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Old 11-04-2007, 05:04 PM   #6
Shade with a Blade
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Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: A Rainy Night In Soho
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Gwathagor is a guest of Elrond in Rivendell.Gwathagor is a guest of Elrond in Rivendell.Gwathagor is a guest of Elrond in Rivendell.
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Brown Barrabury

Brown woke with dew on his face and the sun in his eyes.

He had slept that night at the base of a gnarled pine tree. The tree's wide, spreading branches had sheltered him from the drizzling rain that had continued to fall periodically during the night; only his feet had stuck out from beneath his blanket and from beneath the pine tree's branches, and they were now wet. Brown half-heartedly cursed the rain, the tree, and his wet feet, then sat up. For a moment he sat blinking and rubbing his eyes. He shook his head.

The fragrant pine woods in which he had spent his night were on the western shore of the Brandywine River, which he hoped to cross that day. But not before breakfast, he thought, and reached for his knapsack. Within an hour, he was sitting on a pile of pine needles before a small, hot fire underneath the canopy of the tall pine trees. The pine needles he had carefully cleared away from his fire pit, and as he sat and his feet dried, he chopped a tomato, a potato, a sausage, and a clove of garlic into a small pan. He threw in an enormous piece of butter and set the pan atop three rocks he had positioned in the center of the fire. While the simple, sturdy meal sizzled, Brown packed up his various possessions and prepared to move along. He had packed very light (for a hobbit). Other than the clothes he was wearing, he had his knapsack (which contained food, a spare shirt, and basic cooking gear), a walking stick made of hard maple wood, and his leather sling, which he carried at his belt.

In addition to this, he had with him a very old knife of curious workmanship. He had come upon the old thing while hiking in the North Farthing, where he had found it rusting in a field. Hours of polishing had removed the dirt and rust, revealing a broad, shiny, leaf-shaped blade which was pock-marked, but as sharp as the day it had been forged. Set in the hilt was a very small gem of the deepest blue he had ever seen. This had surprised him, but it had proved a useful tool or weapon in countless situations since, and had saved his life more than once. In dark forests, or on ancient hill-tops, the beautiful, ancient knife seemed to Brown to reflect a light that was deeper and older than the trees and the hills. When he drew the blade, he could feel himself join the ranks of mysterious warriors and wanderers and princes who had drawn the blade before him.

That is an extremely unhobbitlike idea, he thought to himself as he carefully strapped the knife to his knapsack, and sat down to eat. It's only a knife, and I am only a hobbit.

When he had finished his breakfast, he threw dirt on his fire and shouldered his pack. He would wash his pan in the river, so he carried that in his left hand, while he took his staff in his right, and then trotted down towards the Brandywine, leaving the piney hill behind him. A quarter mile downstream he found a fallen tree, which he ran across to the other side. He did not love water (particularly deep rivers, like this one), but it did not bother him as much as it did most hobbits. He had fallen in enough rivers during his countless rambles through the wildest parts of the Shire that it no longer held particular fear for him. On the eastern bank he paused to wash his frying pan and collect stones for his sling. If he was quiet, he might be able to bring a few quail to Fred, Tansy, and their family. The fat Shire quail made good eating, and that way he would not be completely imposing on their hospitality. He was, after all, unexpected.

When he had gathered ten good stones, he climbed to the top of the high river bank and then checked the sun. He was not sure of his exact position, but he had a good head for directions, and had wandered through these woods plenty of times while visiting extended family as a young hobbit-lad. If he made good time, he would be at Fred and Tansy's home by tea at the latest. Feeling well-fed and content, he climbed a stile over the hedgerow which marked the boundary of a farm, and headed towards a distant patch of forest, skirting around a newly planted field as he did so. The field was still soft from previous day's rain, but the sun shone warm over the tree tops. In the distance, smoke rose straight up from the farmer's cottage.

"No wind," he remarked. "It looks to be a good day. For walking, at any rate."

Last edited by Gwathagor; 11-04-2007 at 10:51 PM.
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