and it changed. My father and brothers fought beneath the eaves of Mirkwood and upon our very borders.

We did overthrow the Enemy, but at great cost. My mother received only one son back when all was done. He could no longer abide for the land was now only a sorrow to him and so he took my mother and I into the West with many of our kindred. Lothlorien became rejoined with the land around it, time flowed freely between the boughs once more and I found it empty when I returned."

Falowik was listening intently, Uien wrapped now in her memories that were darkening by the moment.

"I was not yet ready to forsake Middle-earth. The wide spaces and wild things called me yet, but my place was with my family and so I travelled with them for the Grey Havens."

There Uien faltered and she heard Falowik's voice thrum with warmth through the darkness.

"Forgive me Fair One," he said with grave concern. Uien shook her head and looked up.

"You have done no wrong, Falowik Laurëatan, to forgive." Uien set down her bread in fingers numb. It could not be turned aside from now. She had chosen to tell it and she would not pull away. Perhaps he could know and not turn away himself. Perhaps, for he was a man of honour and so much more.

"There was a terrible storm that fell upon us as we made our way through the pass of the Misty Mountains. We do not go to Moria, not even after the War. I... my feet tarried for I did not want to go and in the storm I lost my way." Falowik had to lean in to hear Uien, for she was murmuring, only a whisper, as the shriek of icy winds filled her hearing and the shards of ice and snow sliced through her.

"When it passed, so too had my family. They were gone. Long I searched the mountains. My fear made me hasty and I wandered into darker places... terrible... foul..." Uien shuddered and fell quiet then. After a long silence, she spoke again, as though from the very depths of the orc den she had fallen into.

"A long time passed before I was able to wander freely again. To Lothlorien I returned to find it empty. South I went then... to Rhûn and then north. I had my wish. I remained in Middle-earth, a great price I paid for it. Now, I wander it."

And until Falowik the price she paid to wander it had been too much. She looked at the man across the table from her and took a deep breath to bring him to her and push the other things away from her. Her fingers tingled where his kiss had fallen.

"And so now you know. Uien is but a foolish maiden who did not wish to go, tarried and was lost." Uien smiled sadly at Falowik, wondering what he made of such an account.

"The mountains," he said quietly, gazing into her eyes. Uien shook her head, long hair swaying with the movement.

"Not here," she said. He nodded and dropped his gaze. She could not know that perhaps he saw something in her that resonated within him. Uien reached this time, her fingers light brushing the back of Falowik's hand where it rested by his ale. He looked sharply up at her touch.

"And you, Falowik, will you speak now of yourself?" Uien's gaze urged him. She needed his voice, that warmth, to fill her. She wished to know how it came to be that Falowik's road had carried him here. A deep desire to know all she could of the man moved within her. She need to know him, and forget herself also.

"Please?"
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Old 09-04-2003, 12:23 AM   #8
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Sting

Annalaliath road up the path that lead to the Green dragon. She dismounted and tied her mount fast before removing the saddlebags. Fed up with wondering she stops and looks at the warm light pouring out of the inn, it wouldn't matter ir it were day or night the smoky interior and the fire that was alway in the hearth seemed to seep this light into everything about the palce. She loves this inn with its comfy chairs and warm people she could stay here for many a year, but knowing that here old friends were in other places she tentavly decided to day for a month or so....

Her hair was slightly longer than it had been, and her deep blue grey eyes, that seemed to hold a deep seated sadness found the back of Aman's head as she helped the other patrins about the inn. Annalaliath stood poised at the bar her blond short hair fell across her eyes. Her clothes were stained with travel and torn with wear. Across her back she carried her bow, a quiver ,and her sword. In the saddle bags at her mud caked feet she kept her drawing supplies.

As Annalaliath stood there at the bar waiting to catch the manager's eye, her race could be distinctly seen. She was an Elf. Standing alone at a Hobbit bar waiting to be noticed by Aman. She did nothing but look at the bar and wait, watching others out of the corner of her eye.

[ September 04, 2003: Message edited by: Annalaliath ]
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Old 09-04-2003, 09:35 AM   #9
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The Eye

Esgallhugwen finished off her cider, new guests coming in and out of the inn. She struggled within herself to push the dark shadows away at least for a awhile, though it became ever harder as the days went on, does something draw near that brings the memories ever sharper and vivid into her mind? Don't become close with anyone it will be your folly!!

Almost all the guest had company of their own, they sat around at a table with many a friend old or new to talk to. Esgallhugwen sat alone although there was Lira whom she had newly met but she was busy with the task that Aman gave her. Surely she would enjoy your help she pondered fingering the empty mug, unsure if Lira preferred to be alone with her own thoughts.

She sat there looking into the mug for brief moments, keeping to herself at the far corner of the bar.
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Old 09-04-2003, 12:32 PM   #10
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Sting

"Yes! That is it! And why is that? Or do I ask too many questions for a man?" The two Elves laughed., and this was followed by a short silence. Tiruviel’s grey eyes twinkled in the sun’s rays that shone through the window, and then they widened. She stared blankly across the bar and she seemed in some deep thought but Nuinyulma quickly took her from it by breaking the silence again.

“No, you do not. It is good to be at least a little curious…” at this remark Tiruviel smiled to herself and Caranel took another sip of ale from his tankard. His discarded soup bowl lay in front of him, as he had long finished with it and the small meal had filled him sufficiently; at least for the night. He excused himself from the table and walked to the bar, bowl and spoon in hand. As he neared the bar Aman turned to him.

“There was no need for you to brig that up, I would have had someone to fetch it for you,” she chuckled taking the bowl from his hands, he sat himself down on a stool at the bar, “ Are they boring you?” she asked jokingly while handing the bowl to Ruby who was behind the bar as well. She turned back to him and busied herself with cleaning glasses.

“No,” he sighed, “they are fine company, but do you often get Elves here often?”

“Often- here you will get allsorts, for it is an Inn…” she said placing the clean glasses under the counter. She back from under the counter and sighed, “ care for another drink?”

“If you would…” he replied, Aman nodded and poured him another drink. He took the ale in thanks and made his way back to the others.

“…..it is. But the rest of this world…….Ah! Caranel, how nice of you to join us again. ” Tiruviel said looking up to his face.

“Indeed, indeed….” He said seating himself down again. He looked up to the door where a new arrival had just entered the Inn.

Another Elf, he had certainly not seen this many since he left Ithilien. But now he was travelling to see Elen in the North again. She resided with her father still and they did not whish to come south but stay in their native home. He pictured her fair face in his mind, true they were on friends but her mind and her skill were things of great beauty and he could not contain himself to wait longer.

Although the meeting of new friends may delay him, he would soon tell them of his reason to leave and soon be on his way. But maybe not just now.

[ September 04, 2003: Message edited by: Arien ]
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Old 09-04-2003, 01:01 PM   #11
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Tolkien

Nuinyulma looked at Tiruviel. She had been about to say something but has stopped herself. Deciding not to intrude she said nothing and instead looked to Caranel. He was drinking heavily from his newly filled glass and had obviously not noticed. It was up to her to move the conversation on.

"So, my friends. We have talked about our past, we are living in the future. What about our futures? Why don't you go first Caranel? You don't seem to have said much this day."

[ September 04, 2003: Message edited by: elf-girl-63 ]
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Old 09-04-2003, 02:25 PM   #12
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Sting

Tiruviel looked up at Nuinyulma, and found the elf looking back. It was like Nuinyulma knew was she was thinking.
Tiruviel had noticed that the conversation was dwindling a bit. Caranel had suddenly lapsed into silence as if he had remembered something important and poor Nuinyulma looked desperate to get it going again.

Tiruviel knew that this was the perfect time to suggest something but she didn't want to push anything this early.

"Well... I think I am going to carry on wandering middle earth. There are still many places that I would love to visit. It's a shame that I am all alone though, I wish I had company."

She let that last sentence hang in their thoughts, praying for a response.

"What about you Caranel?"
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Old 09-04-2003, 02:33 PM   #13
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Sting

Novardaion turns around. He realises that there is something wrong with Dynaviir and he wants to know.

"I am going to my room, I am in need of think"

He goes up into his room and looks around, his bow and two slender daggers in a corner, his wreath of arrows at the edge of the bed. He sits down and thinks
 
Old 09-04-2003, 03:02 PM   #14
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Question

“Well after hear I think I will carry on to the North, or maybe stop off at Bree before I undertake that journey.” He sighed taking another gulp from his tankard.

“If a may be so bold to ask why?” Questioned Tiruviel from across the table.

“You may be so bold, “ he replied, “I go north to see an old friend, a friend from childhood. I used to hunt with them and scout the land. But alas our duties have separated us over the years and I have not seen them in a long while.”

“And his name?” Asked Nuinyulma.

“His?!” asked Caranel shaken from deep thought of Elen, “Tis not a male! But a female, daughter of a Ranger and my closest friend.”

“Then what may be her name?” Inquired Tiruviel, enchanted by the new story he was unraveling before them.

“Her name is Elelith, but Elen to me. She is fair beyond any mortal I have seeN, and it is not only her looks, but her mind, her skill. Her eyes enchant me and her soft voice is what I long to hear again; I have been away from it toolong.”

“You hold her highly then?” Asked Nuinyulma, he glass of water clasped in her hands.

Caranel nodded in return, “Aye I do, there is a Song that reminds me of her. Now I am no sing but I will gladly recite it to you. If you will let me that is?” The two Elves nodded, so he started:

She chose to walk alone, though others wondered why
Refused to look before her, kept eyes cast upwards towards the sky
She didn't have companions; no need for earthly things
She only wanted freedom from what she felt were puppet strings
She longed to be a bird, so that she might fly away
She pitied every blade of grass, for planted they would stay

She longed to be a flame that brightly danced alone
Felt jealous of the steam that made the air its only home
Some say she wished too hard; some say she wished too long
But we awoke one autumn day to find that she was gone

The trees, they say, stood witness; the sky refused to tell
But someone who had seen it said the story played out well
She spread her arms out wide, breathed in the break of dawn
She just let go of all she held...and then she was gone


“That was beautiful…” whisper Tiruviel.

“It is, she is a free spirit like yourselves, but I dread the day when I find her gone.” There was a silence, Caranel felt some sadness and longing to see Elen. But he would stay longer as rest was needed. “And of you two? What do you look to do?”

[ September 05, 2003: Message edited by: Arien ]
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Old 09-04-2003, 06:56 PM   #15
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Tolkien

Lira pondered the past...the doings of her short life. She remembered Esgallhugwen and she smiled, sadly for she could feel the darkness that still clung to the elf maiden. Her hand slipped down to the silver dagger at her side and she fondled it gently. Peering from the cellar, she could see that Esgallhugwen had departed, more than likely to the inn. As the cook's new assistant, she would not be needed until a few hours before dinner.

Rising, Lira left her realm of wine and quickly glided to the Inn. Entering the common room, she sought her...the beautiful Esgallhugwen. Seeing her seated at a corner, she strode towards her, and, leaning on the table, said, "Mellon. You are alone -- again." A smiled curved about her lips. "I am working in the wine cellar. Would you wish to accompany me? We can laugh and be as merry as the elves of Rivendell before the shadow came." The smile faltered, but instantly reassurted itself. She held out her hand.

Esgallhugwen put her hand in Lira's and rose. "Thank you, Mellon. I was wondering if you would care for my company." She flashed a smile and Lira's spirit soared. Long had it been since a smile lit her elven face, since a smile had driven away the shadows of sorrow and darkness.

Together the two elves made their way towards the cellar, Lira laughing merrily, Esgallhugwen smiling serenely. Holding a bottle and putting a label upon it, Lira turned and said, "Tell me, Esgallhugwen, of your early life...before the threat of the Shadow."
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Old 09-04-2003, 08:31 PM   #16
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Her voice had been low, edged with despair as she alluded to something she could not speak of -- "...I wandered into darker places... terrible... foul..." Uien shuddered and did not speak - could not speak, Falowik guessed -- then she spoke, in that low voice that could not hold music in it -- of wanderings amid emptiness and loss. "Now, I wander..." So they were alike, she and he. It was not surprising, for this Inn seemed crowded with folk from outside the Shire, wanderers all. And she had lost much, things that he had never owned; and he wondered whether her grief was not harder to bear than his poverty from birth.

Uien spoke of being foolish, of being lost, and her smile did not reach her eyes, which held her grief, and more -- a darkness in the mountains. He did not realize that he had spoken his thought until she shook her head.

"Not here." It was a promise to tell of it later, in some place where they could succor each other out of the way of prying eyes. It seemed well. She had given so much of herself, and now she had revealed to him the place inside her that was most tender and fragile! He hung his head, knowing himself to be unworthy of such trust. He would have to beg forgiveness and leave her before he caused her greater woe! He felt her fingers brush his hand. Her touch was like the finger that plucks the string of a harp, and he sang within, the note sweet. It was she who made him worthy of her trust. Now she asked for him to pay her back in kind. Her eyes pleaded with him for it, and she pleaded in word.

"I - I will gladly take my turn." He picked up his tankard of ale, which had gone untouched till now, and swallowed some of the brew. These tankards were too big, and held more than was right for a Man or Hobbit to drink at a sitting. To drink it all would surely addle his wits! He set the tankard down and turned to Uien.

"I was born into this world alone and raised by the town of Bree. My mother died of my birth, and I know not who fathered me. I was told that he was an evil man not of Bree, who used my mother wrongly. Some say - some said to me - maybe to be cruel but maybe to speak the cruel truth, that he was only half Man, and half Goblin."

Of a sudden, Uien shuddered and hid her hands below the table. It was as Falowik feared; his story told, she'd no longer have aught to do with him. His soup was only half eaten, and getting cold. He had no more stomach for it.

"Maybe I should return to work on the roof and let you get what rest you need."

She looked up suddenly, smiled briefly, and shook her head. "No! Please stay, Laurëatan." Her hand came up and rested on the table near his. "Your words stirred memories, that is all."

"Forgive me for bringing such ill memories to mind."

She made little of his offense and urged him to speak his tale. Falowik told her of a boyhood of begging, of doing chores of all sorts for all manner of town folk, all for the sake of having clothes on his back, food in his stomach, and a place to sleep at night. His favorite had been old Barliman Butterbur, who had not been so old then, the Innkeeper at the Prancing Pony, who made much use of him and always treated him well. But most folk in the town remembered the cause of his birth and held it against him; those that did not look askance and stay away, came near enough to hurl abuse and stones.

No craftsman or artesan would have him for apprentice, so he could not learn a trade. Only Butterbur had mercy, and let him help to fix what needed fixing around the Inn. Falowik had hoped to become one of Barliman's boys around the Inn, when horses started to go missing, and coin, and hammers and hoes. Word got around that Falowik was to blame. Word spread like fire and soon Barliman found it needful to warn Falowik that the Law would come looking for him, and folk thinking of him as they did, it might be best for him to high-tail it. Barliman gave Falowik all he could spare that Falowik could carry, and bid him go.

So he went.

For twelve years he had wandered, ever away from Bree, from the blue mountains in the west, to the misty mountains in the east, ever north of the Great Road. Wandering, fleeing the Law of Bree, living off the land, under the sun and stars, plodding the trackless waste - until he had happened across a satchel and blood marking a stone.

"I wager that my story reaches less high, and less low than yours; not tragic, nor joyful. Dreary and pointless have my days been, until now."

Had anyone looked their way, they would have seen a Man and an Elfmaid, mouths closed, their eyes given only to the other, food and drink forgotten. Ruby or Buttercup, busy with table waiting, had time maybe for a moment of envy, wishing for some Hobbit lad to attend to them in like manner. At last, they spoke to each other, nibbled a little more, drank a last draft, rose, and left the Common room.

They returned to the work on the roof, but said little. They found solace in each other, and words were of no moment until later, when more dire things must be spoken of, out of the hearing of all others. Whether Derufin found their silence worth noting, he did not say. The work went apace, and was soon done. Falowik thanked Derufin for allowing them to labor for their bed and board, and stretching tightened muscles, the two walked slowly away from the Inn, toward the setting sun; the first star glimmered faintly above the horizon in the East as they slipped from view of the Inn.
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Old 09-04-2003, 09:23 PM   #17
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Sting

Annalaliath waited for the moment to say anything. She poised herself at the bar watching people her hair falling across her eyes. There were many Elves here, it seemed, she wondered what the occasion was. Bringing her chin up she observed all of them. Then closing here eyes she sighed. Opening them agin she looked around once more and then commenced to stare at the floor, lost in her thoughts.

Thinking she thought of her father, and his falling down the stairs of Lorien. She smiled at this. Then she thought of her unforgiving mother, and how she had left her in the care of the Lady to wonder endlessly looking for her missing father. Bitter thoughts brought a bitter expression to her Elf features. And so the thoughts continued, and fraught with them their emotions, that showed on her face and in her eyes.
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Old 09-05-2003, 10:42 AM   #18
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Nuinyulma found Tiruviel's lasr remark strange. She had said it quite casually but the brown-haired elf felt something was not alright about it. Perhaps it was because of the stutter or the way she said it but Nuinyulma was certain that something was afoot. However, in the warmth of the inn where people drank merrily, she felt it inappropriate to mention anything.

Caranel's mention of this girl named Elen interested Nuinyulma. It was obvious that Caranel cared deeply for her especially the way he had spoken the song- more than he might admit. And now, now it was her turn to tell of her plans.

"I do not really know. I may take a better look round the Shire or go south once more. Many ask don't I find my journies boring but I don't. I find nature is a good enough companion."

"Oh." Tiruviel looked disheartened. Was it something Nuinyulma had said? She turned to Caranel- this time he'd noticed it and they looked at each other and then at her. However, she'd turned away to ask Ruby for some bread.

As Nuinyulma chewed over the piece of crusty loaf laid before her, she thought about her past and her future. The others seemed to have everything sorted. They knew what had happened and what they were going to do but she didn't. She had left her home with means to stay in Middle-Earth but now she didn't know what to do with herself there. Maybe she could take a ship when the King died-there was sure to be one then. But what would she do in the mean time?

She could not hide away here forever.
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Old 09-05-2003, 11:13 AM   #19
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Before the threat of the Shadow.. 'I can barely remember a time without shadow though I know you mean The Great Shadow, my parents from what I know lived in Greenwood long ago, my father saught freedom and his own kingdom and my mother was with child...' Esgallhugwen finished putting another label on with her fine westron script. 'He gathered what peoples would follow him to create his kingdom, some say now he traveled to close to Mordor, yet the land still held beauty in it though it was close to such desolation and death'.

It is a sad and dreary story Esgallhugwen knew well enough. The child Esgallhugwen's mother was with was her, she had given birth on the road. 'Of course a story cannot be wholly wrought with sorrow there must be some good in it; and there was I remember when I was young the land, though it didn't have nearly enough trees trees still grew and the land was green for a time'. She looked out the small window the sun still bright as it was in summer, Esgallhugwen could remember still the green of that place even if there already was a shadow there when they arrived of course I'm sure that was his plan.

She told Lira how she had been taught to hunt and fight in battle at a very early age and how her father would have none of it but that her mother taught her in sercret with other teachers and warriors. 'I'd like to say he had been kind once but I cannot be certain, it could have been his plan all along to do what he did' Esgallhugwen fell sileny then and continued to label the wines.
'I am truly sorry...'.
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Old 09-05-2003, 12:09 PM   #20
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Sting

After a long day put in, the south side of the roof was finally repaired, the new planking sealed with the resinous mixture he had spread with the mop. Cook had not been pleased when Derufin started out the door with the bucket of resin and her good mop, and had hauled him back in with by his shirttails. A compromise had been reached, and Buttercup had been sent to the cellar to look for one of the old mops.

Now the job was done, and there was naught for him to do until it dried. Tomorrow he would put the shingles in place over it. The bucket of resin was put away. The mop sticky beyond all use was thrown onto the small bonfire pile a fair distance away from the stable along with a few other odds and ends from the stable and Inn that needed burning. ‘No wind tonight, if I have the right of it,’ he thought to himself. ‘Good night for a little blaze.’

Back in the kitchen, washed up and ready for the evening meal, Derufin helped himself to a generous portion of the supper offerings and sat down at the table with a mug of ale to wash it down. The food was tasty enough, but he was preoccupied - chewing and swallowing, unmindful of it. His hand strayed to the letter in his pocket, and when the meal was done he drew it out.

He had barely time to open it in hopes of reading it once more, when Cook sailed over, wiping her hands on her apron. Buttercup and Ruby caught her movement and trailed after her. ‘We saw Halfred today, looking for you to give you a letter, he said.’ Buttercup danced from foot to foot. ‘Come on now! We know who’s written it. Give it up!’ The three sat down at the table with him, looking at him expectantly.

Derufin grinned and shook his head. ‘Nosy-parkers! Bad as my sisters when we were children!’ Cook looked at him, surprised. He rarely if ever spoke of his past, and now here he was telling them he had sisters. She bit her tongue, suppressing the urge to open up a little more about him, and instead filed the information away for later.

‘Oh, please,’ joined in Ruby. ‘We’ll admit to curiosity as one of our downfalls. Just let us know what she’s said. And does it say when she’ll be here?’

‘A bargain, then,’ said Derufin, a calculating look gleamed in his eyes. Without demure, the two young women nodded their heads. ‘Right! Beren’s and my quarters are looking a bit rough.’ They sighed and rolled their eyes. Having brothers of their own they knew where this was heading. ‘Yes, yes!’ they cried almost in unison. ‘We’ll get it cleaned up and the bedding aired and changed.’ ‘But just this once,’ added Ruby, remembering how her brothers had tried to stretch things out.

‘Done!’ Derufin slapped his hand on the table. He smoothed the letter on the table and read it aloud to them:

28 Cermië
Michel Delving

My Friend,

The slow progression of babes and parents and all that entails has found its way to the western bounds of the Shire at last. I feel as if I am caravan master for a group of travelers who want to stop at every town and dip and bump in the road to see the ‘sights’. Perhaps I am too eager to see old friends, and in too much of a hurry knowing the trip from the Inn to Minas Tirith will be even longer.

As you can see, we are now in Michel Delving, and will spend four days here - getting supplies, and enjoying the pleasures of real beds in lieu of camping rough. (Yes, I can say that the pleasures of ‘roughing it’ dim in the face of accommodating two unhappy babies!)

By the time you receive this (I have waylaid a local lad with a fast pony to bring it to Halfred) we should just be heading for Waymeet. It will take us two days to get there.

Now what, you might ask, is the attraction in Waymeet? Our nursemaid is from there. I cannot recall if you met her when we left. Gilly Took, by name. She was recommended by Amaranthas. Her family is there and she wishes to visit them. She has eleven brothers and sisters, so there will be plenty of extra hands to see to the twins! We intend to spend two days there – plenty of good Shire food and the pleasure of good Hobbit company.


‘Can’t hold a candle to Cook’s food!’ blurted out Buttercup. Ruby elbowed her, shushing her, and looked expectantly at Derufin.

One day more of traveling will bring us to the Inn! I am much looking forward to seeing you and all my close friends – Aman, Cook, Buttercup, Ruby. And can someone fetch Amaranthas? The old Dragon will appreciate the ride into town. Though, if I know her right, she will tell you she is capable of getting herself about!

‘I’ll go!’ volunteered Buttercup, speaking up again. ‘We get along well enough. She reminds me of my own Gran.’ She looked apologetically at the other two Hobbits. ‘Go on,’ she urged Derufin. ‘I’ll keep quiet.’

Derufin picked up where he’d left off.

I am also looking forward to riding Falmar once again. I trust that she is doing well and has not gotten fat from inactivity and a certain fondness for oats and apples!

His ears crimsoned as he read this, and the three listeners were discretely silent on the fact that Falmar had been lost. He cleared his throat and read the last paragraph.

This is only a short note. The lad is standing at my elbow, fidgeting. Eager to be off and back and receive his coin for service rendered. Will see you soon!

Affectionately,

Piosenniel

Oh! By the way, I believe I forgot to mention we have someone traveling with us. A good friend I made in Lindon. Zimzirân – or Zimzi, as I call her. You will like her, I think. ~*~ P ~*~


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Letter courtesy of Pio

[ September 05, 2003: Message edited by: Envinyatar ]
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Old 09-05-2003, 01:13 PM   #21
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Sting

Derufin refolded the paper and put it away once again.

Cook drummed her fingers on the table, and narrowed her eyes at Ruby and Buttercup. ‘We’ve got five days, ladies! Round up the staff after supper’s done. We’ll need to be done in four days – I want no hurry up, last minute preparations going on when they arrive. Ruby – you’ll see to the rooms in the attic. Hire who you need to help you. Buttercup, you fetch Mistress Aman and tell her we know exactly when they’ll arrive. And how many there will be with them. Fetch Beren – I’ll need him to run to the mill for flour, and get some lads to go fishing – we’ll be needing trout and freshwater eels for the day. And strawberries – I’m going to need a several quarts of them. He’ll need to see if Sam and Rose can give us some from the garden.’ She strode into the pantry and took a critical look at all the shelves, making a mental list of all she still needed to get.

Ruby and Buttercup returned to their dishing and serving of suppers. Derufin cleared away his own and went out to the Common Room to enjoy a pipe and a last pint.

‘Now don’t you find it interesting,’ said Ruby to Buttercup as they picked up the plates from the tables and walked back to the kitchen with their stack. ‘What’s that?’ said Buttercup, putting her back to the kitchen door to open it for the both of them. Ruby had stopped, and nodded her chin at the stable-master. ‘Her casual mention at the end of the letter. That friend of hers – Zim something. I wonder if she’s an Elf, too. And why would she say so definitely, “You will like her”, I wonder.’

Cook’s voice called them into the kitchen, and they hastened toward her summons, still whispering about the meanings of this and that.
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Old 09-05-2003, 01:15 PM   #22
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Sting

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Please Note:

Time in the Inn has now advanced to early evening - Suppertime at the Inn.


~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

[ September 05, 2003: Message edited by: Child of the 7th Age ]
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Old 09-05-2003, 08:58 PM   #23
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Sting

In the growing Twilight, after an afternoon spent in the ease of Falowik's company, Uien felt herself unwind. Life was easier at this time, moreso now that the Twilight found her not alone as it had for too long. The stars kindled one by one in a way that Uien had long loved, even as an infant. They stood by the rails of the inn's day pasture, she and Falowik. The horses were getting their last mouthfuls of sweet green grass before they were rounded into their stalls. Tails swished contentedly, ears flickering and pleased equine sighs of fulfilment filled the early evening air.

Falowik caught the faint smile upon Uien's face as she glanced at the stars. Her express was open and gone was the sadness and tension of the earlier day.

"Twilight," he said quietly. Uien smiled all the more, looking at him now.

"Yes, between day and night... where anything is possible." She spun lightly and came to a standstill. It had taken some time to get the stain of the afternoon's work from their hands. Resin and sap from newly split wood is stubborn. Falowik's breeches and Uien's skirts were damp from the water they had used at the trough.

In the comfortable silence, something had grown between the two. Perhaps it was a shared past that settled upon them, a shared understanding that they had not had before. That understanding was not complete though. It was raw and unfinished. They both knew it. Uien shied away from it a little longer. Just a little longer when she was strong enough to finish her part.

"What is your favourite part of the day," she asked Falowik. He blinked at her, considering the odd question. Then he slowly smiled.

"Anytime food or good shelter is found," he said. There was a strong undercurrent of truth, but they both laughed because they both could. Uien nodded, understanding how precious such things are to wanderers. She studied Falowik, a question occuring to her that seemed possible to ask in the twilight.

"Do you miss family," she gently asked. She remembered his expression when he had told her of his upbringing. There was pain there, old injuries that lingered.

"How can you miss what you never had," Falowik replied brusquely, looking away at a distant horizon. Uien fell silent a moment, considering a little.

"You deserved better of life than that which was allowed you. A fine artesan you could make... a fine son too. I see no goblin in you, Falowik Laurëatan" Uien said softly. Falowik's jaw bunched and then relaxed and he looked back at her. There was no mockery nor pity there. Only a shared sorrow, for she understood what it was to make your way without family or succour, and a confidence that what she had said was true. For goblins she knew more than her fair share of, and none of it could she discern in the man that stood with her now.

Falowik raised his hand to brush a strand of hair from her shoulder back, as if he had reconsidered what he had been thinking of saying or doing. Behind them, in the day pasture, a horse snorted from the gate. Evidently, accordinging to equine schedule, it was time to find a stall. Sensing how difficult Falowik's thoughts were, Uien changed tack.

"We should certainly find you better lodgings than a tree tonight after all the work you have done on the roof." Falowik nodded, still studying how the fading light fell over her face and hair. Curiously, Uien did nothing further than to make that observation. In the place between day and night, something had to be finished.

"The mountains," Falowik said. Uien's eyes went large yet she nodded. She felt stronger than she had at lunch. He had entrusted her with so much where she had held back.

"Not all evil failed when the Dark Lord fell," Uien said. "Moria remained dark too, and it will take many years for his creatures to be cleansed from Middle-earth." Uien was hedging and well both knew it. She took a deep breath and willed herself to meet Falowik's gaze. That she clung to as she pushed on.

"I was taken in the Mountains...by," Uien paused, the unclean word poisoning her mouth, "orcs." The word dropped like a stone between them. She closed her eyes and then opened them once again.

"I was taken by orcs. They knew we were passing to the Grey Havens. They knew we would not take the road through Moria. They would gather and wait upon Caradhras for us to falter or stray. Sauron was gone but the Elves remained for them to strike at.

Well I knew it!"

Uien leant against the fence rails, washing a hand over her face as if to wash the memory away. Many times she had tried and never had it been of avail. Memories could not be washed away like resin nor sap. Yet she had not spoken of this memory to any, not even those who had freed her.

In the evening, as horses gathered at the gates to be led back to the stables, Uien unfolded a tale stark. She spoke swiftly, leaning all the while on the fence rails. She told of the fetid stench of their dens, their rasping ugly voices as they taunted and chanted. She spoke of their hands, cruel claws, that would rend and tear and of their laughter, shrill and base. A foul warren of evil that survived Sauron for the orc's hatred of the Elves and all living creatures was far older than the Dark Lord's malice.

She told of Dwarves, doughty and fell who descended in wrath upon this small fastness of horror that plauged their realms. Fierce they were, voices loud and booming, and savage as they set to hewing around them, scything through each pit and layer of the den, until they happened upon her.

Uien remembered little of what passed after that. All her strength had been spent on survival. She remembered a long beard that bristled with shock, as a Dwarf cried, "Brothers! Here is something not orcish!" and of hands and faces closing out her senses.

After that, Uien's tale was sketchy. She remembered caves and torchlight flickering on the stone walls. She remembered Dwarven voices in their own tongue around her, and she remembered being asked her name in Westron. She did not know they held little hope of recovery, for the tongue of the Mountain Dwarves is not something an Elf of Lothlorien studied.

"When I was able to make my way, I left the Dwarves in search of my folk. They were kind, in their fashion, but the divide between our kindreds is ancient. I could not remain amongst them."

By the time Uien fell silent, all the stars had kindled. Her head felt light and her skin tingled. Something had been released. She did not know what it was or what would come of it. Uien glanced up at the stars once more and took in a deep breath of evening.

"I well remember the sight of the stars after all that had passed. Never had they been more beautiful. I resolved never to leave them again."

When she then looked back at Falowik she wondered what he saw now that he knew. Something broken, stained beyond repair? Something sullied by the consequences of foolish tarrying upon the road. If it was so, then at least she had this twilight with him.

Chilled by the telling, Uien wrapped her arms around herself and waited to learn of what she had done in setting this finishing free.
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Old 09-06-2003, 12:12 AM   #24
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Sting

Seeing the sun sinking and the sky, tenting pink and then the clouds bleeding red turning to a beautiful purple, through the windows, Annalaliath remembered her horse. Shouldering her saddle bags she strode out of the inn to look for a stable hand.

When all had been taken care of she lingered to watch the death of another beautiful day. Long, yes, but beautiful all the same. She breathed in the shire air that was only stirred by a gentle caressing breeze. She stood poised there in the small yard, her cloak falling about her, a beautiful thing made in Lorien, mud spattered and worn though it was. Her boots,( yes boots she found them more comfortable than the shoes of her kin) were worn and caked with mud.

She looked at a passing Hobbit and felt a twinge of jealousy for him, he was mortal. He could die naturally and leave this world. Annalaliath could not. She hated that. She wanted rest from the wandering and from the pain of her existence, but she could not rightfully just die. She looked at the darkening sky and felt the finiteness of the world closing in on her as all she loved and cherished died and faded away. Like this day, like the winter snows on the first warm days of spring. Like too many young lovers passion does as they grow old and it fades to almost nothing, like the day. But another day will be born tomorrow and life will go on, with out the slightest thought as to the short lived lives of Men and Hobbits.

She shook her head. And went back inside the Dragon to look for the innkeeper.

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Old 09-06-2003, 03:41 AM   #25
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Sting

Turiviel sat quietly. It seemed like everyone had their own plans. Nuinyulma didn't need any company and Caranel had his best friend waiting. Oh well!
She looked up and she was surprised. Nuinyulma looked sad, she had a faraway look in her eye and looked worried.

"Nuinyulma...?" Tiruviel started.

"Yes?" The she-elf looked up suddenly.

"Um...do you think...any chance that...um" Tiruviel was stutterring. It was just one question - what is the problem!

This was it, just ask.
She took a deep breath.
"Do you want to be my travelling companion when we leave?"
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Old 09-06-2003, 05:13 AM   #26
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Nuinyulma was shocked. She didn't know what to say. SO was Caranel by the looks of it.

"I'm sorry Tiruviel. I'm, I'm not sure really. It all depends on whether I find anything to do here."

She quickly left the table and went over to the bar to sit and think. She was glad no one followed her over. While she sipped the last part of her drink, Nuinyulma realised she was feeling quite hungry and so waylaid Ruby who was busy serving other customers. She left the bar and retreated to a dark corner where she ate her meal deep in thought. Caranel was still there but Tiruviel had gone- to her room Nuinyulma presumed.

After her meal had finished and her plate cleared away. Nuinyulma returned to her favourite past time- watching and listening to people in the inn. All the staff seemed terribly hurried like something was going to happen- not long from now.

As she went up to her room, she heard Cook and Aman talking- it seemed someone named Piosenniel was coming and this was very important. Where had she heard the name before? Ah yes! May Bracegurtle had mentioned her being the last inn-keeper before Aman. She had mentioned a party as well. It must've been that.

When Nuinyulma had reached the top of the stairs to her small attic room she found Ruby in there cleaning.

"Oh! I'm very sorry Mistress Elf but you will have to move a bit further down. An old friend of everyone's is arriving and her and her family are having these rooms. I hope you don't mind."

"Oh course not Ruby. A young hobbit told me about it earlier. Will there be a pary be any chance? I haven't been to one for such a long time."

[ September 06, 2003: Message edited by: elf-girl-63 ]
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Old 09-06-2003, 12:04 PM   #27
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Hamson, after purchasing his dinner, put on his best sweet and friendly face and walked up to the table where Melilot was sitting alone. She scowled up at him, but he stood there, trying to look innocently lost and confused, which might make Melilot feel sorry for him. "Er, Melilot, I rather noticed you were sitting all alone, and I thought you might not object to me sitting with you?"

Melilot pursed her lips and seemed to consider, then with the attitude of a martyr said in a voice of supreme generosity, "Very well, Hamson, you may sit with me." She moved over a few inches to allow him to sit down.

"You have my gratitude," he said, taking the offered space. "I don't know how you were feeling, but sitting all alone over there made me rather lonely. But I don't know anyone here besides you."

"I'm sure if you looked very hard you could see one or two of your friends," she replied with a tone of disdain in her voice. It was plain to see that she considered Hamson's friends to be as low as Hamson himself was. "However, if you are quite positive that you see none of your friends here, you might stay. I still must discuss the business of that hole with you to completion."

Hamson paled a little and paused in his meal. "Oh, please Mel, let's not discuss that now," he begged. "Can't we just have dinner together and forget the whole business of the hole for a few seconds?"

Melilot fell silent for a few moments, then glanced at Hamson and said with a note of triumph in her voice, "It's been five seconds, so can we discuss it now?" She looked at Hamson's stunned and horrified face, then laughed her attractive laugh. "I'm not serious, Hamson," she said. Hamson looked even more stunned at her display of friendliness towards him. She must be in an awfully good mood. Little feelings of guilt ran through him and he uncertainly fingered the pepper in his pocket.

Melilot's eyes narrowed and she fingered her spoon for a little while, as if searching for the appropriate words to tell Hamson something of extreme importance. "By the way, Hamson, my name is Melilot and I hate it being shortened to Mel, so please refrain from that. Would you like me calling you Ham? That would lower you to the status of a pig. Though, now that I think about it, that wouldn't be too bad an idea."

All feelings of guilt left Hamson and his fingers clenched around the object firmly. Already decided what would make Melilot play into his hands, he took a sip of his tea. She glanced at him, then stood up. "I forgot to get something to drink," she said, and began to move away.

"Oh, please, let me!" Hamson said, catching her arm. "I'm nearly finished with my dinner, but you've nearly started." He winked at her. "You'll need to keep up your strength in this hopeless war you intend to have." Melilot looked slightly indignant but agreed to let him get her something. Smiling sweetly at her, he went to the counter, where he proceeded to order a cup of tea. His hand slipped in his pocket when the tea was brought, but not for money alone. After paying for the drink, he withdrew the pepper box from his pocket and opened it, pouring every last bit of it into the tea. Grinning innocently at all nearby who had observed his actions, he stirred it in and then returned to the table.

"Here, Mel...ilot," he said, hastily remembering she didn't like nicknames. He didn't want her calling him a pig again. Without so much of a word of thanks, Melilot took it up, not noticing how Hamson was slowly inching away from the table. One sip was all it took. The best way to describe what Melilot did would be to say she exploded. Whether from the pepper or from anger I don't know, but she had no one to vent her rage on, for Hamson had wisely disappeared to his room.
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Old 09-06-2003, 12:29 PM   #28
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Aman had heard Cook as she drummed out her orders, and hastened down the stairs from where she had been leaving back some of the linen into the cupboard. As she went past, she caught the scurrying whispers of Buttercup and Ruby as they hurried past, a few used plates balanced precariously on their hands and arms. She didn't catch much of it through the general quiet, excited chatter but didn't have time to ponder on what she heard anyway - besides, eavesdropping wasn't something she indulged in.

Looking up, she smiled at Cook who beamed at her, but it wasn't just any old beam - it was the beam of Vinca Bunce, organisation extraordinaire, brisk being her middle name. Aman's smile very nearly faltered - she had grown to fear that smile - and wondered for a second if she ducked under the bar Cook might not realise she was really there...

"Ah, Aman." No such luck. Even those two words on their own represented briskness and authority personified. At times like this, it didn't matter that Aman was Innkeeper - Cook over rode everything in her fervour. It worked, of course, but in the meantime....

She renewed her smile. "Cook? I heard Pio sent a letter?"

It always rather disconcerted Cook when Aman said things like that, but the hobbit only faltered for a second. "Indeed she has. And we now know exactly when she's coming." She paused dramatically before continuing, five fingers held up to emphasize it. "We have five days."

It was like a proclamation of doom. Aman's jaw very nearly hit the ground. "Five days?" She squeaked.

For a moment it looked like Cook might agree with the tone of her voice, but instead Vinca simply brushed a hand back, adjusting her solid bun and nodding sharply. "Nothing we can't handle I'm sure. Now, Ruby is in charge of getting those rooms upstairs sorted, you're still sorting the drinks, Beren will be in charge of food supplies," the last word was very clear and there was a very slight pause afterwards - it should never be confused as to who was in charge of the kitchen, and it was certainly not Beren. "And he's running down to the Mill for some flour - or should be, drop him a note to let him know, won't you? Oh, and tell Buttercup to go to Sam and Rosie's - they have some lovely strawberries, really the best in the Shire I would say. Hang on, I'll write you a note, give it to her and tell her to go straight away, but to make sure her hands are clean first, couldn't bear having Sam thinking my staff aren't well turned out. There will be not just Pio and her husband Mithadan and the twins, but also two others who are travelling with them." She stopped for breath, observing Aman, who had forgotten half the comments she had meant to make regarding Cook's busy torrent. Vinca narrowed her eyes slightly...

"Letter for Sam and Rosie?" Aman prompted after a moment.

"-which I will just be writing now," Cook added firmly, nodding to Aman. Turning, she bustled away towards the kitchen where she always kept a pen and pad in case any ideas of recipes came to mind. Aman stared after her for a moment, bemused and almost physically assaulted by her torrent of briskness, then followed helplessly, looking around as she did so for Esgalhugwen and Lira - their help would be needed for sure, and that of several others no doubt. Maybe Uien's friend Falowik...a changed man...
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Old 09-07-2003, 02:50 AM   #29
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Sting

"I'm sorry!"
Tiruviel got up and ran out of the room. When she reached the top of the stairs she stopped, Nuinyulma had retreated to the bar and Caranel was still sipping his drink. She slipped back down the stairs and hid out of sight whilst she watched Nuinyulma go upstairs.

She sighed, me and my big mouth!
She noticed Caranel finish his drink and so went to the bar and ordered two. She then carried the brimming cups back to the table and put one infront of him.
He looked up in shock, he had obviously been deep in thought. He then looked down at the glass and smiled,
"I thought you went!"

"I realised that sulking wasn't the best thing I could do," she smiled, "I haven't had as much fun as I have had in the last couple of hours for a very long time."
She looked up at Caranel who was surveying her with a look of interest.

"Ok, I know I have been an idiot, but I don't know what to do now!" She said, her voice full of worry.
"I didn't mean for Nuinyulma to go away, I just wondered thats all."

Caranel smiled,
"I understand, I know what it is like to be lonely."
Tiruviel sighed with relief, at least she hadn't lost both of her new friends

"But what can I do, Caranel?" she asked, "I just want it to be like it was before I went and ruined everything."
Tiruviel looked down into her ale, she hadn't had any of it yet.

Caranel pushed her ale further towards her and said,
"Just explain to her what you just said to me and say that you are sorry, I guess."
Tiruviel looked into Caranel's eyes. She realised what a good friend she had just made without even realising it, and then she realised what a good friend Nuinyulma had become.

"Oh dear." She sighed, hanging her head low.
Caranel leaned over the table and raised her chin with his index finger.
"Don't be sad, how an I supposed to have fun when you are sad?" Caranel said, his face deadly serious but his eyes dancing with laughter.

Tiruviel grinned.
"I hear there is going to be a party, lets hope that Nuinyulma comes down for it so I can say sorry."
"That's the spirit," laughed Caranel, "Now who wants some more food?"

Tiruviel looked up, she hadn't realised how hungery she still was.
"Me! Me!" She laughed.
"Ok, Be right back."

Tiruviel watched Caranel approach the bar and smiled. She hadn't ruined everything after all.
I hope that Nuinyulma comes back down!
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Old 09-07-2003, 11:52 AM   #30
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Sting

Annalaliath found Aman in the kitchen. How she had managed to get into the kitchen she didn't know. Looking from Cook to Aman, Annalaliath smiled.

" Mai Govennen," she said tiling her head in greeting, " I was wondering if you had any rooms, food, and maybe some work." It did not matter if they had any work or not, she had some money tuck away in the saddle bags flung over her right shoulder. But the work would have been a welcome distraction from doing nothing.
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Old 09-07-2003, 03:12 PM   #31
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In the shadows of the early evening cast by the walls of the Green Dragon inn, Hamson crouched, watching nervously as Melilot, her face still bright red, ran here and there, apparently looking for him. He had received quite a shock when he went outside for an evening stroll to find she was out there looking for him, unaware that he had gone to his room rather than outside. He knew she wouldn't be able to do anything to him, for he was much stronger and swifter than she, but she might think of something clever to say and win the battle just flung into full force while he, Hamson Cotton, should have been the victor.

He watched her running back and forth in the dim light of the evening. Her black hair bounced up and down on her back and side to side as she searched in vain for him. She was a very beautiful young lass. No wonder so many hobbit lads were falling at her feet. If only she could do something to deserve all the attention she gained. If only her personality could be as striking as her looks. Then maybe some lad with a lot of sense in his head would come along and make her a good husband.

"If I know Melilot Sackville-Baggins, she'll marry the richest and the most air-headed hobbit she can find," Hamson said softly, shaking his head a little. "Then, no doubt, she'll murder him when she finds he's a fool. Melilot's the type of girl who could murder someone with ease." He suddenly felt a little fear as he saw her blue eyes flashing as they looked for him. She certainly was capable of it. Maybe he shouldn't try to fight with her.

"What she needs is someone to straighten her out," he continued, making sure his voice was extremely low. "Her parents are obviously spoiling her. Just because she's a Sackville-Baggins doesn't mean she has to be rotten for life. I think underneath all that Sackville-Baggins is real true Baggins. The Baggins have always been good, and if Melilot could just find someone to get her past her temporary madness, she could be a wonderful young lassie." The more Hamson thought about it, the better the idea seemed. The only problem now was to find someone to do that. He, of course, wasn't going to be the one to straighten her out. She might kill him.

"She needs someone who will tell her what her flaws are straight in her face, but not in a mean way. Then this person will help her get over them, and she'll be a better hobbit all around." Hamson nodded in satisfaction at this thought and smiled. However, his smile soon faded as he realized, by seeing Melilot make a wild rush at him, that he had forgotten to speak quietly. Unsure if she was angry at his words or still sore over her peppered tea and not really caring, he sprang up and made a run for the inn door. Melilot would be hindered by her skirts, or so he thought. Driven by mad fury, she grabbed her skirts and pulled them up to just above her knees and was soon running freely at him.

Gasping the word "help" every other step, Hamson ducked into an unusually dark shadow and disappeared from view. Melilot stood there uncertainly, wondering where to go next. Hamson slipped silently through the shadows along the ground and came to the stables. Opening the door quietly, he crept in and proceeded to close it behind him... only he closed it a little too loudly, and he knew immediately without needing to see that Melilot was after him again. Diving into an empty stall, he buried himself under some hay and hoped she wouldn't find him.

Poor Hamson! How the minutes that seemed like hours dragged on during the time that Melilot peered into every stall carefully. At last she gave it up, and her soft footsteps sounded down the aisle and out of the stable door. Hamson breathed a sigh of relief and scrambled out of the hay the covered him, then went to the stall of the nearest pony. The stable was quite comforting, and he had his own pony at home: a strawberry roan mare. She wasn't exactly beautiful, but she was a very reliable pony. He would stay in the stables until bedtime.
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Old 09-08-2003, 10:35 AM   #32
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'But let us not think of those dark times!' Esgallhugwen put on a label happily. Her face was silloueted by the deepining ray's of the sun, smiling briefly she spoke 'such darkness I bring with me it should not be allowed in such a peaceful place as the Shire, I will try dearly not to mention such things again'. Esgallhugwen placed a few more bottles in the wine rack (in order of course) and sat on the stone floor again preparing more to be re-stored.

The cellar had a bit of a musty smell but was mingled with the ripe scent of wine, very pungent it had become over the years of wine storage. Esgallhugen remained silent not wanting to bring up anything that might release memories and allow the darkness to encroach once more upon them.
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Old 09-08-2003, 02:57 PM   #33
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Novardaion walks from his room after his rest and purchases his meal. He takes a seat and wonders about what is going on with Dynaviir.

He looks around at the others dining. It is so dark, very unlike his old home.
 
Old 09-08-2003, 06:19 PM   #34
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I see no goblin in you, Falowik Laurëatan. Orcs. She should know. The story of his own life's poverty paled by comparison to the taleUien had told. This moment, the two of them leaning on the pasture fence beneath the stars, he knew in his heart that he would rather have taken her place and let her be spared. He wanted to hold her close, to comfort her, but he did not have the right. Maybe one day, but such one-ness came with betrothal; they'd known each other a day! She had rendered his unworthiness of no consequence already this day, so he thought no more of it. This woman of the Elder race had chosen to humble herself and lay her heart open to him, a wanderer of a Man. His breath caught with the wonder of it.

Orcs had held her captive. Suddenly his heart went cold. What if the vermin - he could not bring himself to think it. Were it so, he would swear to the stars to learn sword skill and give his life to ridding Middle Earth of every last one of them. Then none could accuse him of such a stained birth! But no, it was not to be for him, but for her. There was no good way to ask, and maybe it was a question that best waited for betrothal - someday, as if it ever could be - but he had to know.

Not yet. First he must reach out to her, somehow, to let her know his heart toward her. He moved closer, and laid his right hand gently on her shoulder.

"Last night, Fair Uien, though it seems ages ago, you laid your hand on me, like so, and did for me a thing I cannot find words to tell. Let my hand do likewise for you, though I know not how it may be so."

Her right hand came up slowly and rested upon his, warm. To his surprise, she leaned against him, resting. Maybe, he thought, such rules of the body were different among the Elves. His heart soared. He could smell the sweetness of her hair. The solidity of her back against his chest fed a hunger deep inside that he had not known existed. He felt that he could stay there, with her, for the rest of his life. His heart was so full with her giving herself to him that his breathing came hard and his eyes blurred.

But there was the question that he must ask, that might ruin this moment, and might determine the course of his life.

"Uien, dear one-" the words flowed out of him, and he was surprised, but glad, for he did not want them back "-I must know one thing. No matter whether your answer is yea or nay, my regard for you, Uien, will not change." His voice had thickened. He wanted to bring his arms around her and hold her close, but he must not, for it would suppose to much. The words were not easy on the tongue. "The orcs-" It was the hardest question he had ever had to ask anyone. "My loved one, Uien-" His muscles tensed as he braced himself for the question, and the answer - or the violent revulsion from him who would ask such a thing. She raised her head to look at his face. "Surely they did not, no, they would not dare, to try to spawn their vermin-?"

Falowik winced the moment the words were released to the air, horrified at having given breath to such a thought; and so he left it incomplete. He was sure she would pull away from him, be eager to be rid of him. He had had no more right to ask such a question than to hold her close. And now he had lost the chance for either. He waited with pent up nerves, his hand tense under hers.
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Old 09-08-2003, 07:43 PM   #35
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Sting

Strolling wasn't even a word peacefull enough to describe the movement of Beren. His relaxed gait carried him finally out of the Garden, and onto the path to the Inn. Judging by the shortness of the length between the horizon and the sun, he deemed it late in the day indeed, late enough to grab a bite, even.

He meandered up the well beaten path to the door of the cozy Inn, his heart already warming to the expectation of tranquility inside. He could imagine Cook beginning to dish out the evening meal to a group of lounging patrons, the hubbub of the room amounting to speech that could barely wake a newborn babe. A smile crept across his lips as he turned to knob, pushing open the door.

His mouth opened slightly to great the room in cheer when the din of a thousand voices hit him.

"Get help from somewhere, I don't care!" came a shout.

"No no no, this goes here..THAT goes there." voiced an unseen mouth.

Beren gaped at the turmoil he had just set foot in. His eyes dashed back and forth, attempting to find some order in the chaos, some beacon of calm, when they landed on Aman, her form dashing around the room. He strolled up to her, the intention of inquiring as to the chaos on his lips when she looked up to notice him.

"Beren! It's about time you made it in here, I was about to send someone to get you, even if I'm not sure we could spare the hand at the moment." She rapidly spewed the sentence, giving him barely enough time to interpret it before going on. "We've got something of an emergency, you see, Pio is coming to town!" The smile left on her face after the words obviously meant that some glimmer of recognition should be flying through Beren's mind.

"Wait..what? How? no..Who?" He stubled across the questioning words, attempting to discern a complete thought in them. "Wait, right, who's coming to town?"

"Pio! The Innkeeper, she was here before me. Ah, right, you wouldn't know, anyway it's a long story that we don't have time for right now, just take my word for it." She nodded at herself, obviously satisfied in her explanation of events.

Beren gaped at her, the look of general perplexment ever-present on his face. "Right, sure, Pio. Got it."

"Oh! Now for you." Beren's eyebrow raised as she went on. "Cook wants you to run to the Mill." Again a question creeped across Beren's face, but this time she was ready. "Just ask Derufin on your way out, he'll point you in the right direction. I doubt even you could get lost. Get along now, Cook will have both our hides if that flour isn't back before the end of the day."

Beren imagined for a brief second of getting in a word, or pehaps if the heavens favored him, even a sentence in edgewise, but this was no time for such idle dreams. He nodded politely to her, then smiled something a bit more than simply polite. Turning, he dashed off to the door, grabbing his cloak off the rack as he opened it.
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Old 09-08-2003, 08:20 PM   #36
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Lira smiled at Esgallhugwen and writing a label and pasting it onto a bottle, she set it upon the shelf with a satisfied sigh. "Your company is pleasurable, Mellon Esgallhugwen." She laughed merrily and took another bottle in her hand. "What you say is true. The land of the Halflings is one of purity nearly untouched by evil and what was touched has now been made clean again." A smile curled about her lips. "And Ithilien is recovering," she said. "The elves have made a home there under Legolas son of Thranduil. It is a fair and pleasant land and, if you go there under the spell of twilight, you will hear the singing of the elves and you will see them dance across the grass in grace." She sighed wistfully, glanced at Esgallhugwen, and said, "But you would know of that, since you yourself are of the Fair Folk."

Esgallhugwen laughed in her turn and they, forsaking the Common Tongue, the two began to converse with each other in Elvish: Lira telling Esgallhugwen of Mirkwood, Lothlorien, and Imladris before the War. Suddenly, Lira held her hand up to silence Esgallhugwen and said, "Listen! There is some disturbance in the Inn." Lira turned and smiled. "But it sounds as if a great bustle were commencing to honor the new innkeeper. I wonder how soon she will arrive. We must have these bottles of merriment labelled by then."
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Old 09-08-2003, 08:54 PM   #37
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Sting

A tremour ran through Uien as she leant against Falowik. His warmth was beneath her head and cheek, and held within her… She reached for him, grasping within the darkness and holding to Falowik. She would drown otherwise.

“I do not…” Uien faltered then, for it was not so. She did remember…

“Their claws… cruel iron… searing pain… Their voices and they were so strong…” Another shiver whispered delicately beneath her skin and she was slient for a long while. Uien drifted, willing forgetfullness to claim her again and unaware that she had spoken at all. Slowly the present reasserted itself upon her senses and with that something far more pleasant and fair. She held to that once more. Falowik’s presence was against her, his hand tense upon her shoulder.

Love… Dear One Yes, he was that and more already! She had searched fruitlessly for her kin, dreading the same question. She knew he had to hear the answer just as she knew her family would if ever she saw them again. Already the bond between her and this fair-haired man was stronger than her dread. In that she found strength to speak where otherwise she would have remained silent.

Her hand tightened around Falowik’s and her eyes closed as she gathered her thoughts into a semblance of recollection.

“I heard them speak in the darkness and laugh… they would taunt, and I knew of the tales….” He had the right of knowing, did Falowik, for there could be nothing for them if he did not… there may be nothing once he had the answer. Uien pushed on.

“They would come to me in the pits and each time it was worse. Yet the Dwarves fell upon them before they could go so far as to… Had the Dwarves come but a day later…” It did not bear thinking about. Slowly Uien turned to Falowik, face tipped up to meet his gaze. Horror was there, she could see it in his eyes and sorrow. Disgust too? He knew now just how far their claws had roamed freely over her. How could anyone could emerge from an orc pit unsullied? The memory of a leering orc over her in the treacherous light of a spitting torch sprang up. He asked for more light, with a savage grin, so he could see what he was about to do. No, noone could come from such things without carrying some of it within them... could they?

Falowik was a Man of clear and true sight. He had to see. Yet he did not pull away.

“Nay, they were not permitted such an evil. For that alone I am ever endebted to Durin’s Folk.”

Uien fell silent once more, studying the Man who made it possible to move beyond the pain of the past. The twilight held them as she reached once more as she had on the night before. If Falowik could stand and not turn aside, then so too could she. The path he showed her could not be turned away from. Already her feet were upon it and she did not wish it otherwise. She gathered his hands in her own gently, eyes not moving from his.

“We each of us have been set to wandering the wide world seeking a path through sorrow and injustice. Here I am found a sanctuary that I had long abandoned hope of reaching.”

She could feel the strength of his clever hands within her own. In that there was nothing to fear. No memory, that was real. The scent of resin, soap and the herbs they had gathered floated around her, replacing remembered unwholesome memories. Her body had healed long ago and she could feel the same unfolding and stretching of her heart now. Would she she could do the same for him.

“Here I fear nothing.” Reverently, Uien lifted Falowik’s hands to her lips and brushed a kiss over each, much as he had done over the table at lunch. Above his head, in the darkening sky, more stars sprang into life for the night. They were fair to behold, but to them Uien’s gaze did not stray. She beheld something far more wondrous than her beloved twilight.

The evening breeze blew a strand of Falowik’s golden hair across his intent, bright eyes. Uien reached up to smooth it away. Never had she felt so alive. Grim as the tale was, so sharply did it reveal the beauty of the man who stood with her.
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Old 09-08-2003, 11:04 PM   #38
Tinuviel of Denton
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Silmaril

Niniel was very confused; she didn't want to let Dynaviir go off alone, but she didn't want to leave Soronume after just having found him again. But Dynaviir's leaving reminded her sharply of her own sudden departure from the table a few nights past. But it was nice to just sit and talk with Soronume. But--she cut herself off before she twisted her mind into a headache.

"I-I don't kn-n-now what's wr-r-r-rong with Dynaviir," she stammered, blushing. She didn't want Soronume to think ill of her friend; she had so few and she wanted them all to like each other. She pulled her hair around and tugged on it. It was tempting to put the end of it in her mouth, as she had done when she was a little--when she was a little g.irl? Funny, she didn't remember that before...

Never mind, there were more important things. Like what she was going to do about Dynaviir...and what she was going to do about Soronume. Things were never this complicated when she was on her own!

Finally, she rose, explaining, "I-I think I-I better s-s-see what's wrong. I-I-I shouldn't be t-t-too long." She blushed again, sure that she was making some sort of hideous social mistake, one that would ruin her (nonexistent) chances with Soronume forever. But, her conscience nagged her, what about Dynaviir? So, she went outside just in time to see him disappear into the stables and follow him.
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Old 09-09-2003, 09:31 AM   #39
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Esgallhugwen smiled she knew of the lands that Lira spoke of, the goodness that had come into them again, but she had passed by their borders never wondering to go inside, forsaking the beauty and the goodness thinking she was not worthy of such sights. She nodded her head in rocognition of the commotion upstairs; soon they would probably be needed with their services but until then they would be busy with finishing up the labels.

The silence of the cellar was soothing yet somehow eery as they listened to the bustle upstairs, the sound echoeing faintly among the bottles of wine. The light outside grew more dim, Esgallhugwen arose to light the oil lamps above; careful where she stepped because there were bottles arrayed all over the floor that needed to be organized before they were set on the racks.

Á Elbereth Gilthoniel Esgallhugwen slowly started to hum as the stars came out, glittering like jewels of long ago.
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Old 09-09-2003, 11:21 AM   #40
Annalaliath
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Sting

After securing a room and waiting for a reply on work about the Inn Annalaliath took some food and ale to common room. Finding a table to sit at she started to eat.

While she was eating she took out an old tattered book, with all the crumbling pages falling here and there. There were a variety of sketches and drawings, some in charcoal and some in ink. She found a blank leaf and pulled out of her saddle bags her ink bottles and her pens. She started to write down some thoughts on the page. Her long secrets that no one knew. Her loneliness and her wanderings. And her joy to be back in this inn.

She watched the people periodically as she wrote. taking slow bites of the food that sat before her. Still she wrote sketched and watched.

[ September 09, 2003: Message edited by: Annalaliath ]
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