The Barrow-Downs Discussion Forum


Visit The *EVEN NEWER* Barrow-Downs Photo Page

Go Back   The Barrow-Downs Discussion Forum > Roleplaying > Elvenhome
User Name
Password
Register FAQ Members List Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read


 
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 07-09-2003, 11:15 PM   #81
Horse-Maiden of the Shire
Ghost Prince of Cardolan
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Chillaxin' with Glorfindel-441 miles on the RtR
Posts: 1,202
Horse-Maiden of the Shire has just left Hobbiton.
Sting

Aleia sat eagerly, waiting for Bethberry to continue her story. But to her surprise, the Innkeeper bowed her head and began ushering her guests out. Aleia felt like a little hobbit-child who had been promised a toy but then had it taken away as she plodded wearily to her room.

Upon entering, she was delighted to see how cozy it was. It reminded her a lot of her room in her home back in the Shire. Aleia sighed as she remembered her home, with her father, brother, and sister. Her heart ached with a sudden pang of sorrow as she remembered her mother, who had passed away two years ago. Her poor father had taken it hard.

He had gotten worse when Aleia told him she wanted to be a traveller. He became sullen and tight-lipped, asking why she would ever want to do this. He thought she was deserting their family. She told him that she was tired of the traditional life, that she wanted to be true to her Tookish nature and go to see far-off places. He thought it was outlandish, even for Aleia Took to do.

Nonetheless, he had eventually given her leave and she had gone. Of course, she had no experience of travelling at all and she had not asked anyone for advice, so she got into many scrapes in the beginning. She hadn't thought of arming herself, which was foolish, but after a few incidents she got a hunting bow and some arrows. They had been used generously everywhere she had gone. Aleia shivered as she thought of the countless times she had hidden, quavering like a little mouse, in a tree while some enemy hunted below. Sometimes the enemy found her in the tree and attacked. Aleia winced as she rubbed her leg, where the memory of a sharp spear remained. A scar where a spear had stabbed her as she sat in a tree bloomed on her left ankle. Her leg had been hanging down and easy to reach. How foolish of her. Of course, after that she had become more wise about her travelling, but she had still gained a few more scars.

Oh, how hard her travels had been! She had nearly died of hunger and thirst several times, and had only been saved by the kindness of families in cottages. They took her in out of pity, fed her, and if they could gave her a bit of money. If only Father could see me now, she thought. He never believed that I would become a sort of beggar. She also gained money by trading or selling furs from animals she had shot in markets. Her thoughts travelled back to when she had been in the market in Bree and someone had tried to steal her coin pouch. He had been caught and persecuted, but that had been but a taste of the real world.

Her journey over the mountains had been cold, lonely, and hard. She had taken the easiest route she could, but she had just barely survived. There had been enemies, both alive and inanimate. Aleia had been running out of food when she finally got out of the mountains and back into the Sun. She was weak and so was Skeet, her pony, but she managed to shoot a rabbit and cook it while Skeet greedily munched the sparse grass.

Ah, Rohan! she thought. How different it was from the Shire! Everyone was so tall. The countryside was so open and the trees were so sparse. But most of the people were the same; kind, jovial, ready to laugh. The Inns were excellent, too. But after being in such different countries, Aleia now looked upon the Shire and the hobbits inhabiting it as a haven, the peoples naive to the goings-on. Everywhere else there was danger. The Shire was just about the safest place you could get.

Thinking about the Shire made Aleia homesick and weary, so she crawled into her bed. It was soft and warm, and it made Aleia realize how tired she really was. In a few moments she was closing her eyes, and in a few more she was snoring.

[ July 11, 2003: Message edited by: Horse-Maiden of the Shire ]
__________________
"There's a big...machine in the sky...some kind of electric snake...coming straight at us."
"Shoot it," said my attorney.
"Not yet...I want to study its habits."
Horse-Maiden of the Shire is offline  
Old 07-09-2003, 11:57 PM   #82
Idgian
Pile O'Bones
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: under your bed
Posts: 11
Idgian has just left Hobbiton.
Tolkien

Hidden in darkness, Madi waited until all sound had quietened, and the air was still. The last of the night’s drinkers had long since departed the inn across the way, and he felt isolation encompass him with utter certainty. Total solitude was something Madi was very good at recognising.

He crouched and scooped a small mound of dirt into his hand. Lifting it to his face, hidden in the depths of his habit’s hood, he dipped the tip of his long tongue into the powdery hill and at once smacked his lips to savour the taste. Madi then brushed the remaining dirt from his hands, and sniffed the air deeply. It certainly smelt like a good place. And it definitely tasted like one. Surely his daylong deliberations were concluded. This simply had to be a good place.

As the clouds obscured the moon’s light, he left his safe haven and started toward the inn. With keen eyes and a cautious step, he moved as silently as mist, ever alert to the risk of detection. It was apparent to Madi that folk were not generally fond of being disturbed in the dead of night. But he had little choice. If the people of this ‘good’ place saw him in the light of day . . . Well, Madi wasn’t prepared to travel that particular road again. Better to keep his presence hidden.

A crooked smile parted his lips.

As the inn drew closer anticipation span Madi’s senses, and his dogged gait grew in fervour. He moved across the sun-baked road, his dragging footsteps rustling in the still air, the need for stealth all but forgotten. He could almost taste the shape of things to come. With the patience of a mountain, Madi had secretly watched the inn all day. Although the comings and goings had been fascinating, it was the landlady who really caught his attention. She had what he needed. She was . . . Madi racked his brains for the right word, but he couldn’t find it.

All too soon he was before the inn’s bolted door. He looked up at the gently swinging sign: The White Horse Inn. Madi briefly debated finding another entrance, somewhere more secluded. He decided against it. There was only one sure way to conclude this situation: head on. Besides, he really didn’t enjoy all this sneaking about. He had to get to the landlady before anyone else saw him, and raised the alarm. She would be the one to open the door to this inn. And she would bring with her the answers to everything.

Taking a deep, ragged breath, Madi raised a fist and banged upon the door: once . . . twice . . . three times. It seemed that every knock was as loud as a temple bell, and carried with it a resonating undercurrent of foreboding. He hopped from foot-to-foot, wishing he’d found a latrine before leaving his hiding place, or at least the side of a tree.

The mad hopping stopped abruptly. There was a light approaching the door from within, Madi could taste it. A moment later the grating sound of drawn bolts echoed dully through the wood. Madi’s breath caught in his throat. He crouched low as the door swung open and a figure lofting an oil lantern peered out into the night. Madi swept back his hood and felt his heart quicken.

It was she!

* * *

Bleary-eyed and nastily-haired Bethberry peered into the gloom, found no one there, and wondered if she had perhaps dreamt the sounds of knocking. She was about to return to her bed, when there came a tugging at the hem of her nightgown. She lowered the lantern and there, cowering on the doorstep was a small, stick-thin figure. He was dressed in a dark brown burlap habit, and dirty woollen leggings, which were much too long for his short legs. His face was unique. The bottom half of his jaw was twice the size of the top, and jutted forward. Two tusk-like teeth protruded from the bottom jaw, sitting either side of a wide nose. One tooth was broken and half the length of the other.

There was a glint of destitution in the strange little man’s huge, round eyes. Bethberry gazed into them for a long moment, and discovered she was no longer annoyed at having her sleep disturbed.

“You’re a queer one,” she said. “Are you lost?” The visitor shrugged. He was shivering, practically quaking. “There’s no need to be afraid,” Bethberry added. “Not on my doorstep.”

At the sound of the landlady’s soothing reassurance, Madi stood to full height, and relaxed a little. He reached almost to Bethberry’s waist, and she had to crouch to be at eye level with him.

“There must be a very good reason for banging on my door at this time of night,” Bethberry said.

Madi smiled with something akin to a pained grimace and jabbed himself in the chest. “Madi is ugly,” he stated, and then gestured to Bethberry. “You are . . .” Again he searched for the word that would describe how he saw the landlady. This time, the elusive phrase came to him. “You are nice!” he said with an air of certainty.

Bethberry blanched, unsure how to react. The little man’s speech was strange - not broken, just simple and direct. Never in her time at the White Horse had she laid eyes on one such as he, and fancied many different breed of creature ran through his bloodline. “What is it you want, Madi?” she asked gently.

Madi drew himself up. “I will work,” he announced. “You will be nice.”

Bethberry frowned. “You want a job?” she asked, still confused.

Madi rolled the word over in his mind, and imagined that it looked good and was therefore something he wanted. He nodded vigorously. “I work for you . . . only. Madi wants nice.”

Standing upright, Bethberry puffed her cheeks and exhaled heavily. She searched the gloom for signs of anyone else nearby. Everything was deserted and still, as it should be this time of night. She looked down at the pathetic and desperate creature staring up at her.

“Well, I tell you what I’ll do now, Madi . . .” Bethberry paused. Oh my, she thought. What do I do now?
__________________
A voice comes to one in the dark . . . Imagine.
Idgian is offline  
Old 07-10-2003, 04:02 AM   #83
Bêthberry
Cryptic Aura
 
Bêthberry's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 6,072
Bêthberry is wading through snowdrifts on Redhorn.Bêthberry is wading through snowdrifts on Redhorn.Bêthberry is wading through snowdrifts on Redhorn.
Shield

Bêthberry looked again into the forlorn eyes of the little man and saw, well, she wasn't sure what. Was it a touch of mischief or something darker? She thought back to fey memories and the gindylows her mother had taught her of and could not recall having left out any saucers of milk recently. Yet as soon as she had these thoughts, she chided herself for them. There was something forthright about the creature's address. Perhaps it was only the time of night which made him appear suspicious. Yet these days one could never be too cautious.

She looked around again at the deserted street and up at the moon, now hidden by a nimbus cloud. From out of nowhere, Wyrd appeared, to alight atop the oaken door. She spoke, perhaps more suspiciously than he expected.

"Well now, have you brought no boggarts with you, nor the spriggans?"

Earnest but indignant eyes met hers and the man rolled these names around in his head, searching for a right way to correct her error.

"Madi belongs here. In this world. Not those others."

The Innkeeper wondered if she should wait to hear more. But then the cloud passed over the moon and a quicksilver glow shone over the sign of The White Horse Inn. The moment decided her.

"Come in, then, and let us talk while we wait for old Froma to brew us coffee, if you will have it. Perhaps you would prefer something else? Are you hungry?"

Bêthberry drew her large shawl tightly around her, let the little man pass into the meadhall, and locked and bolted the doors to the White Horse once again. What an odd air this little fellow has, she thought to herself. And what am I letting us in for? Yet he sighed a gentle, contented sigh as he walked forward and Bêthberry found herself warming to this usual guest.

[ July 10, 2003: Message edited by: Bêthberry ]
__________________
I’ll sing his roots off. I’ll sing a wind up and blow leaf and branch away.
Bêthberry is offline  
Old 07-10-2003, 03:05 PM   #84
Aylwen Dreamsong
The Melody of Misery
 
Aylwen Dreamsong's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: The Island of Conclusions (You get there by jumping!)...
Posts: 1,162
Aylwen Dreamsong has just left Hobbiton.
Sting

Aylwen woke up the next morning with the first light, watching the rays of sun dance on and through her windowsill before getting ready for the day. Tired from staying up so late the night before, Aylwen yawned as she brushed her black hair and donned her skirts and tunic. She left her panpipes on her dresser before going to Delia's small but cozy room.

"Delia? Time to wake up," yawned Aylwen through the closed door, leaning her forehead on the door momentarily. When she recieved no answer, Aylwen figured Delia must have already been awake.

Then Aylwen made her way downstairs, where Froma was already up and cooking with some of the help from the previous day. Bethberry was in the meadhall, talking in a hushed voice to the newest overnight patron of the White Horse. Aylwen did not wish to disturb Bethberry and interrupt her conversation, so she began to head into the kitchens to see if she could help Froma.

"Aylwen!" called Bethberry before Aylwen could disappear behind the kitchen door. "It is Farmer's Market day today, we may need to get some supplies for the week."

"Alright. I'll start a list so if Froma or Delia or you need anything it won't be forgotten," suggested Aylwen, and Bethberry nodded. Sneaking a little peek over where the Innkeeper was, Aylwen caught a glimpse of who she was talking to. It was a strange little creature, about half her size. Aylwen was unable to ponder on it longer as the kitchen door came flying open, sending Aylwen stumbling backward. Looking up, she saw Talan carrying a big case of clean glasses and mugs.

"Sorry there Miss," he said gruffly, heaving the case over and behind the bar and began to put the clean glasses away. Aylwen nodded and helped him put away glasses, thinking of how even the simple mugs for ale could be used as musical instruments. It might be something interesting to try if she had a spare moment that day.

When she was done helping Talan, Aylwen wearily shuffled into the kitchens looking for Froma. She found Froma stirring some sort of soup or broth and inhaling the steam deeply from time to time. Aylwen gently put a hand on Froma's shoulder, which caused the cook to jump frantically.

"Foolish girl! You'll ruin the soup! You'll make me spill it! What do you want?" Froma finished her accusations with a curious tone, which made the cook's words seem almost humorous to Aylwen.

"Do you need anything from the Farmer's Market today?" Aylwen asked loudly, trying to be heard over the crashing of pots and pans and the sudden squeals of steam from cooking breakfast foods. Froma seemed to have no trouble being heard and had no trouble hearing either in the kitchens. "Just write it down and I'll get it for you, you seem rather...busy."

Aylwen left the kitchens, and returned to the meadhall with the aroma of warm soup about her. It would be a busy day, she knew, even if the party was done and the guests were gone.

As today is a Farmer's Market day in Edoras, you can post about being outside the Inn purchasing necessaries for the week like food, clothes, etc. Remember, it is ten years before the War of the Ring takes place.

[ July 10, 2003: Message edited by: Aylwen Dreamsong ]
__________________
...Come down now, they'll say. But everything looks perfect from far away - Come down now! But we'll stay.
Aylwen Dreamsong is offline  
Old 07-11-2003, 12:01 AM   #85
Taralphiel
Ghost Prince of Cardolan
 
Taralphiel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Swan Wood
Posts: 649
Taralphiel has just left Hobbiton.
Send a message via MSN to Taralphiel
Sting

Lachlan drove his cart back to the cellars with a contented grin. Though he had not struck up any meaningful conversations at the celebration, he had stayed out of any trouble, which he was very grateful for.

Hopping down from the cart, he saw his father wave him over 'You enjoyed your rest I suppose?' he said with a chuckle 'Not as much as you are supposing father' he grinned 'I stayed out of trouble this time you'll be glad to know. Bethberry didnt know I was there!'

'Well, I am glad to hear that' said his father, and walked him over to more kegs of different things 'More deliveries around the area today, though I do not know if the White Horse is on your list. Ive also got some other things I want picked up from the baker and so forth' He handed Lachlan the list. Looking it up and down, he saw he had plenty of work. 'Its always this way on market day' he said with a sigh and loaded up the cart.

'Ah well. A new day, and mayeb a more eventful one' he said as he spurred the horse forward.
Taralphiel is offline  
Old 07-11-2003, 01:41 PM   #86
Daniel Telcontar
Ghost Prince of Cardolan
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Denmark
Posts: 713
Daniel Telcontar has just left Hobbiton.
Sting

Talan wiped the dust from his hands after putting the glasses away, but they were still dirty from the box they had been in. Knowing how Froma felt with dirt in her kitchen, he sighed and washed them as best as he could in the trough for the horses.

He then entered the kitchen, which was filled with dirty pots and pans, dishes, forks and knives and all kinds of things that had been used for the party yesterday.

"What?" Froma asked, when Talan entered his domain.
"Er, do you be needin' any help?" He asked hesitantly, still a bit frightened of the cook though he had worked here for several days.
"No, I don't need any help, just to be alone. Get out of my kitchen!"

Talan almost leapt out of the kitchen, and for the second time nearly burst into Aylwen.
"Er, today is Farmer's Day, right?" he asked. She nodded, and looked at him, seeing there was more he wished to say.
"When you be going to town to buy, you'll take me with you, right? You see, I would be mighty glad to take a look of the town, but, you see, I am not to familiar with the city... And I guess you'll be wanting help with loadin' things on the cart, and such?"

Aylwen looked at him for a few seconds, and then guessed what it was; the poor boy was shy, and a bit scared of going to town alone without anyone he knew.
"Thank you Talan, your help shall be much appreciated. I will be sure to tell you when I go," she said gently, providing him with a way to go to market without feeling embarassed. Talan's face shone with joy as he said his thanks and walked along excited like a little boy.

[ July 12, 2003: Message edited by: Daniel Telcontar ]
__________________
Two beer or not two beer, that is the question; by Shakesbeer
Daniel Telcontar is offline  
Old 07-11-2003, 01:47 PM   #87
Bêthberry
Cryptic Aura
 
Bêthberry's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 6,072
Bêthberry is wading through snowdrifts on Redhorn.Bêthberry is wading through snowdrifts on Redhorn.Bêthberry is wading through snowdrifts on Redhorn.
Shield

Okay, just to keep the rush of posts down to a dull roar, here's the scoop on this activity.

A Farmer's Market is a weekly gathering of farmers, merchant and guildsmen to sell their wares. Think of sidewalk kiosks in the US hawking teeshirts, bagels and hot dogs. Or of open-air food and specialty markets in European cities. Paris, for instance, even has a famous weekly market devoted to animals, for pets. Kitchener-Waterloo in Canada has a Mennonite Market, where farmers bring their produce in horse-drawn buggies, still, even today.

It can have a carnival-like atmosphere, not as high key as a party, but still an opportunity for a special kind of exchange between the vendors and customers.

Buskers--musicians playing for money--can roam the stalls. Children can gawk at the exciting new things for sale. Sweethearts can meet away from the suspicious eyes of parents. Adults can relax a little with a different pace to their day.

What can gamers do?
-- post about buying weekly supplies of produce, chicken, geese, ducks, (live), other food stuffs and household supplies. Think of the sounds and the smells!
--sell their wares, such a glassware, pottery, jewllery, quilts, feather pillows, wall hangings, iron goods, such as knives, axes, nails.
--buy ribbons and laces and toys, clothe and clothes.

How can gamers do this?
--create several characters if you wish for your post, and run them for several posts, your main character and some secondary characters
--those who work at the Horse can do the buying, in planning with Aywlen perhaps or the Innkeeper herself. Perhaps Iswyn and Talan can do this with some help from other maids.
--those who live in the town and surrounding areas are coming in for the sales. Will they stop by the Horse for a meal before or after attending the market?

AND...

What is a market without thieves and pickpockets? And how shall they be caught and brought to justice? And what does justice in Edoras consist of?

If you want to play a thief or catch a thief, PM Aylwen Dreamsong to plan a little subplot.


[ July 13, 2003: Message edited by: Bêthberry ]
__________________
I’ll sing his roots off. I’ll sing a wind up and blow leaf and branch away.
Bêthberry is offline  
Old 07-11-2003, 04:13 PM   #88
VanimaEdhel
Etheral Enchantress
 
VanimaEdhel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Wellesley College!
Posts: 1,473
VanimaEdhel has just left Hobbiton.
Send a message via AIM to VanimaEdhel Send a message via MSN to VanimaEdhel
Silmaril

Castar swore as he hurriedly fixed himself a good spot at the market. Tinu had thrown a shoe a good two miles from the gates of Edoras, costing Castar nearly an hour and a half. The horse was now at the local blacksmith, getting a new shoe. Castar had arranged for the horse to be put in a stable at the White Horse Inn, where Castar would be staying that night. Castar usually liked to arrive very early to Edoras in order to secure the best spot he could find. Now, however, he had to compete with the other traders in finding a suitable location to set up his pottery. Luckily, none of his wares had been damaged when Tinu had spooked at the loss of his shoe. This past month had been particularly light back at home in Eodrath, and Castar hoped to make up for his losses in Edoras this market week. He did not worry too much, as he usually managed to sell everything he had left when he came for his monthly visit to the Farmer’s Market.

Once the table was set up, Castar went to get a cloth to cover it. He chose the old cloth with Quenya written around the edges and patterns upon the face. His father had bought the cloth from a trader at this market when he was young. His father believed that the cloth brought luck, and so both Battir and his son, Castar, used the cloth every month when they went to the market. Neither had been able to find out what the cloth said, but Battir was told that it was a Quenya prayer. Castar always kept his eye out to see if he could find an Elf to translate the ancient writing for him. Not many Elves came through the market though. What would an Elf need with Rohirric pottery, food, or glassware? Nonetheless, it was always good to keep a lookout for a possible translator…

Castar carefully began to put his best pottery on the table. He stood back to admire the work he had done. Castar knew that he was an even better potter than old Battir. A few winters ago, Battir had begun to show signs of his age, so he now stayed home with Phâryn, Castar’s mother, while Castar did the family trading at the market. As the only child of the family, Castar felt an obligation to his parents, so he remained at home, caring for them when he could. This worried the family, for Castar was no longer young; at the age of thirty-four, he was showing no signs of interest in any of the women from Eodrath. Castar had promised his family he would keep an eye open for a potential wife in Edoras, but he doubted he would follow through with that promise. In Edoras, it was more fun to look at the women than to actually speak to them, Castar thought.

It was much better looking at the women, Castar thought to himself as he watched some young ladies not too far away from him setting up a fruit stand. He looked across at them and smiled. They giggled and blushed, continuing to set up. Castar was told he was handsome by some. He did not think his looks were extraordinary in any way. They, in fact, were not extraordinary, but they were still fairly pleasing. Castar pushed a lock of straight sandy-brown hair that had escaped the ribbon he used to tie his hair back out of his eyes. His mother always wanted him to cut his hair. Castar chuckled at the memory of his mother telling him he would be so handsome if he would only cut his hair. Castar knew it would make no difference and, even if it did, what did he care?

"Do you like those women?" a voice said. Castar turned around to face a man about his age. He had dark hair, nearly black, and piercing gray eyes.

"Not particularly," Castar replied, "They are fun to look at, though, I suppose." Castar looked at the man in front of him, "You don’t happen to have Elf blood in you? For you look as the tales describe them."

"No," the young man said, smiling apologetically, "I do get asked that quite a bit, though. What is your name?"

"My birth name is Luthur, but I like people to call me Castar," Castar said, as he extended his hand to the handsome man.

"You nickname yourself for money? Is that not proud?" the young man said, smiling, "I am Windheneb. But my friends call me Winde. Windheneb is Sindarin and it means blue and grey-eyed. Winde simply means blue-grey."

"That is quite an explanation," Castar said as Winde took his hand, "Are you sure you have no Elf in you? For, as you said, that name is Elvish."

"No, I am sure," Winde said. He gestured over Castar’s shoulder. Castar turned just in time to see the ladies that he had smiled at stare at Winde for a second more. They giggled when they realized that he knew they were watching him and went back about their business. Castar exhaled in amusement at their fascination with his new acquaintance.

"You said that your friends call you Winde. What shall I call you?" Castar asked.

Winde’s eyes glittered, "What do you think you should call me?"

"Well, Henny is a nice name," Castar said, feigning consideration of the nickname.

"If you go on like that, you can call me Windheneb," said Winde, "No. Just call me Winde."

"That suits me," Castar said, "So what do you deal?" At the look of confusion on Winde’s face, he clarified, "What are you selling here?"

"Oh," Winde said, "I sell clothing. I make it myself, you know." Winde stood up a bit taller, showing pride in his work. Castar did not voice his opinion that fashioning clothing was for women, but merely nodded and gave a little "hmmm" of approval.

"What do you sell?" Winde asked him. Castar showed Winde his pottery and told him about Battir and Phâryn, his parents. He explained the family trade, his brief life story, and even showed Winde the cloth with Quenya writing. He told him about his home town of Eodrath, a teeny town about twenty or twenty-five miles down the Great West Road from Edoras. Castar did not know why he was telling this new friend all of this, but it felt good to just talk to someone. Winde told him that he had lived in Edoras all his life. His mother made clothing and his father had been a shop owner, in which they sold his mother’s clothing among other things. His father still owned the store, but his mother had taken ill a few months back. Winde had been taught to sew by his mother at an early age, in the hopes of keeping him quiet when he was a child. He had taken over the manufacturing of the clothing when his mother fell sick, and he hoped to continue making clothing even after his mother gained back her strength. He had two sisters, both of who were married, one to a blacksmith and the other to a city guard. They had families of their own, so they were too busy to help in the care of Winde’s mother. Winde was twenty-seven and unmarried. He told Castar that he liked women too much to be married. Castar laughed, wholeheartedly agreeing with the sentiment.

"But," Castar said, "If the right woman were to come along…?"

"Then she should watch out, "Winde said. "But," he continued, "For now it is still more fun to be single." He gestured back to the young women, who were looking at him again.

"I do envy your luck," Castar said.

"It is all about how you hold yourself," Winde said, "You have to exude confidence."

Castar snorted, "Exude confidence? Where did you hear that?"

"A friend of mine said it once, but that’s not the point. You have to believe the women want to give their attention to you, even if they do not. Maybe I will share my secrets later…if you prove to be worthy of my attention," Winde said, a gleam in his eye. "Will you be staying here?"

"I am the only one to sell the pottery," Castar said, nodding.

"I am right over there. I will be back later, when I can get one of my sisters to take care of the booth. Then maybe I can teach you the Art of Women."

Castar waved good-bye to Winde as the handsome man made his way back to his table. He was still laughing a bit at the cockiness of the young man. Castar had never met a man like this Winde. He hoped he was not making a mistake trusting him so soon. Well, Castar always did have the knife in his pocket, should anything go awry. He smiled again to himself, sitting down behind his table and awaiting his first customer. The young women had set up their table and were now standing behind it, giggling and occasionally looking at Winde.

----------------------------------------------
OOC: Bethberry told me that I can put up that Winde is up for grabs if anyone wants to play him. I gave you a basic biography and you've seen his style. I can probably still play him if no one claims him, but he seems like a character that people would want to play. If you want him, just take over. You don't need to PM me about it.

[ July 11, 2003: Message edited by: VanimaEdhel ]
__________________
"I think we dream so we don't have to be apart so long. If we're in each others dreams, we can be together all the time." - Hobbes of Calvin and Hobbes
VanimaEdhel is offline  
Old 07-11-2003, 10:45 PM   #89
The X Phial
Shade of Carn Dûm
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Out there with the truth. Come find me.
Posts: 320
The X Phial has just left Hobbiton.
Sting

Aldhelm entered the market square in the smaller of his carts. On market days he brought both carts into the city, sending Deol with the larger to deliver flour to the inns, bakeries, and larger households of the city, including the Golden Hall, while he brought the smaller to market. The less affluent families needed flour too, after all, and Aldhelm was a staple of the square. The richer households also benefited from his stall, as he usually had several jars of honey for sale. Honey was to be had from others, of course, but Aldhelm's wife took good care of her hives and many people swore that her bees made the sweetest honey in Rohan. He usually countered with a "not as sweet as Mae herself", for none could compete with Maedlyn in Aldhelm's mind.

Today, of course, Deol would be joining Aldhelm after his rounds, for they had delivered flour to the White Horse and all the surrounding neighborhood the night before and that would free up several hours for the lad. Aldhelm was glad of the chance to teach the boy some of the finer points of market days. Milling was more than grinding grain and delivering flour, it was relationships with farmers and bakers and innkeepers and housemaids. People needed flour and would buy from a surly miller if need be, but Aldhelm knew that he could get the things he needed much easier if he and his flour were valued by the community.

The horses were hitched and the flour and honey was on display when the street musicians began to arrive. Aldhelm waved to a piper he knew well. They had a good relationship, the piper benefiting from the high traffic around the stall and Aldhelm enjoying the music and tales. He tossed the musician a copper coin.

"It's not a market day without your tunes, friend."

"Nor without your smile."

They shared a smile and the sweet notes of a familiar dance tune started as farmers, maids, wives and children began to enter the square. Women with bouquets began to wander, hawking their wares, and the market settled into its familiar pattern.
__________________
But then there was a star danced, and under that was I born.
The X Phial is offline  
Old 07-12-2003, 03:40 AM   #90
*Varda*
Maiden of Tears
 
*Varda*'s Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Valinor.
Posts: 572
*Varda* has just left Hobbiton.
Send a message via MSN to *Varda*
Sting

Iona hopped out of bed the next morning as the sun shone into her small room at the Inn. Pulling on her green dress, and simply running a comb through her hair, she descended the stairs. It was early yet, but she wanted to become more acquainted with the Inn and its surroundings.

She had heard from another maid that it was the Farmer’s Market today – the perfect opportunity to buy the few things that she needed. It was possible she might even see her father, or one of her brothers selling food grown on the farm – this would be a blessing, since it would save her the tedious task of writing to her family to let them know her situation. And the way her mother would fret over her losing her last job…all in all, it was best if someone went home and told her that they had seen Iona in the flesh, and that she was doing fine.

Already there was life in the White Horse, and people seemed to be taking advantage of the market today, rising early. Iona had been informed that the Inn would grow steadily busier today, and so it made sense that the majority of the staff would be shopping early, before the buyers and sellers grew thirsty and came flocking to the Inn.

Looking into the kitchen, Froma was already up, and Iona stopped to wish him a good morning, and eat a quick breakfast. To her surprise, the cook responded cheerfully to her greeting, and the girl sat down to her breakfast with a smile on her face.

Ten minutes later, having eaten, Iona ran upstairs to slip a few coins into her pocket, and grab a basket for any purchases she might make, before slipping out the door of the Inn. Within a few minutes she found herself among the hustle and bustle of the streets of Edoras. The atmosphere was lively – different strains of music came to her ears from opposite ends of the street. She walked past a young man playing merrily on a flute, and smiled at him. She soon paused at a stall selling clothing, and fingered the soft fabrics, the colours bright and cheerful. She did need a new skirt really…she had spilt ale all over one, and never had a chance to replace it. Looking at the prices, she made her choice and picked out one in a beautiful wine colour. Paying the woman behind the stall, she put the skirt in her basket and continued along her way.

Totally absorbed in the sounds and smells of the busy streets, Iona walked on, so busy watching the goings on and other people’s actions she was taken completely by surprise as a pair of strong arms swung her small frame around, lifting her off the ground.

“Iona! We’d hoped to see you here!” said a voice from somewhere above her head, as that said person tried to regain her balance and her dignity, now her feet were safely back on earth. Looking up, she smiled.

“Eorwine! I thought I might see you!” she said with delight, seeing the face of one of her brothers above her. “Who else is with you?”

“Leod,” Eorwine responded, drawing Iona into a corner, away from the middle of the busy street. “Tell me, how do things go with you? Have you found another job? Our mother was frantic with worry when she heard you lost your job – she conjured up images of you starving on the streets! We all knew it was ridiculous, of course, but this will set her mind at rest, as you seem well enough.”

Iona laughed. “I knew she’d worry, I was going to write tonight if I didn’t see anyone who could pass messages on. Thankfully, I’m spared that task! Yes, I have a new job – in the White Horse inn!” Realising that the morning would be drawing on, Iona prepared to leave. “I still have a few things left to buy, but come in for your lunch! I will be serving then.” Another hug and smile parted the two, and Iona went off to browse more stalls.
__________________
'It must often be so, Sam, when things are in danger: someone has to give them up, lose them, so that others may keep them' ~Frodo
"Life is hard. After all, it kills you." - Katharine Hepburn
*Varda* is offline  
Old 07-12-2003, 05:52 AM   #91
Estelyn Telcontar
Princess of Skwerlz
 
Estelyn Telcontar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: where the Sea is eastwards (WtR: 6060 miles)
Posts: 7,623
Estelyn Telcontar has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!Estelyn Telcontar has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!Estelyn Telcontar has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!Estelyn Telcontar has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!Estelyn Telcontar has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!Estelyn Telcontar has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!Estelyn Telcontar has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!Estelyn Telcontar has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!Estelyn Telcontar has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!Estelyn Telcontar has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!
Silmaril

Leaving one of the older seamstresses to supervise the morning’s sewing tasks, Annawyn made her way to the weekly market, carrying a basket for her purchases. She looked forward to the bustling atmosphere and contagious excitement that filled the market square.
She needed little, since most foodstuffs for her large household were delivered, but there were a few small luxuries that she allowed herself to choose personally.

Her first stop was at Aldhelm’s stall, not to buy flour, since she preferred buying bread from the bakery, spending her precious time sewing rather than baking. She wished to purchase some of the wonderful honey he had, and smiled a greeting at him. “How is Maedlyn?” she asked.

“Sweet as always,” he replied, “though I am careful to avoid her sting!”

Annawyn laughed. “Give her my greetings and thanks to her bees for the honey,” she said in parting. She paused for a moment to listen to the piper’s merry tunes, tapping her foot in rhythm with the music, and laid a small coin in his upturned hat before turning away.

Next she went to the cheesemaker’s to buy a small cheese with walnuts in it, his specialty. It was worth the higher price she paid for it, and she always enjoyed eating it. Then she added fresh fruits to her purchases, along with a few carrots. Some soap and candles filled her basket, and she was finished with the necessities for the week.

There was no need to go back home immediately, so Annawyn strolled around the market place at a leisurely pace, stopping to chat with friends and acquaintances or to inspect various wares. She smiled at a handsome young man selling clothing, noting his appraising gaze. He was probably more interested in the cut of her dress than in her face, she knew, but still, it was nice to be admired. She would never be too old to enjoy that.

With a start, she suddenly realised that the sun stood high in the sky. It would soon be time to release the young seamstresses and apprentices for their noon break, always a little longer on market day to give them the opportunity to make their own purchases. Annawyn hastened her steps homewards.
__________________
'Mercy!' cried Gandalf. 'If the giving of information is to be the cure of your inquisitiveness, I shall spend all the rest of my days in answering you. What more do you want to know?' 'The whole history of Middle-earth...'
Estelyn Telcontar is offline  
Old 07-12-2003, 10:31 AM   #92
Bêthberry
Cryptic Aura
 
Bêthberry's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 6,072
Bêthberry is wading through snowdrifts on Redhorn.Bêthberry is wading through snowdrifts on Redhorn.Bêthberry is wading through snowdrifts on Redhorn.
Boots

The Innkeeper sat at her desk, bleary-eyed from a night of little sleep and a previous day of long labour. She looked over the list of things which Froma wanted from the Market. She looked at the list of things she needed from the Market. There was much too much to buy for one person and she was really very tired. She decided to make a long list for Iswyn and Talan to take to Market. They could carry back the lighter items and have the merchants deliver the other products later in the afternoon.

three geese, live
five ducks, live
cream cheese and head cheese
cinnamon sticks and cardamon pods--three handfuls each
cloves--two handfuls
sugar beets
teas--black, green, orange


Bêthberry chuckled slightly to herself at the thought of the two balancing the cages of the animals with the other goods. She was able to keep a goat and chickens behind the Inn but had no room nor water enough for larger fowl. She hoped Hamish would be able to deliver them himself as the end of the day. She went back to writing her list.

soap flakes and bars
twelve pillow slips
sheets for two beds
nails, thumb-length and forefinger-length, one bag each
a hammar
another set of tack for the stable
two pitchforks


Seeing Iswyn come down the stairs, she called to the girl.

"Iswyn, has Froma given you any crucial work to do this morning in the kitchen? Work that only you can do?"

"No, Theora can do the plucking for the chicken stew."

"Then here, take this list with Talan, and here's the coin you need, to market. You've a good head on your shoulders and you'll be able to choose the best looking birds. And mind that the cheese is not overripe."

Iswyn nodded with excitement. A valid, real reason to be at Market. She couldn't believe her luck. At least a half day away from work. And spending part of it with Talan and part--well, Iswyn didn't finish the thought. She wondered what Delia would think. Then she giggled and ran off to find the young lad.

Bêthberry sank back into her large wicker chair, sipping on her tea and nibbling again at her breakfast toast and honey. The sweet brought back her memories of her strange night conversation with Madi. How he had enjoyed the honey, saying, "Gold, gold" as he sniffed the bread before eating it. There was something whimsically dear about the little fellow's eagerness to please her, something which brought a smile to her face and lightened the tiredness she felt in her limbs and back.

She looked back over the papers on her desk and found that she had forgotten to add to Iswyn's list the cloth needed for the elegant new table linens. Frowning, she muttered to herself under her breath with frustration and then almost jumped when she felt a poke at her left side.

"Yipes," squealed the Innkeeper in surprise and saw, as she looked down, huge round eyes, hooded, peering up at her reprovingly.

"Berry," said Madi, "don't hurt yourself."

"I beg your pardon?" she exclaimed.

"Don't mad yourself. It hurts."

The Innkeeper smiled into the earnest dark eyes of the little man and once again impulsively ruffled his messy dark hair. He rested his small hand on her forearm.

"Well, what shall I do, Madi? I need a bolt of blue satin cloth and forgot to put it on the market list. And I can"t leave the Inn unattended. And everyone else has gone to Market."

Madi looked up at her, excitement shining in his face and giving him a lopsided grin.

"Madi will do," he said.

Bêthberry thought for a minute. A long minute. She looked at her list and then she looked back at Madi.

"Blue satin," she said. "I need a bolt of blue satin cloth." Madi nodded his head eagerly, so eagerly his hood fell off his face. There was still a rim of chocolate stain around his mouth, a faint line of moustache, and a smudge of it on his nose. Bethberry wiped it all gently with a small handkerchief from her pocket and then placed in his palm two gold and three silver coins.

"Run off now and do this simple chore for me," she said. "Bring me blue satin." Madi tightened his fingers around the coins and tried hard to remember all the sensations he was experiencing. He didn't want to fail her.

Bêthberry sank back into her chair, wondering if she would be able to catch up on sleep later in the day.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

OOC: Maedlyn, the miller Aldhelm's wife, is with child and will shortly give birth. XPhial, who runs these characters, is looking for someone to play the midwife. Anyone who is interested should PM XPhial. The birthing is expected a few days after Market Day.

And scroll back to VanimaEdhel's post. She is offering her character Winde to anyone who would like to take him over. He's a fun guy.


[ July 13, 2003: Message edited by: Bêthberry ]
__________________
I’ll sing his roots off. I’ll sing a wind up and blow leaf and branch away.
Bêthberry is offline  
Old 07-12-2003, 11:33 PM   #93
Thenamir
Spectre of Capitalism
 
Thenamir's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Battling evil bureaucrats at Zeta Aquilae
Posts: 987
Thenamir has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!Thenamir has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!Thenamir has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!Thenamir has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!Thenamir has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!Thenamir has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!Thenamir has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!Thenamir has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!Thenamir has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!Thenamir has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!Thenamir has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!
Sting

Laevin was up as usual before the dawn, with only a mild headache for the previous night's ale. It was a small price to pay for such a friendly and festive gathering.

After a small cold breakfast he readied his cart, which, of his own design, converted in a few steps to a market booth, already loaded and ready to show his metalworking wares -- all the common household metal goods that no home should be without. He was especially proud of his knives, polished and shiny, and sharp enough to shave with. He also would hone and sharpen blades that people brought in for a small fee. Mostly, though, he went to see everyone and to keep alive old friendships and contacts.

He arrived just as the earliest comers were setting up shop, and guided his new young workhorse to his normal spot in the rows of stalls. In a few motions he had unhitched his horse and was ready for the day. He spread out his wares just as the first market-goers began arriving.

A glance across the way espied Aldhelm and Deol in their usual spot, and Laevin was reminded of the new axlerod for the miller's expanding business. He would have to make sure to get the measurements before the day was out. Laevin did no baking of his own, except for the iron he baked at his shop, so he made plans to get his attention later in the market day. But he always carried a soft loaf or two to his market day, to show how sharp and fine his knives were...

And with that, his first customer began inspecting a new axe head, and the boisterous day had begun.
__________________
The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane.
~~ Marcus Aurelius
Thenamir is offline  
Old 07-13-2003, 08:45 AM   #94
Idgian
Pile O'Bones
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: under your bed
Posts: 11
Idgian has just left Hobbiton.
Tolkien

If Madi had ever had a more important mission, he couldn’t think of it. He scurried towards the market, tightly clutching the money in his small fist. With his face deeply hidden in the depths of his hood, he looked no more than an excited child.

He couldn’t believe Berry had agreed to set him to work already. That meant he was in line for some nice. All he had to do first was complete this simple chore – and it was simple for Berry told him so – and return to the inn with a blue satin bolt . . . whatever that was!

Madi could see the market square now, and the lines of stalls stretching ahead in the distance. He quickened his pace, and had to stop himself squealing with excitement. The other people travelling to market chattered among themselves oblivious to the impish figure dodging and weaving between them.

When Berry had taken him in last night, Madi immediately felt peaceful in her presence. The inn held many sights and colours for Madi’s quirky senses to taste and hear. He remembered fondly the moment Berry had sat him down and asked questions of his past. It had been some time since anyone took an interest in Madi.

It had been just after the angry kitchen man had thumped a pot of honey and a plate of rye bread down on the table, along with a hot chocolate for the strange newcomer. Madi and Bethberry sat looking at each other across a table beside the dying embers of a fire.

“Madi, will anyone be missing you?” Bethberry asked once the kitchen man had left the hall.

Madi wasn’t listening. He had noticed a red flower, set in a huge bunch of white lilies, and was transfixed by it.

“Madi!” Bethberry stressed. Instantly she won back the little man’s attention. “Will anyone be looking for you?”

“No,” replied Madi, as if the answer were obvious.

“What about your family?”

Madi shrugged. “Don’t know. Never met them!”

Bethberry sighed. “Let’s try this a different way. You tell me where you’ve come from, okay?”

“Mini Trith.”

Bethberry looked at Madi, long and hard. “Do you mean Minas Tirith?” she asked after a moment.

Madi rolled his big, dark eyes. “Madi said that: Minky Ting!”

Bethberry let it go, and gave a tired chuckle. “And what were you doing there?”

“Helping Master Jian,” Madi replied, and took a long noisy slurp of his chocolate. “Jian gave Madi nice,” he added reflectively, and wiped chocolate froth from the end of his nose.

“Then why did you leave?”

The impish figure gazed forlornly into space. His eyes began to moisten and his lower lip trembled. “Before Master Jian, people chased ugly Madi.”

Oh my, Bethberry thought, the sight of him frightened people. He was shunned. “This Master Jian took you in as a helper? He showed you kindness?”

Madi nodded, shaking a single tear onto his cheek. “Master Jian was old. He died. Madi was ugly again and ran away.”

“And you ran all the way here,” Bethberry whispered. Because you were too frightened to stay, she added mentally. “Well, you’ve come to the right place, Madi,” she said brightly, ruffling his unruly, black hair, and wiping the tear from his cheek. “We’ve an abundance of kindness here.”

Madi gave a cautious look at the kitchen door, and lowered his voice to a whisper. “Even the kitchen man?”

Bethberry gave out a light, rich laugh and patted Madi’s hand. “You little dear,” she chuckled. “I think perhaps you have had more than your fair share of questions for one night. Eat some of this honey and rye, and then sleep. We’ll talk more tomorrow.”

A rush of sound assaulted Madi’s senses and he came back to the present. He was in the thick of the market square now, and the atmosphere was almost overwhelming. He stood still and allowed the wash of noise to flow over him. This truly was a good place.

A bellowing voice, loud enough to be heard above the crowd’s tumult, reached his ears. It advertised wares for a stall. “Silks and satins! Sack-cloth and linen!”

Satin, thought Madi excitedly, and he made his way towards the sound of the voice.

There was something troubling Madi about his new friend, Berry, something he couldn’t shake. Last night, during their conversation and the immense kindness she had shown him, Madi realised that he couldn’t quite place the colour of her scent. It was a curious thing, but Madi associated different people with different colours. Each colour bore a particular smell. Usually they were variants of reds, greens, and blues, but with Berry he could smell an off-colour, a shade he’d never seen before, and now he was worried. Berry wanted him to buy her blue, but that was not Berry’s smell. She was not a blue person. Surely that meant he was buying the wrong thing!

He came to a stall displaying many different materials. The owner was a thin man, with dark coloured, sunburnt skin. He smiled wolfishly, and charmed a small group of women who paused to view his wares. Uninterested with the man’s banter, Madi crept closer to view the colours of the materials, using the bustling woman to hide him.

It wasn’t that Madi felt Berry didn’t understand her colour; she was, after all, a good and clever person. She was just unaware of it. He was sure. And as he spied some fine, blue silk on the stall, and sniffed deeply, he became positive of the fact. Berry did not realise that blue was not her colour.

Madi needed to remedy the situation. Trouble was he didn’t know the name of her colour smell. He could almost picture the shade in his head, but it always turned into the colour of the honey he’d eaten last night, for some reason. He scanned the rest of the materials on the stall. There was a red that came near, a yellow also, but none matched the scent of Berry.

Madi turned from the stall, hands on hips, and scoured the market place. He was determined to find the colour and return it to his new friend. It had to be somewhere. She would be so pleased if he could find her true colour. But where to find it!

A smell suddenly filled his nostrils, and Madi flinched. He looked about frantically, expecting to see the Landlady of the White Horse close by. But she was nowhere in sight. Madi sniffed the air again. Something near had the same colour scent as Berry! He closed his eyes, and followed the smell. After a few moments, which included curses by those who nearly trampled upon the small hooded figure, Madi bumped his forehead against the lip of a stall, and fell hard on his behind.

As Madi rose, simultaneously rubbing his head and rump, the owner of the stall peered over at him.

“Are you all right, little one?” she asked.

Madi ignored the question. He was staring at a small glass ball, sitting in amongst many other trinkets on a purple cushion. It sparkled dully in the sun’s light: not quite red, not quite yellow. He tried to grab it, but his arm wasn’t long enough.

The stall owner chuckled. “Here,” she said, “Do you want to see this?” She picked the ball up between thumb and forefinger. Madi nodded enthusiastically and held out a grabbing hand.

“It’s made of amber,” the stall lady said and dropped it onto Madi’s out-stretched palm.

“Amber,” Madi whispered. The word tasted right. He smelt the ball’s colour to make sure. A heady scent filled his nostrils and he sighed. There could be no mistake. Berry’s colour was Amber!

“You’ll have to pay for it, if you want to keep it,” The trinket seller said, a little distrusting of the small, hooded figure.

Madi frowned, and then remembered the money still clenched in his fist. Without hesitation, he dropped the handful of coins onto the lady’s stall. A huge, hidden smile of triumph split his face.

The stall-owner looked down at the coins scattered on her stall. She chuckled once again. “You needn’t pay a quarter of this,” she said. “Not for that small thing . . .” She looked up to find the hooded figure gone. She searched the milling crowd, but there was no sign of him.

Leaving the square and hitting the road back to the White Horse, Madi clutched the Amber ball in his fist even tighter than he’d clutched the money. He ran as fast as his legs would carry him, eager to present Berry with her true colour. This would be a good day for a good place.

[ July 13, 2003: Message edited by: Idgian ]
__________________
A voice comes to one in the dark . . . Imagine.
Idgian is offline  
Old 07-15-2003, 01:47 PM   #95
Sophia the Thunder Mistress
Scent of Simbelmynë
 
Sophia the Thunder Mistress's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Aboard Highwind, bound for Traverse Town
Posts: 1,834
Sophia the Thunder Mistress has just left Hobbiton.
Send a message via AIM to Sophia the Thunder Mistress
Sting

Iswyn nodded excitedly at Talan as she read off the items from Bêthberry's list. As she hurried to keep up with the young man's long strides her dress swished around her ankles. She was glad she'd taken the time to put on one of her nicer dresses that morning, just in case... She only wished she'd had a chance to do something nicer with her hair. Her eyes sparkled with excitement, and the quick walking brought a pink flush to her freckled cheeks.

Iswyn nodded absently, as Talan mentioned stopping first for the fowl. "And then..." Iswyn's smile was shy and her cheeks somewhat pinker than before. "Then we can split up, right Tal?" The young man cast a sidelong glance at Iswyn and chuckled, but she didn't notice it. All she saw was his nod, as he tore Bêthberry's list in half and thrust the first half into her hand. "Thanks Tal!"

The sounds of the market greeted them cheerily as soon as they neared the center of town, and following the sound they quickly found where Hamish had set up his stand. A tall man with a red face and hooked nose, Hamish was Bêthberry's preferred source for poultry, mainly because he could sometimes be prevailed upon to deliver in his wagon at the end of the day. Leaving Talan to haggle prices, and hopefully badger Hamish into delivering, Iswyn went round the side of the stall and peered through the wooden slats at the birds inside. Quickly selecting three of the plumpest geese and five ducks, Iswyn watched while Hamish nailed the struggling birds into smaller wooden crates. Tal gave her a grateful grin as he handed over the money for the fowl and reminded Hamish that he'd be back by for them later that afternoon.

As they walked away from the poultry stand, Talan tipped half of the money Bêthberry had given them into Iswyn's hand. She tucked it carefully in the pocket hanging at her waist, relishing the clink of coins as they settled into their new positions. Talan shot her a warning look. "Make sure those don't clink too much, Iswyn... not everyone around her can be trusted." He glanced around carefully.

Iswyn grinned. "I won't. And Tal, don't get any horrid pillowslips." She pointed to Bêthberry's list. "Get plain white, or perhaps with very small designs around the edges." Holding up her fingers to demonstrate small, the girl giggled. No sense in trusting a man to get pillow slips on his own. Talan coughed into his hand and muttered something. Iswyn nodded, "I won't be responsible, Tal, if Mistress Bêthberry thinks they're ugly." She poked the tip of her tongue out between pearly teeth at him.

"Your wish is my will, Lady Iswyn." He laughed, making a mock bow to her. "Do meet me back at Hamish's an hour past noon!" he called back over his shoulder as he disappeared into the buzz of the marketplace.

On her own now, Iswyn wandered through the stalls smelling deeply and stopping now and then to finger the fine materials and satin ribbons at some of the stalls. She had a bit of pocket money, she might be back later for a bright blue ribbon or a bit of fine lace to trim a handkerchief. She let her eyes wander lazily over her half of Bêthberry's list as she walked:

cream cheese and head cheese
cinnamon sticks and cardamon pods--three handfuls each
cloves--two handfuls
sugar beets
teas--black, green, orange


The spices attracted her first, and she leaned over a bin of cloves, breathing in their exotic smell with relish. Before she lowered her hand in, however, to measure out the required two handfuls, she paused. Did she really want to do all her shopping right off? She'd have to carry the heavy parcels with her all day... Iswyn pulled her hand back from the bin of cloves, sniffing appreciatively once more. It wouldn't do to get laden down too early. Simply wouldn't do.
__________________
The seasons fall like silver swords, the years rush ever onward; and soon I sail, to leave this world, these lands where I have wander'd. O Elbereth! O Queen who dwells beyond the Western Seas, spare me yet a little time 'ere white ships come for me!
Sophia the Thunder Mistress is offline  
Old 07-15-2003, 02:17 PM   #96
elven maiden Earwen
Ghost Prince of Cardolan
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: A world that never was and never will be
Posts: 1,325
elven maiden Earwen has just left Hobbiton.
Send a message via AIM to elven maiden Earwen
Shield

Ravenna sat inside cutting cloth. She hadn’t gotten much done today as she was distracted by the lively music playing outside. She hadn’t been to the Farmer’s Market in a while and couldn’t wait to be let out for their afternoon break. Ravenna looked down at her scissors. They weren’t cutting well and Ravenna noticed they had a dull edge. Just then Annawyn entered carrying a basket of the items she bought.

“Girls” Annawyn said clapping three times to get their attention. “Go outside and get some fresh air, but I expect you to be back soon” she said dismissing them.

“Annawyn, my scissors edge is blunt and do not cut well. I need to get them fixed.” Ravenna said.

“Yes you do.” Annawyn said studding the scissors. “Go to Laevin's booth in the market. He is a smith and will repair them for you”.

“Yes Madam.” Ravenna said before hurrying off with Mellaith towards the market.
The streets were filled with people, walking around getting their supplies for the week. Young children chased each other as the adults wandered around stopping to make their purchases. The girls smiled and giggled as they made their way down the streets.

“Mellaith, I have to stop to get my scissors fixed” Ravenna said as she pointed towards a booth. They headed towards the booth. A man stood helping his customers.

“Hello, Laevin are you not? Ravenna asked.

“Yes I am, and how may I help you on such a fine day?”

“Annawyn sent me to get my scissors sharpened” Ravenna said handing them to Laevin.

“They will be ready soon.” Laevin said as he watched Ravenna dropped a few coins into his hand. “Thank you”. Ravenna and Mellaith walked off.

“Ravenna look!” Mellaith exclaimed.” It’s Bellawyn”. She quickly ran over to wear Bellawyn stood holding a basket; she used to fill with her purchases.

“Bellawyn! I haven’t seen you in forever” Mellaith said as she greeted her old friend. “What are you doing here?”

“My mum sent me to do the weekly purchasing.” She said a wide smile on her face. “You want to help?” the girls agreed with eager smiles as they followed Bellawyn down the street. They bought fruits and vegetables and meat and poultry. They saw all kings of things such as beautiful jewelry and clothing. The girls purchased some small trinkets. Soon they knew they should be heading home, so they bid Bellawyn goodbye and headed home.

“My scissors!” Ravenna exclaimed
remembering that she hadn’t picked them up. The two girls hurried to Laevin’s booth.

“Excuse me sir. Are my scissors ready?”

“I was starting to believe you had forgotten about them” he said as he turned around and handed them to her. “Here they are.”

“Thank you” she said as she and Mellaith scurried home. Just in time she thought as they made it home. The rest of the girls were just getting back too.
__________________
We pillage and plunder, we rifle and loot,
Drink up me hearties, Yo Ho.
the looniest site in the world!!!
elven maiden Earwen is offline  
Old 07-15-2003, 03:45 PM   #97
The X Phial
Shade of Carn Dûm
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Out there with the truth. Come find me.
Posts: 320
The X Phial has just left Hobbiton.
Sting

Deol wandered around the market on what his boss called a "scouting mission." He was to return in a few hours with an accounting of at least 20 potential customers to the stall. Aldhelm was always giving him chores like this. He called them grooming exerises, a chance to expand Deol's view of the business from simply grinding grain and carrying bags of flour.

"After all," the miller would often say, "there's more to milling than milling."

Deol liked his master and knew that he was relatively lucky when it came to apprenticeships. His father, a tanner, had been killed in a raid when he was young and none of the other tanners were keen to take on the son of their former competition as an apprentice. Luckily, Aldhelm had only a daughter and needed an apprentice to ensure the continuance of the mill. If all went according to plan Deol would marry Lathyn, the daughter and through her inherit at least partial ownership of the mill. Even if the new child was a son, his future was secure.

The problem with all of this, of course, was that Deol was 16 and Lathyn 9, hardly the stuff of the romantic tales he heard weekly at the inn and that his mother used to tell him long ago. Deol liked his future wife well enough, for a child, but she had the infuriating habit of following him around the property when he was supposed to be working. And she was so quiet, it unnerved him. Usually on market days she would ride into town to help with the shopping, but her mother was very close to the end of her confinement now and needed all the help she could get around the house. Deol revelled in his freedom. He had two hours in which to wander the market with no Aldhelm and no Lathyn on his tail.

From somewhere behind him, Deol heard a familiar laugh. He turned to see Iswyn watching an impomptu play on the market square. He knew, Iswyn, of course, from his deliveries. She was usually elbow deep in dishwater, but even then he found her pretty. Now, with her hair neat and her nice clothes on, she seemed to him the fairest girl he had ever seen. Shoving aside the niggling voice of reason that said he was already intended, he went and bought a small bouquet from one of the women walking the market.

"Fair lady," he said as he approached her, in only a half mocking tone, "would you do me the honor of walking with me through the market." He presented the bouquet and winked, trying hard not to blush.
__________________
But then there was a star danced, and under that was I born.
The X Phial is offline  
Old 07-16-2003, 07:56 AM   #98
Lyra Greenleaf
The Diaphanous Dryad
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: R toL: 531, past the wild path
Posts: 1,180
Lyra Greenleaf has just left Hobbiton.
Silmaril

Theora rocked back on her heels as she observed the tub full of…white. There was bed linen, table linen, napkins, aprons and more. All sorts, soaking now. But for how long? Theora made a mental note to ask Froma. Laundering was one thing that she had rarely done at home and it wasn’t quite as easy as washing up. Stifling a sigh she turned her gaze around the kitchen. Various girls and a few men had passed through, laughing, talking and having fun. It made her miss her family. She’d seen Iswyn and exchanged a few words, but they were both busy. Deliberately she made herself stop moaning and get on with her work.

She dried her hands on her apron as she looked for Froma to find out what to do next. He smiled as he saw her.
“Overwhelmed?” he asked kindly. Theora began to nod, then stopped herself.
“I’ll be fine” she said determinedly. “What shall I do now?”
“I’ll show you” Froma answered, then led the way to a little table in the corner of the kitchen. On it was a cup, a plate of bread and cold meat, and a number of chickens.
“First” he began, holding up one thick finger “you eat. Second, pluck these chickens. Third, you take a break- stay here if you want, or visit the market. This afternoon you can get on with the washing. Will that do?” he asked with a twinkle in his eye. Theora smiled back gratefully.

[ July 16, 2003: Message edited by: Lyra Greenleaf ]
__________________
“Sylphs of the forest,” I whispered. “Spirits of oak, beech and ash. Dryads of Rowan and hazel, hear us. You who have guided and guarded our every footstep, you who have sheltered our growth, we honour you."
the Forbidden Link
Lyra Greenleaf is offline  
Old 07-16-2003, 02:56 PM   #99
VanimaEdhel
Etheral Enchantress
 
VanimaEdhel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Wellesley College!
Posts: 1,473
VanimaEdhel has just left Hobbiton.
Send a message via AIM to VanimaEdhel Send a message via MSN to VanimaEdhel
Silmaril

Finally Castar saw Windheneb approach his table from his cart a little way down. Castar looked at his own table, which was growing increasingly emptier as the day went on, as Castar had hoped. When customers were not visiting the stand, Castar had taken to people-watching. Most of the people he had watched had been the ladies that had passed by Winde's cart, admiring both the young man's wares and appearance. Winde himself seemed to be admiring comely girls of every age. From some pretty sixteen-year old girls that had come to admire the dresses he made to a woman clearly over forty, who was still pretty in her middle age, Winde had given attention to nearly any girl that passed. The women didn't seem to mind either, Castar noted. All of them had smiled and most had even come over to either buy from the outgoing young man or to return the attention. As Castar marvelled at Winde's ability with women, the handsome flirt arrived at the table.

"Do you want to meet one of my sisters?" Winde asked, not bothering with a formal greeting. Without waiting for an answer, he started heading back towards his stand.

Soon a pretty woman not much older than Winde came heading over to the table. She looked like a feminine version of Windheneb, her long, dark, straight hair spilling loose over her back. Her piercing grey eyes showed the same mischief in them that Windheneb had. With a small tinge of regret, Castar remembered that Winde had said that both of his sisters were married.

With a start, Castar remembered that he was still standing there, and that he had not greeted her as a polite gentleman should.

"Greetings, m'Lady," Castar said to the beautiful sister, trying to remember all of the etiquette his parents had tried to no avail to teach him when he was younger. He awkwardly tried to bow, but a stray strand of hair that had escaped his ponytail got into his mouth, causing him to splutter and quickly rise again. He looked at the woman, a small blush on his face.

The woman, he could tell, was trying not to laugh, but was failing miserably. Castar looked to Winde for help, but Winde had backed off a bit in the hopes, it seemed, that Castar would not see that he was nearly to the point of collapsing at Castar's attempt at civility. Castar sighed and looked around helplessly.

"I-I'm sorry," the woman said, trying to control her giggles. She took a breath and quieted herself, a smile reappearing on her lips every now and again as she slipped into and out of control of her laughter. "I am Zîra. I hope my brother has not troubled you too much."

Zîra, as she introduced herself, took Castar's hand in a hard shake. Castar looked at his hand when it came away and massaged the throbbing pain that was now in it.

"N-no, not at all," Castar stammered quietly, still blushing slightly and a bit overwhelmed by the woman's handshake. Not able to think of anything more suave to say, Castar settled for the lame question, "So, you're Winde's brother?"

"Sadly, yes," Winde piped up, coming back, still wheezing a bit from his laughter. "I am sorry, friend. I just have not heard anyone call Zîra 'm'Lady' since...well, I do not think I have heard anyone say that." He continued, feigning sincerity, "And that was a beautiful, graceful bow you have there, friend. You may consider taking up dancing instead of all that womanly pottery."

"This from a man that makes clothing," Zîra said, voicing Castar's thoughts. Castar snorted accidentally at the comment, causing Winde to look at him. Castar quickly set a serious look on his face.

"I shall be heading back to our unattended stand now," Zîra said, "I wonder if anything will be left or has it all been stolen? Oh wait, I forgot, Winny made the clothing: it'll all still be there. Oh, I did not catch your name. I tend to like to know all of Winny's handsome friends."

"I am Caster," Castar said quickly, "I mean, my real name is Luthur, but everyone calls me Castar."

"Okay then, Luthur," Zîra said, smiling a bit, "I will see you around, yes?"

Castar thought he grunted a reply, but he was not sure. Zîra moved back to the clothing cart, leaving Windheneb and Castar standing at the pottery table.

"I really hate when she calls me Winny," Winde said, scowling a bit after her, "She always does it in front of my friends too."

Castar smiled after her, "You said she was married."

"Yes, with kids, friend, so do not get any ideas," Winde said, "So, how shall we spend the afternoon?"

"I think I would like to wander the market, if it is find with you," Castar said.

"That sounds beautiful," Windheneb said. Castar packed up what was left of his pottery and moved it over near Castar's cart, leaving the table to save his spot for when he returned. He took the Elvish cloth and kept it with them, in case they should meet a stray Elf on their travel through the market.

The two bought some food from the giggly girls that had been looking at Windheneb when he first met Castar. Then they proceeded to wander around the market, each stopping occasionally to buy family presents.
__________________
"I think we dream so we don't have to be apart so long. If we're in each others dreams, we can be together all the time." - Hobbes of Calvin and Hobbes
VanimaEdhel is offline  
Old 07-17-2003, 03:25 PM   #100
Aylwen Dreamsong
The Melody of Misery
 
Aylwen Dreamsong's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: The Island of Conclusions (You get there by jumping!)...
Posts: 1,162
Aylwen Dreamsong has just left Hobbiton.
Sting

The White Horse would have a quiet Farmers Market day, seeing as how most folk were at the busy market. Aylwen felt a tad bad to leave Bêthberry alone at the Inn with only Froma and a few maids for company, but at the same time Aylwen was so glad and excited to have the chance to explore the market. It was new to her and something different to see, for she had rarely gotten the chance to visit the market in Minas Tirith, where she was from. Aylwen had originally planned on going to the market with Talan and Iswyn, but they appeared to have everything ready to be taken care of.

The first stall Aylwen stopped at was a glass blowing stall. Several people stopped as well when they passed by the stall, looking not only at the vases and ornaments already made, but also at the man that was having a demonstration. Aylwen watched, entranced, as the man blew the glass through a large reed-looking pole and watched him add glass powder to the mix. She watched him shape the molten ingredients into a lovely blue-green perfume bottle. Then she moved on, continuing to explore the stalls.

On a few occassions Aylwen thought she saw Talan or Iswyn, but the image was gone in a flash as people moved about the market busily. Aylwen passed by stalls selling mugs and goblets, jewelry and pottery, honey and beeswax products, and much more. Her second full stop was at a stall selling musical instruments from around Middle-Earth. There was even a little section full of panpipes! Aylwen had her own seven-piped set in her wasit pouch, but she picked up several sets of panpipes at the stall. One was two-rowed and tuned lower than usual. Another tenor set of panpipes had twenty-three pipes, and to be played correctly had to be played in a zig-zagged style from top row to bottom row. It was all so interesting, but Aylwen still preferred the panpipes her mother had made for her so long ago.

Aylwen watched one or two children get their faces painted one stall over from the instrument stall, quite intrigued with the accuracy and the designs chosen by the children. There were dragons and intricate leaves and symbols painted onto the small chubby children faces. The painter must've known some form of elvish to some extent, for several children walked away giddily with what looked like elvish on their cheeks.

Aylwen continued until she stopped at a jewelry shop, eyeing the items in turn as they caught her eye. One in particular looked interesting and beautiful to Aylwen; a small bracelet of weaved bronze with a thistle head at either end and a small opening to make it easier to put on. It was lovely and wonderfully made, and the stallkeeper noticed Aylwen's interest and went over to speak with the black-haired young woman at the front of her stall.

"It was made by my son," the woman who owned the stall intoned proudly, gently taking the bracelet from Aylwen's hands. "The story behind it is quite simple. My oldest son is a soldier, and the border of Gondor has been ravaged by orcs and easterlings of late. One night, a raiding party of easterlings was preparing to invade the camp my son was in. However, they crossed a patch of thistles barefoot, and they began to let out their yelps of pain. This alerted the camp, and my son said they were able to fight them off."

"How very interesting...and it is quite beautiful." Aylwen commented, and the woman nodded. Aylwen thought it would make a perfect little gift for Bêthberry, for letting Aylwen come and help at the White Horse and welcoming her so kindly. Aylwen withdrew a few coins and traded with the stallwoman, and walked away as she put the bracelet carefully into her waist pouch.

Her attention was mostly on outting the bracelet away, and Aylwen bumped into two young men who were stationary in front of a shop selling quilts. Aylwen and the two men stumbled, and Aylwen turned around, immediately ready to apologize.

"Forgive me! I was not looking where I was going!" Aylwen blurted out, not even giving the two men a chance to dust themselves off. One of them chuckled, and the other looked at his laughing companion. The chuckling one was dark-haired and had stormy grey eyes. His companion had lighter hair and did not look as confident or boisterous as his friend.

"That's quite alright, lady. At least no one fell to the ground, else they would have been trampled by the folk around here," the dark-haired man replied, his voice friendly and warm. "I am Windheneb, and this quiet man next to me is Castar. And you are...?"

"Aylwen," the young woman replied, her eyes slightly squinted. What an odd pair! Windheneb was quite confident and had an air that nearly sent him over the edge as arrogant or cocky. Castar seemed a tad more reserved, but friendly just the same. Edoras, although smaller than her old home of Minas Tirith, was a lot more thrilling and exciting than home.
__________________
...Come down now, they'll say. But everything looks perfect from far away - Come down now! But we'll stay.
Aylwen Dreamsong is offline  
Old 07-19-2003, 10:59 AM   #101
Daniel Telcontar
Ghost Prince of Cardolan
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Denmark
Posts: 713
Daniel Telcontar has just left Hobbiton.
Sting

Talan walked around, enjoying the smell of food from many stalls. Since he and Iswyn had split up, he hadn't really concentrated on getting the shopping done. Every time he had set his mind on getting through the list, his concentration was stealed by the many artists performing.

He managed to get through the list, though, even the infamous pillowslips. He had a bit of trouble carrying all the things, including the pitchforks, and had he not been of such a size, a few venders with sore behinds might have picked a fight. The sight of his big fists removed any lust for fight, though.

Talan continued his walk, not sure of what to do. He had all the things, but it was still to early to meet Iswyn. He then saw a small boy, who bumped into him. The boy apologised, and tried to run off into the crowd, had not a pitchfork caught his trousers.

"Give me back me money, lad, or I'll put this here pitchfork a bit higher, and not to your liking," he threatened. Chagrined, the boy gave him his purse, and then quickly removed himself, afraid of any further vengeance.

Talan thought if he should pursue the matter. The money was not his, and though it was just a few coins, it would not have been nice to tell Bethberry the truth. But he knew how it was like to be a pickpocket in that age, and since there had been no harm, no reason to waste more time on that. He made his way to Hamish, and waited for Iswyn to appear.
__________________
Two beer or not two beer, that is the question; by Shakesbeer
Daniel Telcontar is offline  
Old 07-19-2003, 06:29 PM   #102
Horse-Maiden of the Shire
Ghost Prince of Cardolan
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Chillaxin' with Glorfindel-441 miles on the RtR
Posts: 1,202
Horse-Maiden of the Shire has just left Hobbiton.
Sting

Aleia entered the bustling market, and at once a thousand sights, smells and sounds hit her senses. She loved Farmer's Markets; they were the best place to buy trinkets and such. She browsed the stalls, completely oblivious of other customers' bargains, although she kept a hand on her money pouch. Aleia had been in enough markets to know that pickpockets struck in the simplest of ways; just being bumped into could lose you your money.

As Aleia moved over to a stall selling pottery, she felt someone stumble against her. She whirled around, keeping her hand on her pouch, just to see that it was only Talan.

"Hello, Aleia! Keeping a sharp eye on your money, I see," he greeted, adding, "I was already victimized this morning."

"My, they are out early!" Aleia exclaimed. "Did you get your money back?"

"Yes, luckily. I just know enough of the streets to know when I am being pickpocketed," answered Talan.

"Well, that's always a handy talent." Aleia said. He smiled and said, "Come browse with me, Aleia. I have some things to pick up, and you may see something you like. I am meeting Iswyn soon as well." Aleia hesitated only a moment before obliging. She might find that she needed some items too.

[ July 20, 2003: Message edited by: Horse-Maiden of the Shire ]
__________________
"There's a big...machine in the sky...some kind of electric snake...coming straight at us."
"Shoot it," said my attorney.
"Not yet...I want to study its habits."
Horse-Maiden of the Shire is offline  
Old 07-19-2003, 08:55 PM   #103
Sophia the Thunder Mistress
Scent of Simbelmynë
 
Sophia the Thunder Mistress's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Aboard Highwind, bound for Traverse Town
Posts: 1,834
Sophia the Thunder Mistress has just left Hobbiton.
Send a message via AIM to Sophia the Thunder Mistress
Sting

Iswyn spun at the sound of the voice behind her, her plaited hair whipping against her cheeks at the sudden movement. Seeing Deol standing there, tentatively holding out his bunch of flowers, pinkened her cheeks a little, but catching on to the fun she bobbed her head mischievously. "Good day, kind sir." She took the flowers from him shyly, careful not to touch his fingers.

Giggling slightly at his cheeky wink, the two turned away from the play and began to walk back in the direction of the spice stall Iswyn had visited earlier. She snuck sidelong glances up at Deol's face as they walked. She'd seen him around of course, but there had never been much time for more than a bit of fun in passing. He was tall and rather lanky, but not bad looking all the same, and Iswyn had always appreciated his smiles and small jokes. They walked for a bit, without talking, before Iswyn suddenly remembered her errand.

"I have to do a bit of shopping," she said apologetically, "for Mistress Bethberry." She looked at him more fully than she had before, but he was smiling.

"I could come along, if you like," he said, somewhat hesitantly. "Maybe carry things?" Iswyn's face turned even pinker than before, and she inwardly cursed herself as she felt her cheeks grow hot. Grinning in spite of her embarrassment she nodded. The two wound their way between the stalls and vendors, Iswyn privately grateful that her shopping gave her something to be businesslike about, as she barely dared open her mouth. Deol, for his part, steered her far away from Aldhelm's booth and accepted each parcel she handed him with a smile.

After the spice booth, where Iswyn carefully measured handfuls of cloves, cinnamon and cardamon pods into tiny cloth bags, there was the farmstand where they shopped for cheeses. Last there was a small sweet scented stall, Iswyn loved the tea-merchant's best. The sharp smelling leaves in their array of wooden boxes fascinated her. Today she was after simple teas, but the exotic ones were the most intriguing. She held up a little box for Deol to smell, tea with mint and some purple berry, sweet and fresh smelling.

After the dark inside of the tea merchant's booth, the daylight stung Iswyn's eyes and she blinked hard, after the strong smells the air felt empty. Her shopping finished, Iswyn and Deol wandered the market aimlessly, stopping to look at the blown glass and watch the dancers who skipped playfully to the music of a lone fiddler. Passing a stand she'd seen earlier, Iswyn hesitated. The colored silks and ribbons fluttered in the light breeze, their brightness calling out to her. She chewed her lip absently as she wavered, then snatched two skeins of ribbon from the stand.

Holding up the two skeins, one a bright green and the other a periwinkle blue. "Which would suit me better?" she asked Deol, a mischeivous grin on her face. Color flooded his cheeks again as he looked back and forth from the ribbons to Iswyn.

After a short deliberation he pointed to the skein in her right hand. "That one." Iswyn smiled, as she carefully replaced the blue ribbon on the rack and handed the green to the woman in the stall. She'd rather fancied the green herself. She watched carefully as the woman cut a short length of ribbon from the spool, cutting at a diagonal so that the thread wouldn't unravel. Carefully Iswyn counted out a few coins and paid for her prize. As they left the booth she carefully tied the green ribbon around the stems of her bouquet. Iswyn smiled to herself, she didn't know if she had ever felt more grown up.
__________________
The seasons fall like silver swords, the years rush ever onward; and soon I sail, to leave this world, these lands where I have wander'd. O Elbereth! O Queen who dwells beyond the Western Seas, spare me yet a little time 'ere white ships come for me!
Sophia the Thunder Mistress is offline  
Old 07-20-2003, 09:36 PM   #104
Bêthberry
Cryptic Aura
 
Bêthberry's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 6,072
Bêthberry is wading through snowdrifts on Redhorn.Bêthberry is wading through snowdrifts on Redhorn.Bêthberry is wading through snowdrifts on Redhorn.
Boots

Market bustle was at its height. People were thronging the stalls and the square in active pursuit of trade and friendly chat. Animals squawked and donkeys brayed. Children hooted. From somewhere came a crash and then a tumble of wooden crates. The sky was filled with a brace of fluttering wings as ducks escaped, followed by a yell and a curse, which sped them faster away. Above this buzzing hum of voices could be heard the grating whine of Laevin's whetstone as he sharpened scissors and knives, axes and farm implements.

Into this din of commerce and play limped a rather bony, stooped figure lugging a small cart. The cart held myriad things: dilapidated objects, unused or no longer wanted items, broken goods--all things for which the people of Edoras could no longer imagine a use or need. The stooped figure was Ruthven, Edoras' junk lady, who single-handedly was responsible for much of the current trade in second hand items and found goods in Edoras. It was her particular skill that she had such a clever, inventive imagination. Many in Edoras shunned her for her lowly trade but few could resist her manner of finding new ways with old things. There were more than a few households which had bought from her the same item twice over, after having previously discarded it. It was a joke she never shared with anyone, but savoured it herself.

A beggar Ruthven first appeared but then appearances could be deceiving. Her clothes were indeed old, worn, frayed, but they were clean and even properly mended. Her thin grey hair had been plaited round her head that morning even if stray whisps and strands were now escaping the braided coils. It was true that she squinted with one eye but perhaps that was to occlude the sun's bright rays.

"Rags! Bottles! Oldenwares!" she cried, not trying to raise her voice above the din but directing it towards likely groups of people who then clustered around her cart at this sign of personal appeal. Thus it was that a scurrying little figure, trying to dodge between tall figures, plowed right into the two-wheeled cart, which, tipping over, spilled its contents out on top of him.

Pots clattered. Glasses clinked. Children's wooden blocks and rag dolls tumbled out. A salvaged bolt of blue cloth unrolled over the little fellow as he struggled to throw off a night shirt and frilly chemise which had fallen over his head.

"Eeeek," shreaked Madi, sniffing the musky red odour of the night shirt as he continued his efforts to disentangle himself. The crowd around the cart laughed and then moved on. Madi was at least grateful his face had remained hidden.

"Mind my goods there, you scamp," grumbled Ruthven. "It's bad enough you've lost me customers without ruining my goods into the bargain." She hastily shuffled over to rescue the blue fabric from being tromped on and carefully rewound the bolt. "This is my special find from Annawen's rejects."

The scent of the blue material stirred something in Madi's memory, but he could not say exactly what. Then he remembered and began to cry excitably.

"Berry's colour! Berry's colour! It's gone!" Madi had dropped the amber stone when the cart toppled over on him. He dove to the ground, pawing the packed earth for it, sniffing desperately and even tasting stones in hopes of retrieving the amber.

"No, no, no. No. No. This is not good. Berry won't be happy. Madi won't get some nice." A forelorn grimace spread over Madi's face, although few could tell, for his hood still covered much of his head.

"You're daft, you are," pronounced Ruthven. "Come on now, help me for all the trouble you've given me. I've got to take these toys to the White Horse where the Innkeeper wants some things for the children who play there."

"For Berry, for the Landlady? Toys for Berry?" Madi asked. "Madi will help. Maybe this will be good," Madi moaned.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

It was a comic sight to many, the stooped old woman and the small figure pulling the cart with the jerky motions of their unmatched gaits. Still, they finally reached The White Horse and Madi found himself knocking once again at the place he had decided was good. This time Madi was not so sure.

"Bethberry, I've got some exchanges for you," called out the junk lady. Madi bit his lower lip to keep it from trembling as the Innkeeper appeared at the door, looking as sleepy as she had the first time Madi had seen her.

"I'll take those pillow slips you promised in exchange for the toys," said Ruthven.

Bethberry nodded agreement as she walked around the cart to examine the toys. With surprise, she nearly stumbled over Madi, who had crouched down beside one wheel.

"Ruthven, is this another of your reclamation projects?" she asked smilingly.

"He cost me many customers at Market, so he's paying me back in help with pulling the cart."

"Madi, you do get around," exclaimed the Innkeeper, tickling him under the chin. "And what of your simple chore for me?" Just then she noticed the bolt of fabric in the cart.

"Well, this isn't the nicest looking bolt of blue satin I've ever seen, but it will do," she said to Madi, who finally recalled what the blue had reminded him of.

Ruthven was about to offer a price for the fabric but Madi began pulling secretively at her sleeve.

"Madi will help more," he spoke up, looking brightly into her face, "for Berry's gift." His lips were pursed as tightly together as his protruding teeth would allow, his wide eyes holding a keen, pleading, desperate look.

Bethberry, gathering the building blocks and dolls into her arms with the blue satin, noticed this exchange merely in passing.

"Well, Madi, you'll have to decide just how many of us you can handle. You might think I'm a soft touch but Ruthven here drives a shrewd bargain," she laughed.

"Soft touch," snorted Ruthven, "you've the canniest way of dealing with people, Innkeeper. There's iron beneath that soft touch."

Bethberry chuckled in reply and then turned to enter the Inn.

"You both look hot after the long walk you've had to bring this here. Come in for some iced tea or lemonade."

"You owe me, little man," whispered Ruthven to Madi as she followed Bethberry into the Horse. Madi frowned and pursed his lips as he stared after the two women. How would Madi get some nice now? he thought, as he trundled in after them.
__________________
I’ll sing his roots off. I’ll sing a wind up and blow leaf and branch away.
Bêthberry is offline  
Old 07-20-2003, 11:03 PM   #105
The X Phial
Shade of Carn Dûm
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Out there with the truth. Come find me.
Posts: 320
The X Phial has just left Hobbiton.
Sting

Deol felt that all was right with the world. He had enjoyed carrying Iswyn's packages and laughing with her as they explored the stalls. It was like a happy dream. No cares and a pretty girl at his side who blushed and chattered and never made him think about the future or stared at him with solemn assessing eyes. A look at the sky, however, brought him sharply to the realisation that he had only a few minutes left before he was expected back at Aldhelm's stall. He turned to Iswyn, sadly.

"I wish I could stay and help you take these things back to the inn, Iswyn, but Aldhelm is expecting me in a few minutes and I still have to think up something to tell him about my 'mission.'"

"What mission," the girl asked, pouting only slightly and not looking thrilled about carrying all the packages back to the inn.

"Something about identifying 20 new customers, I don't know. I'll think of something." He pulled a face and Iswyn laughed.

He went to a nearby stall and with his own money bought a large basket for Iswyn's purchases.

"It's not as good as someone else carrying it, but it will at least make it easier for you to get around," he said, and they shared a smile.

He left Iswyn by the square where they had met up and dashed through the market to the miller's stall. He arrived, panting and out of breath and gasped an apology for his lateness, not noticing that Aldhelm was busy with a customer. By the time the miller turned to acknowledge his apprentice he was breathing normally again.

"So," the older man asked jovially, "how went your exploring?"

"Well, I suppose. I saw a lot of housewives, but I think most of them already get their flour from us."

Aldhelm nodded. "And what did you notice about customers, and potential customers?"

"Well," Deol hestitated, stalling for time. He hadn't noticed anything, of course, but he had to have some kind of answer. "I didn't notice anything in common, really," he finally admitted in defeat. To his shock, the miller's face beamed.

"Such a clever boy, I wish you were my son. Well, soon enough."

Deol's cheeks burned with pride and shame, simultaneously. How had he earned such praise?

Aldhelm, who could tell that the boy was puzzled, explained.

"Every customer and potential customer is different. They are all unique people and the key to being a good businessman is being able to see what they really want. Of course, they want flour, or sometimes honey, but they all want something more.

"Rylwyn, who you saw me just speaking to, wants reassurances that she is still beautiful, so she flirts a bit. I don't flirt back, of course, but I always find a way to compliment her looks in some way. Makes her look forward to coming to the market, to picking up her flour. Other people want to joke or just get their flour and leave. You, Deol, will have to learn to see what people really want."

He saw that the boy was still puzzled and decided to let him think on the idea a bit.

"Now, I have to take some calculations over to Laevin and do some shopping, and you have to watch the stall. No mission for the rest of the day, just treat the customers well as I know you always do."

With that the miller left his apprentice and strolled through the market himself. He waved to the other vendors and danced a bit to some of the music, garnering a laugh. Once he felt a bump and saw a small boy scamper away, shouting an apology. He picked up the few things needed back at the mill; soap, a few strips of fine linen for swaddling clothes, candles, and a fine bone comb for Lathyn as a present and reward. The girl had been working very hard of late.

He stopped by Laevin's on the way back to his stall, intending to drop off the measurements for the new axle. When he got there he realised the pouch he used for holding his writing supplies was missing and remembered the boy. He chuckled to himself. The little thief had missed the money and taken the small inkstone and parchments instead. He apologised to the blacksmith, who seemed just as amused, and promised to have the measurements to him soon.

"It's your timetable, Aldhelm, not mine," Laevin laughed.

Aldhelm picked up a new inkstone and pouch and headed back to the stall. He saw the Deol had sold all of the remaining honey and was chatting with a fuller's wife. The market day had gone well, by all accounts. He considered stopping by the White Horse on his way out of town for an ale and never considered for a moment that Deol might have his own motivations for wanting to stop there as well.
__________________
But then there was a star danced, and under that was I born.
The X Phial is offline  
Old 07-20-2003, 11:25 PM   #106
Kryssal
Wight
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: I be one of those hick Utahns.
Posts: 180
Kryssal has just left Hobbiton.
Silmaril

Shrae looked at the monstrous market with a lot of apprehension. She hadn't been to a large city in several years and being in huge crowds like this didn't set well with her. Reen, on the other hand, was having a wonderful time; his little bald blond head kept turning from side to side watching people as they walked from one stand to another with his bright blue eyes.

Adjusting the cloth that was holding the little eight month old to her body so that her hands were free, Shrae grabbed up a small bundle of clothes and started twisting her way through the crowd. It would have been so much easier if Lowfel had simply met them at the house, but it was market day and he needed as much money as he could get, especially since Shrae and Reen were moving in and neither of them would be bringing in any money. Plus, Shrae gave an inward, slightly guilty shrug, he didn’t know that they had arrived yet. There were so many people in one place how was the small village girl supposed to find her brother in all of this? Shrae spotted a nice looking woman buying an interesting looking hat and walked up to her.

"Excuse me, I was wondering if you knew where the carpenter Lowfel sets up?"

The woman turned to her looking slightly miffed. Shrae knew her appearance wasn't the best. Her long light brown hair was flying out of the ribbon she had tied it with and her brown eyes were wearily drooping from traveling. Shrae wasn’t pretty by any means, more homely than anything, but she was kind and polite at least. The woman turned her nose up a bit and said in a stuffy tone, "I do not." Then she turned her back toward Shrae.

Shrae was stunned. She only came back to herself when a small boy bumped into her causing Reen to turn sharply, his head knocking the bottom of her chin. Turning slowly Shrae started to go on to the next stall when someone touched her arm. She jumped making Reen look up at her questioningly.

"I'm sorry," said a nice looking girl with a basket full of goods. "I overheard you asking that woman where the carpenter stand was."

"Oh," Shrae was at a lost for words, and her confusion was showing.

"It's a little further down on the right hand side. Do you see that horse, his stand is right beyond that. He makes the most wonderful boxes, I just got this for my mother," she held up a small, simple box with a thin lid. It was completely smooth with a deep color of brown.

"Did you know," Shrae spoke up, "that he also makes chairs, tables, chests and shelves. He can do anything with wood, it's all quite wonderful."

The girl raised her eyebrows. "I didn't. I thought that he only sold what he kept at the stall."

"Thank you for the help," Shrae smiled and nodded at the girl as they parted ways. Walking quickly she got to Lowfel's stand in a few minutes. He looked tired, but when he saw her he smiled and rushed to give her a hug, careful not to squish Reen between them.

"When did you get in, you weren't supposed to be here till next week." Lowfel's lean frame seemed to have gained a little stomach pouch since the last time Shrae had seen him.

"Well, your travelling friend showed up early so instead of making him sit in the village with all his wares for another week, we packed up the rest of my stuff and headed out. I noticed that the house isn't finished."

Lowfel ran his hand through his light brown hair making it shaggier than it had already appeared. "I had an order for a whole dining room set and since you weren't going to come so soon, I haven't been able to finish your room. Well, this must be Reen," Lowfel said as he made a squished face, causing the boy to scrunch his face up in a giggle.

“Yup, this is him. He’s beautiful, isn’t he?” Shrae smiled, knowing that her brother had taken an instant liking to the baby.

Lowfel stood up straight and looked his sister in the eyes. “He’s lucky you’re taking care of him.”

Shrae smiled and reached up, playfully pinching the carpenter’s cheek. “And I’m lucky that you’re taking care of me.”

That brought a smile to his face, which soon turned somber again. “Right, now about living arrangements till I finish your room, I think that you should take over m-”

Before Lowfel could offer for her to take his room she interrupted, "Well, where is a good Inn that Reen and I could go for awhile? I've got some..oh, no..." Shrae had about to show her brother a little pouch that had some money in it, the pouch was no longer on her. "Well, I had some money. There's some more that I left at your house though, amid all of my stuff that I put in the front room." Shrae sat down roughly into her brother’s chair.

"You got picked? Shrae, you should know better than to leave your purse so open to thieves. Here, take this money and there's a couple of good Inn's around. There's the Oak Wood Inn and the White Horse Inn, oh, and there's another one called The Stag, but it's more expensive and I don't think I could manage that." He smiled down at her and helped her up out of the chair. “Come on now, it’s not that bad.”

Shrae could tell that Lowfel was putting up an act of nonchalance about the money. A huge sense of weight had seemed to drop on her when she realized that she had made a mistake and lost the coins. If Reen hadn't been strapped on her side she would have sat back down, leaned over and put her head in her hands. Instead she compromised by rubbing Reen's head and kissing it. Sighing, she took Lowfel's money and put it under the baby where it wouldn't fall out and no one could easily snatch it.

"I'm sorry," she gave her older brother a big hug. "I know you taking me and -"

"No, I want you here. Go and find a room for the night and come to the house tomorrow sometime. Then we can start you on crafting lines into some of the completed works I have lying around." Lowfel gave her a big smile and put a hand on her back, leading her back into the main bustle of the market goers.

Shrae smiled back at him then started avoiding hitting people as she walked with her little bundle of clothes and Reen, who was starting to get figity. A poof of dust hit her nose as she finally made it out of the market street causing her to sneeze violently; Reen decided he had put up with enough and started making disgruntled noises that would soon turn into a steady wailing if she didn't do something to sooth him soon. Making soft, cooing noises she hurried down the street and almost passed an Inn before realizing it. Looking up at the sign she saw that it was one that Lowfel had mentioned. The White Horse Inn looked like a fine place to stay, but Shrae was worried about the price. Reens whine caused her to go in and at least get him some food, even if she couldn't stay the night.

Going through the door there were some customers around the room, but no one there to greet new comers at the moment. Glancing around she tried to spot a worker but Reen soon took all her attention when he gave a mighty squeal and she quickly took him out and placed him on the floor. Having a new setting took him by surprise. Shrae figured that she now had at least a couple of minutes before he started to whine again. Scooping up the money that was still in the cloth that had been holding Reen, she looked up and saw an Inn worker coming straight toward her with a smile.

[ July 27, 2003: Message edited by: Kryssal ]
Kryssal is offline  
Old 07-21-2003, 02:19 AM   #107
Sophia the Thunder Mistress
Scent of Simbelmynë
 
Sophia the Thunder Mistress's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Aboard Highwind, bound for Traverse Town
Posts: 1,834
Sophia the Thunder Mistress has just left Hobbiton.
Send a message via AIM to Sophia the Thunder Mistress
Sting

Iswyn watched Deol walk away, sighing slightly. The morning had been so much fun, an opportunity she didn't get often enough. And Deol, well... he was very nice. Gently placing her small bouquet of flowers in the basket on top of her purchases, Iswyn set off slowly back toward Hamish's shop. The look on Deol's face and the speed with which he left told Iswyn that it was long after the time that she had agreed to meet Talan. She vaguely hoped he'd waited and pushed her steps a little quicker, pulling the basket in toward her chest.

Ducking between the small shops, carts, and booths, Iswyn took the shortest path through the market, realizing that in her lighthearted wanderings with Deol that she'd been walking away from her meeting place. Talan she wasn't worried about, only she had hoped that he would carry the basket, as her arms ached from its weight; but her real concern was Bethberry, that the inkeeper might be disappointed with her. The girl bit her lip, walked even a little faster, her skirts catching around her ankles and threatening to trip her.

A voice brought her out of her purposeful silence. A male voice, slurred with drink. Iswyn froze in her tracks for a moment as she felt fingers close around her wrist. "Whazza pretty girl like you doin' all alone at market?" The man was dirty, greasy grey hair falling across his face, and the hand that gripped her wrist was dry and strong, smudged with dirt. Iswyn tugged at it, but didn't break his hold.

"I'm meeting someone, friends, I'm in a hurry..." she protested, beginning to panic a little. He pulled her closer, until Iswyn could smell the stale beer on his breath and in his clothes. She dropped the basket she was still clinging to, and watched as the contents tumbled out on the ground, the little bag of cloves spilled into the dust. Bethberry's spices...

"I'm not gonna hurt you!" The man continued, in an exaggerated hurt tone. "I only wanned to make sure you was alright." Iswyn pulled back harder, blinking back tears. If he wanted her to be all right, why wouldn't he let go of her hand? "Come sit on my lap, sweetie, like my little girl used to, and then we'll go find your friends."

[ July 21, 2003: Message edited by: Sophia the Thunder Mistress ]
__________________
The seasons fall like silver swords, the years rush ever onward; and soon I sail, to leave this world, these lands where I have wander'd. O Elbereth! O Queen who dwells beyond the Western Seas, spare me yet a little time 'ere white ships come for me!
Sophia the Thunder Mistress is offline  
Old 07-21-2003, 03:01 AM   #108
Taralphiel
Ghost Prince of Cardolan
 
Taralphiel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Swan Wood
Posts: 649
Taralphiel has just left Hobbiton.
Send a message via MSN to Taralphiel
Shield

Lachlan looked at the list with a frown. All his deliveries had been made, and now it was time to pick up some things from the markets. Stumbling through the small spaces, and in and out of small stalls. Cursing lightly, he scanned the list. 'Ive never been good at finding these places. At this rate Ill be here till it closes!'

He was staring at the list when something hit his foot. Looking down he saw a small basket, that had scattered spices where it fell. Looking forward he saw a small girl being roughly handled by a stumbling drunkard. Narrowing his eyes, he tucked his list away and picked up the basket.

Strolling over he smiled and said 'I think you may have dropped this Milady' The girl turned to him pleadingly, and he nodded at her. Taking the drunks wrist, he shrugged his grip off the girl, and she stumbled backwards. The man made an attempt at a snarl and mumbled 'Mind yer own business boy, or I'll show you...'

'Show me what, old man' Lachlan said with slight irritation in his voice. 'You can barely stand, let alone put up enough of a fight. Let the lady be, and I'll think of doing the same to you' He seemed not to understand him, and tried to push his way through. Lachlan shoved at his shoulder, and he moved back. 'Save your strength boozer, youre out leagued in your state' He threw the man a spare coin, and walked out of the alley.

The girl was kneeling on the ground, trying to pick up the stray spice sachets she had dropped, but her shoulders were shaking heavily. Kneeling down, Lachlan placed her hand on her shoulder and said 'I hope he didnt rough you up miss. Allow me to give you some help' He took the last of the half open packets and put it back in her basket. He helped her up and said 'My name is Lachlan, and theres no need for tears miss. He wont bother you now'....
Taralphiel is offline  
Old 07-21-2003, 01:42 PM   #109
Mathom Collector
Pile O'Bones
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 13
Mathom Collector has just left Hobbiton.
Sting

Barthaew rubbed his head vaguely with one hand, keeping a sound grip on the reins of the cart with his other. There was three months worth of stockplied merchandise--mugs, plates, vases, all manner of pottery--that he'd made for sale, he didn't intend to so much as chip even a bit of it.

Barthaew pulled back on the reins, easing the horses to a stop at the spot where he usually arrayed his wares. Tipping his hat to a woman arranging bushels of healthy-looking vegetables in her space, Barthaew turned and gingerly lifted the first sack out of the back of the cart.

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

Barthaew tipped his hood over his eyes to keep the sun out, fighting the urge to dose. The market had barely opened, he'd had barely a browser yet. If he was tired now, he'd never last all day. It probably wasn't wise to have stayed out so long for the party last night, but it had been such a rare occasion, he couldn't resist it.

Turning his shoulderblades inward against the front of the building he was selling in front of, Barthaew lifted his hood again and looked about at the ever-growing crowd.
Mathom Collector is offline  
Old 07-21-2003, 05:44 PM   #110
VanimaEdhel
Etheral Enchantress
 
VanimaEdhel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Wellesley College!
Posts: 1,473
VanimaEdhel has just left Hobbiton.
Send a message via AIM to VanimaEdhel Send a message via MSN to VanimaEdhel
Silmaril

Castar looked at Windheneb as his friend jabbered at their new companion. Aylwen had told them that she could remain in the Farmer's Market for some time, so Windheneb had taken the initiative and had told her that she was to travel with them around the market, as there were "dangerous, shady characters afoot in the market". Castar had been unable to control another snort after Windheneb's comment and had gotten a rather dark look from his friend for his amusement.

They passed a jewelry stand and Castar paused, looking at the necklaces and thinking of his mother. He quickly bought one from the stand, running to try to catch up to the others.

"And where are you from? Were you born here?" Aylwen was asking Windheneb.

"Aye, been here all my life. I have two sisters, you know. They have families here too," Windheneb was saying.

"And you, Master Castar. Where are you from?" Aylwen asked.

"I am from Eodrath," Castar said. He continued after a pause, "It is about twenty-five or thirty miles from here."

Aylwen nodded and smiled at Castar, who smiled back, brushing his stray wisp of hair out of his face.

"And do you have siblings?" Aylwen asked.

"Nay, M'Lady," Castar said, "I am the only child of my family. My father's health is failing and my mother takes care of him, may Eru bless her heart."

"Oh," Aylwen said kindly, "I hope that your father gains his strength again."

Castar chuckled, "Old Battir will be up again in no time, knowing him."

Windheneb then launched into some sort of conversation with Aylwen and Castar tuned out a bit for a while. Eventually they stopped for a snack and Windheneb made a show of treating everyone to the fruit they picked up. They had come back around to the giggling girls that seemed to have developed an infatuation with Windheneb now. They giggled and grew red when he spoke to them. Windheneb merely smiled more broadly and flirted more openly with the swooning ladies.

Castar tried to make conversation shyly with Aylwen while Windheneb spoke to the ladies, all three eating their fruit and enjoying the afternoon.
__________________
"I think we dream so we don't have to be apart so long. If we're in each others dreams, we can be together all the time." - Hobbes of Calvin and Hobbes
VanimaEdhel is offline  
Old 07-22-2003, 02:59 PM   #111
Aylwen Dreamsong
The Melody of Misery
 
Aylwen Dreamsong's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: The Island of Conclusions (You get there by jumping!)...
Posts: 1,162
Aylwen Dreamsong has just left Hobbiton.
Sting

Aylwen took a bite of her fruit tentatively, for she wasn't entirely sure what it was. The sun was shining just above the market, and the sky was blue with few clouds in sight. Windheneb had taken to chatting with a few rather giddy or childish women, so Aylwen was left with only Castar and uncomfortable silence as he ate his fruit.

"Have you known Windheneb long? You don't seem anything alike," Aylwen commented, not sure what else to say. But it was true, Windheneb and Castar were quite different.

"Not long. In fact, I just met him and his sister earlier today. He sells clothing," Castar added, shrugging. Aylwen lifted a brow, and Castar shrugged again. "Are you from around here, Miss Aylwen?"

"No, I just arrived recently. I am from Minas Tirith, but my good friend Bethberry invited me to help her as Assisstant Innkeeper in the White Horse. And here I am!" said Aylwen cheerfully, extending her arms as a gesture towards the market and Edoras.

"I'm staying at the White Horse tonight! And you're the Assistant Innkeeper? And here I am selling pottery," said Castar, smiling. His friend Windheneb had no trouble making the flirtatious girls giggle behind the two, and Windheneb showed no signs of wanting to stop his conversation.

"Winny likes to talk a lot," Castar explained to Aylwen, who had turned to see Windheneb's back after a particularly loud bout of laughter. "To women, at least."

"Winny?" Aylwen reiterated skeptically, grinning. Then she noticed something protruding from Castar's pack. It was some sort of cloth. Aylwen eyed the cloth, then looked to Castar. "May I?"

Castar nodded, and handed her the cloth. There was something writted in old Quenya along the hem, and there was an intricate, delicate pattern along the front. Aylwen squinted her eyes at the Quenyan, then neatly folded the cloth back up and handed it back to Castar.

"What does it say?" Aylwen asked, referring to the Elvish written on the cloth.

"I am not cure, I do not speak Elvish...or read it, for that matter," Castar replied sullenly, shrugging. "I thought Windheneb might, since after all, his name is Elvish. But he doesn't! I carry it around the market a lot in case I see a stray elf that might be able to translate for me."

"Bethberry might be able to. She knows a lot of things I don't and probably never will. Then again, I'm not sure either," said Aylwen, remembering the face painter in the market. "I saw a person painting designs on children's faces earlier, and he painted something in Elvish on more than one occasion. At least I think it is Elvish. Then again, you can never tell anymore who knows what language and who doesn't know which language and whatnot."

Aylwen grinned, realizing she had taken to rambling again. She was so much better and singing her tavern songs than she was at making conversations with strangers. "Forgive me, but Castar is a rather strange name. Where is it from?"
__________________
...Come down now, they'll say. But everything looks perfect from far away - Come down now! But we'll stay.
Aylwen Dreamsong is offline  
Old 07-22-2003, 05:14 PM   #112
*Varda*
Maiden of Tears
 
*Varda*'s Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Valinor.
Posts: 572
*Varda* has just left Hobbiton.
Send a message via MSN to *Varda*
Sting

The sun was high in the sky as Iona finished browsing the stalls, her small basket now full to the brim with various items of food, her red skirt folded over it all. As she left the last of the stalls behind her, her eye was caught by a small man leaning against the wall, seemingly crippled, his foot twisted in a grotesque fashion. His face was lined with weariness, his eyes half closed.

In front of him, laid out neatly, was an assortment of wooden toys. Kneeling down beside the man, Iona picked one up, examining it closely. She held a small wooden whistle in her hand, and turning it over, feeling it with her fingers, she could both feel and see that it was beautiful and exquisitely carved. Pulling a coin from her basket, she held it out to the man. It could come in useful as a present for a friend’s young son back home – until then, she would keep it safe.

The man made no movement, his eyes watching her impassively. Iona took hold of his hand, pressing the coin into it, before slipping the whistle into her basket, and standing up.

“You have a gift,” she said to him. “These toys are beautifully made.” She smiled warmly at him, before walking on. Looking up at the sky, and feeling the midday sun, she gasped.

“Heavens! Where on earth has the time gone? Froma will slaughter me!” she exclaimed with sudden realisation, before bolting back to the Inn in time to serve lunch to those taking a break from their stalls.
__________________
'It must often be so, Sam, when things are in danger: someone has to give them up, lose them, so that others may keep them' ~Frodo
"Life is hard. After all, it kills you." - Katharine Hepburn
*Varda* is offline  
Old 07-23-2003, 02:59 PM   #113
VanimaEdhel
Etheral Enchantress
 
VanimaEdhel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Wellesley College!
Posts: 1,473
VanimaEdhel has just left Hobbiton.
Send a message via AIM to VanimaEdhel Send a message via MSN to VanimaEdhel
Silmaril

Castar blushed and smiled, "Actually, my real name is Luthur, but I did not think it fitting. I merely named myself after our own Westron coin, the Castar. Luthur, of course, is Westron for 'fluff', hardly a fitting name. Although, sometimes I think of going back to that name..."

Castar realized that he was just talking without any clue as to where he was going with his speech. He quickly trailed off, a bit too quickly, causing Aylwen to look up at him.

"I am sorry," he said, "I talk too much. And do not tell Winny that is what I call him. He hates that nickname." Castar smiled then, "Although maybe you should tell him." He chuckled a bit.

"No, you do not talk too much," Aylwen said to Castar, causing him to smile and blush even more, almost choking on the last of his fruit. Castar looked at Windheneb, who was still chatting with the young ladies. It was about time to go, Castar thought. He wanted to find the booth with the facepainting in the hopes that the patron of the booth would be able to decipher his tablecloth.

"Henny!" Castar said, tapping Windheneb on the shoulder. Windheneb turned, a glint of frustration at the nickname in his eye. Castar continued, "Henny, Winny, ol' pal, I was thinking that it was time to get a move on. We still have a lot of Market to see and only a limited time in which to see it all. I will not be back for another two months, most likely, and I want to buy as much as I will need."

"Erm...all right," Windheneb said, casting the girls a wistful gaze. He turned back to them and morosely said his good-byes to them. He turned back to Aylwen and Castar then, the old glint back in his eye.

"Let us go over there!" Windheneb said, pointing across the market a bit, "I think I saw some girls looking at me. Maybe we can get some free things over there. They gave me a bit of a discount at this fruit stand, after all," Windheneb pointed to the girls at the stand they had just eaten at as they headed off across the market. The girls were whispering and looking at Windheneb, giggling every now and again. Castar rolled his eyes at Aylwen, then, realizing what he had just done, blushed and looked away again.

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

OOC: I leave tomorrow for four weeks away, so I can't do much with my characters, sadly. I already told the gamers in my other games that I wouldn't be in here. For the four weeks, if anyone decides to take Windheneb, they can also use Castar if they want.

[ July 23, 2003: Message edited by: VanimaEdhel ]
__________________
"I think we dream so we don't have to be apart so long. If we're in each others dreams, we can be together all the time." - Hobbes of Calvin and Hobbes
VanimaEdhel is offline  
Old 07-24-2003, 01:39 PM   #114
Thenamir
Spectre of Capitalism
 
Thenamir's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Battling evil bureaucrats at Zeta Aquilae
Posts: 987
Thenamir has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!Thenamir has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!Thenamir has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!Thenamir has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!Thenamir has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!Thenamir has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!Thenamir has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!Thenamir has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!Thenamir has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!Thenamir has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!Thenamir has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!
Sting

Laevin watched Windheneb and Castar working the pretty ladies of the market from the seat at his whetstone wheel. "My old dad used to say that youth is wasted on the young, and now I think he was right," he thought to himself as he worked over the edge of a customer's butcher knife. Laevin had never felt, or perhaps had never allowed himself to feel, the longing for some one special person. He'd lived his youth much as Windheneb was doing now -- flirting, teasing, but never committing. He'd never acted dishonorably in a relationship, but neither had he pursued one.

The more he thought about it, the more he began to feel a twinge of regret that he had no one with whom to share the days and seasons of his existence. He turned his mind back to his workwheel, but still he struggled to put a name to the feeling that was creeping up on him like a cold shadow.

"Loneliness." The word broke into his mind like midnight lightning. "Bah," he thought to himself. "I've got almost everyone in this town for a friend. Anytime I want I can stroll down to the White Horse and be amongst the finest and most friendly people in Edoras!"

The other half of him answered in turn, "But how many of them really know you, Laevin? How close are they, in truth?"

To that the more cavalier side of Laevin did not have an answer save a further question, "Are you so daft as to think I could go courtin' at my age? Why, I'm 40 years old! And how could I support a bride? And maybe children? And how could I bring them to this tumbledown shanty I call a home?"

Laevin nearly sliced open a thumb when the lonely-half answered, "Love conquers all." After he took a moment to compose himself, he mused half-aloud to himself, "Love! Of all the tomfool notions...why there's probably not a woman in the whole of Rohan who could endure me for over a week except..." and there he stopped dead. For if he allowed himself to name that name, it would mean that there really was someone who he cared about, that might care for him in return. It would mean the end of the existence he'd enjoyed for all his adult life. It would mean a sea change in his predictable, comfortable life. It would mean having to go through the awkward and potentially embarassing folderol of trying to tell that person how he felt.

"It would mean the end of loneliness, Laevin," the romantic half whispered quickly to his unsettled mind.

"NO!" he shouted aloud, standing abruptly from his chair and deliberately slamming the knife into the wooden table with his powerful blacksmith's arms, sinking the blade two inches deep into the wood. It startled a couple of customers who were picking over what was left of his wares towards the end of a market day. Leaving the knife stuck in the table he brushed the remaining filaments of his train of thought from his mind by changing his countenance and amiably asking the customers what they were looking for...
__________________
The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane.
~~ Marcus Aurelius
Thenamir is offline  
Old 07-24-2003, 03:06 PM   #115
Annunfuiniel
Ghost Prince of Cardolan
 
Annunfuiniel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Something close like Shire
Posts: 775
Annunfuiniel has just left Hobbiton.
Sting

Aiyana strove through the crowd that had gathered round two street performers. The players’ theatrical voices shouted over the rumpus of the audience and their extravagant gestures perfected the ridiculous scene.

“Ai and alas! My King!” The first one screamed in mock lamentation.

“Whats… ish’it, my… counshellor?” The not-so-sober “King” stuttered and hiccupped.

“Ah, the greatest woe: the horses are gone! Lost! Missing! From the mightiest stallions to the tiniest ponies – nowhere to be found, not a horseshoe is left of them!”

“By Mearas’ muck! No-one takesh me hacks!” the King exclaimed and hopped to his Counsellors back as if mounting his steed. “Let ush gallop after ‘em!” But suddenly the King burped loudly. The audience knew their part in this spectacle and many whinnies rang in the air.

“My King! They heard your call!”…

The crowd broke to laughter and cheers. But Aiyana didn’t heed to the merriments. Absentmindedly she plodded forward - and got many a bruise and scratch while bumping into hurrying towners with full baskets or small wooden cages which they used as their shields. Before she was even halfway through the market place her sky-blue dress had turned to the color of sad grey and the satin ribbon on her left sleeve had been torn off.

Yet only after she heard a vendor shouting from his stall “Skins! Pelts! Tanned leather!” did the young woman raise her gaze from the dusty street. Her eyes were grey, dark and dimmed, but knowing the urgency of her business she sighed and made her way towards the stall whence the call came from. A cool breeze came from behind her and flew her dark blonde hair to her eyes.

Aiyana fingered the soft hides and for a fleeing moment her mind broke loose from the cheerless thoughts it brooded. This is perfect… she mused and lifted up a skilfully curried buckskin, smooth but sturdy.

“Good choice, young miss.” The stall-keeper smiled, revealing a ragged row of yellow teeth. “It’ll make the finest pair of shoes!”

Aiyana’s pearly smile lasted only a flash. “It isn’t for shoes, dear man.” she said and rolled up her left sleeve: three deep gashes crossed her slender arm. “I need a new glove.”

The man looked from Aiyana’s face to her arm and back to her face again. Aiyana hid another smile that tried to creep to her lips as she caught a glimpse of the old seller’s perplexed expression.

“You don’t say! A falconer, eh?” he finally managed to mumble while rolling the piece of leather Aiyana had chosen. The young woman, still somewhat amused, tried to concentrate on selecting another, finer skin for hoofs and jesses. Calf, that is best. she decided and handed the small pelt to the man.

“A falconer indeed!” Aiyana bestowed another smile and reached for her money pouch that hung on a braided string around her neck. “And I thank you for my own and my birds’ behalf” she continued placing two coins to the stall-keeper’s wrinkled hand and then took her leave. For a moment the old man stared after his curious customer. Then he shrugged his shoulders, muttering something about ‘wild creatures’ under his breath, and turned back to his work.

“Skins! Pelts!”

But Aiyana’s smile was gone and her heart again heavy – for the memory of the previous night was a raw wound in her mind and the future was a gaping black cleft towards which she was being pushed…

[ July 28, 2003: Message edited by: Annunfuiniel ]
__________________
Despair is only for those
who see the end beyond all doubt.
Annunfuiniel is offline  
Old 07-25-2003, 01:08 PM   #116
Lyra Greenleaf
The Diaphanous Dryad
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: R toL: 531, past the wild path
Posts: 1,180
Lyra Greenleaf has just left Hobbiton.
Silmaril

The streets of Edoras thronged with people. Theora couldn't believe quite how many there were. She had thought it had been busy and noisy yesterday, but with the market on there were merchants, farmers, travellers, animals and lots of children all over the place. It was a completely different kind of noise from the farm, when the sounds had been mostly animal. She grinned. Squawking chickens were about the only things to compare.

It was strange being in a place that she didn't know, surrounded by people she didn't know. Dinner yesterday at the Inn had been similar, but she hadn't got used to the feeling yet. She wasn't feeling homesick though- in fact she was very excited.

From the corner of her eye she caught sight of a stall with brightly coloured vegetables. She didn't recognise most of them, they were certainly unlike what her father grew. The man behind the stall was different too, short and squat with dark skin and jet black hair. He glared at her, and she left, walking off through the crowd.

I wonder where he's from? she thought idly. Far away, that's for sure. Maybe the South where there are wild men.
She shivered- wild men had been her mother's threat. 'Be good or the wild men will take you.' Theora had never believed it, but it could be true. Perhaps they really did eat little girls? Maybe the man had come to Edoras pretending to sell vegetables but really to get new victims. Maybe-

"Hey!"
The outraged yell shook Theora from her daydream. She looked down and saw a number of large baskets scattered and rolling in the mud. An old, grey haired man was shaking his fist at her and going to pick one up. She realised she had knocked them over.

"I'm so sorry!" Theora gasped, running to help pick them up. Both reached for one basket, and banged their heads. Theora gasped again, then groaned as she saw the old man fall over to sit in the mud. A woman with a tray of ribbons and wool didn't see him and nearly tripped. Theora darted forwards to grip the side of her tray, to steady her, but in the process kicked mud at the basket seller.
Mama would kill me for this! she thought desperately as she tried to placate the old man.

Later, Theora returned to the White Horse Inn with a basket that she had bought out of guilt and lugged it up to her room. As she sat down on the bed she told herself that for the nest few weeks- at least- she would be a model maid, do everything that was asked of her, concentrate, and refuse offers of time off.
I'll be so efficient they'll hardly realise I'm here, she vowed grimly.
__________________
“Sylphs of the forest,” I whispered. “Spirits of oak, beech and ash. Dryads of Rowan and hazel, hear us. You who have guided and guarded our every footstep, you who have sheltered our growth, we honour you."
the Forbidden Link
Lyra Greenleaf is offline  
Old 07-26-2003, 12:33 PM   #117
Mathom Collector
Pile O'Bones
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 13
Mathom Collector has just left Hobbiton.
Sting

"Thank you, sir," Barthaew smiled amiably as the old man nodded and turned away, a gingerly wrapped stack of new plates under his arm.

Placing the coins into the makeshift till his mostly-empty knapsack at his feet had become, he looked up, allowing his eyes to settle on the play actors in the middle of the street, as a strange, high cry, reminiscient of a bunch of cheerfully-braying foals erupted from the crowd around them.

"My lord!" he heard one of the players exclaim histrionically, soon interrupted by the pleased laughter of the crowd. Barthaew smiled, watching with interest until he saw a figure break away from the crowd; a girl in a faded dress, looking knocked-about and rather put out.

She was very pretty. Barthaew watched her with muted interest, as she seemed bent on a task. He watched her pick out several pelts from the vendor at the stall across from him. Having made the transaction, she turned around to continue walking, coming close to Barthaew's stall.

"Hello, M'lady," he said pleasantly as she came close enough to hear him. He hoped to catch her eye.

She looked up at him, slightly startled, seeming almost to question whether it was her he'd spoken to.

"Might I interest you in something?" he tried again, gesturing vaguely to the collection of mugs, goblets, plates, vases, and like clay creations before him. He didn't know if she was really interested in buying something, but he hoped she might stay for a moment at least.
Mathom Collector is offline  
Old 07-26-2003, 07:05 PM   #118
Horse-Maiden of the Shire
Ghost Prince of Cardolan
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Chillaxin' with Glorfindel-441 miles on the RtR
Posts: 1,202
Horse-Maiden of the Shire has just left Hobbiton.
Sting

As Aleia stood with Talan, waiting for Iswyn to show up, a stall advertising differently sized woven pouches caught her eye. Moving over to it, she picked up a pouch and inspected it closely. Lovely! she thought. I need some of these for my things. Reaching for her money purse, she realized it was gone - and whirled about just in time to see a lad stuffing it into his pocket and fleeing. Aleia started after him, crying, "Thief! Thief! Catch that lad!"

The boy who had stolen her purse was a certain orphan named Anwir, who had grown up on the streets. Anwir's parents had died when he was young, leaving him alone to roam the streets of Edoras. He kept himself alive by pilfering food from shops and stealing money from civilians. Anwir was now fleeing from the outraged Aleia, heart pounding and breath short as he searched for a hiding place. He dodged behind a fruit stall and thought himself safe, as the shouts carried past his hideout and slowly died down. He dashed out from behind the stall and abruptly crashed into Talan, who was waiting there for him.

"In a hurry, lad?" Talan asked, smiling a little. Anwir was shaking like a leaf on a windy day and pale as snow. "P-please, sir," stuttered Anwir. "Don't hurt me, s-sir."

Talan felt a pang of pity for the poor boy, who was extremely thin and had dark rings under his eyes. "Just trying to get by, eh, lad?" he asked gently. Aleia trotted up, puffing, and said, "Boy! Could you kindly hand over my purse?" Anwir gulped and held out the money purse in a shaky hand. Aleia grasped it and clapped a hand on Anwir's shoulder. "Now, we shall take a little walk. Have you ever been to the White Horse, boy? No? I think you'll like it," Aleia said, guiding Anwir through the crowd. Turning to Talan, she said, "I'll take this boy to Bethberry and see what she says. Seems I won't be getting my shopping done now, anyway."

Talan nodded and turned back to the crowd to look for Iswyn. Aleia continued chatting to Anwir, who was obviously bewildered at this treatment. He expected anger and a horrid punishment. He was shaken out of his stupor by Aleia asking, "What's your name, before I forget to ask?"

"Anwir, miss lady," he replied, still a little wary.

"Please, boy! Call me Aleia. Now, I think you shall like the White Horse, and you shall like Bethberry the Innkeeper as well. She seems hard at first, but she's got a big soft spot." Aleia chattered on and on, and Anwir's head was spinning by the time they reached the Horse. They went in and Aleia called, "Bethberry? Are you here? I've got a visitor for you."
__________________
"There's a big...machine in the sky...some kind of electric snake...coming straight at us."
"Shoot it," said my attorney.
"Not yet...I want to study its habits."
Horse-Maiden of the Shire is offline  
Old 07-26-2003, 09:28 PM   #119
Bêthberry
Cryptic Aura
 
Bêthberry's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 6,072
Bêthberry is wading through snowdrifts on Redhorn.Bêthberry is wading through snowdrifts on Redhorn.Bêthberry is wading through snowdrifts on Redhorn.
Shield

The three companions, Bêthberry, Ruthven, and Madi, had just settled down in small alcove off the great hall, when the sounds of a child's cranky whine had distracted the Innkeeper. She rose, leaving Ruthven and Madi to relax in the large wicker chairs, and returned to her desk by the entrance where a young woman was with some embarassment trying to settle the child.

"It must be passed naptime," said the Innkeeper to the young woman.

"It is. We've had a long journey in and a longer time stopping by my brother Lowfel's home. A bit to eat would be good but a room might be beyond my means," replied the woman.

"Lowfel's sister, you are then," exclaimed the Innkeeper. "Welcome Shrae. He had mentioned to me that your room wasn't yet ready in his house and he wondered if you could stay here. I've a small room on the second floor above the kitchen, so it's warm even without a fireplace and cheeper of course without the fire. It is a tiny room, with just a cot and a wee crib for the bairn. I'll call Iona or Delia to show it to you if you'd like."

"I'll trust your word, Bêthberry, for Lowfel said this would be a good choice. But lunch would be good now."

The Innkeeper nodded, and showed Shrae and the infant to the great hall. "We're short staffed today because of the Market, but Iona should be along shortly to serve you." Bêthberry placed a large pitcher of water on the table before Shrae, and a platter of shortbread cookies for munching on. Before she could return to Ruthven and Madi, however, a second commotion greeter her at the door.

Aleia arrived with a sorry looking, scared young man, who she thrust forward to face the Innkeeper.

"What's this?" the older woman asked.

"It's Anwir, an enterprising young man from the Market. He helped himself to my coin but Talan caught him. Rather than reporting him, I thought I'd bring him to you," replied Aleia.

"To me! Whatever for?"

"Please, Ma'am, don't report me," the boy stammered. His grey eyes were ringed dark from hunger and his bony body shook. "I'll do a real day's work for you, I promise."

"Am I an alms house now?" Bêthberry queried the boy and Aleia.

"I thought perhaps you could use an extra hand in the stables," said Aleia.

"Did you now," replied the Innkeeper. "And will you vouch for him? Cover any coin which might go missing for his industry?"

Aleia looked surprised at the offer. She hadn't expected to be asked to give surety for the boy. It had just been an impulse on her part, to think to help the boy. Yet she felt she couldn't back down.

It isn't likely there'll be coin lying around the stable, she thought to herself.

"I will, Bêthberry, as long as the Stable Master agrees to take him on."

"Run out then with Anwir and find him. If he agrees, and you accept the responsibility, Anwir can try his hand at stable boy."

With a slight feeling of concern, Aleia nodded yes and withdrew with Anwir to find the Stable Master.

Bêthberry stood there for some minutes, frowning in contemplation, and biting her lower lip with mixed feelings. Then she turned on her heel and returned to her tea and shortbread, looking forward to what story Ruthven had to tell about Madi's day at the Market.
__________________
I’ll sing his roots off. I’ll sing a wind up and blow leaf and branch away.
Bêthberry is offline  
Old 07-27-2003, 11:34 AM   #120
Daniel Telcontar
Ghost Prince of Cardolan
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Denmark
Posts: 713
Daniel Telcontar has just left Hobbiton.
Sting

Talan sighed. This was the second thief he had caught. He wished the thieves had been grown men; then he would have an excuse to beat them, and make them sorry that they were thieves.

But little boys were different. They stole because they had no other way to survive. And Talan couldn't really be angry with them, since he himself had been like that once.

He had been lucky, and got himself a job, and a home. If those boys wanted to, perhaps the same could happen to them. The chances weren't great though; few people would hire a street urchin, with the bad reputation they had.

He looked around for Iswyn, feeling slightly irritated. Where was that girl? Probably lost in the wonders that the sellers could offer. A thought hit him; perhaps she was in trouble.

He wondered a bit what to do; if she was in trouble, he had to find her. But she could also just be late because she had lost track of time. He decided to wait a little more, before going out and search for her.
__________________
Two beer or not two beer, that is the question; by Shakesbeer
Daniel Telcontar is offline  
 

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 05:34 PM.



Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.