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 08-30-2003, 07:11 PM   #1
Bęthberry
Cryptic Aura
 
Bęthberry's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 6,040
Bęthberry is a guest of Elrond in Rivendell.Bęthberry is a guest of Elrond in Rivendell.Bęthberry is a guest of Elrond in Rivendell.
Shield Resettling the Lost Kingdom

TheXPhial, Belin, and Susan Delgado hope you enjoy reading their game, Resettling the Lost Kindgom . It begins with a first post from The XPhial. . . .

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The westering sun was in Borgand?s eyes as he crested the last hill to his destination. Below him the surface of Lake Evendim shone red and the hills beyond seemed tipped with gold. It was a beautiful sight, made all the more lovely by the fact that this was to be his new home. He signaled to those behind him to come forward into the light and heard each new arrival?s breath catch in wonder. The settlers had made it at last, they were in Arnor.

Borgand urged his horse down through the meadow toward the edge of the lake. As he went he looked at the land. It seemed lush after the long journey. He had not seen a field so green since the band left Rohan so many months before. A winter and many miles had passed since that time, and Borgand welcomed the seeming abundance. His horse reached the water and stopped to drink. Borgand turned then to see the weary travelers descending the hill into the meadow, faces open and smiling. Even those who had taken ill in the long winter months, his own son included, were lighter in step and countenance as they streamed into the meadow.

As the final rays of the sun set behind the hills, the travelers were busy setting up a camp as they had every night for the past nine months. This night, however, Borgand heard no grumbling, only laughter. They set their camp in a circle out of long habit; circular camps were the easiest to defend. Borgand walked through the camp, soon to be the new city, and smiled at those he saw. His body was exhausted, despite the elation of his spirit, and he was leaning heavily on his cane, dragging his wooden leg a bit. Here and there he stopped to talk to someone and share the wonder they all felt at finally being at Evendim. This was the place they had decided on long before in Gondor as the most likely for the first settlement of the restored kingdom of Arnor. The king, who knew the lands well, had given his approval.


The ex-soldier reached his wife?s accustomed spot and saw that the teenaged sons of a fellow ex-soldier had already erected his family?s tent. He nodded his thanks and they ran off, suddenly full of energy despite their tiredness. Illith was starting a fire, getting ready to begin making the evening meal and Bregand, Borgand?s son had fallen asleep in his blankets. The boy was 6 and had suffered from a terrible illness on the journey. Only the constant care of Illith had brought him through the winter. Even so, he was pale and small. Borgand hoped that the wholesome air of Arnor would restore the boy quickly.

Borgand stopped his wife?s activity for a moment and pulled her into an embrace.

?We are finally here, Illith. Evendim! I thought I would never see the day.?

?Yes, love,? she answered, holding him closely. ?We are here, home. But I never doubted you would get us here.?

They ate together and Bregand woke to play with his father and eat his supper. Borgand had responsibilities, however, and couldn?t afford to spend the long hours with his family he once again craved. While recovering from his injuries he had been so sick of his family that he wasn?t sure he would make it one more day. After their long journey, however, he wanted nothing more than to spend a quiet evening with Illith and Bregand.

He made the rounds again and set a watch. The feeling of joy at arrival had sent most of the settlers into a state of carelessness that Borgand knew was premature. From across the water the sound of wolves howling suddenly sent the camp into silence. An answering howl followed, and then another. The night seemed altogether darker, and families decided it was a good idea to send their children to bed. Borgand sighed and signaled the watch. He decided he would turn in as well. The camp was secure and fire should keep the wolves away. Before retiring he found the Ilithien and they agreed that he would scout the area to find the best location in the morning. Tomorrow the settlers would start felling trees for the building of a temporary wall. Borgand wondered how long it would be until the carts of rock and supplies from the Blue Mountains would arrive, as promised by the contract with the dwarves. The builders themselves they had already met coming in from the Western Road. Until a stone wall could be built, however, a wooden one would have to suffice. The journey was over, but the dangers were just beginning.
__________________
I’ll sing his roots off. I’ll sing a wind up and blow leaf and branch away.
Bęthberry is offline  
Old 08-30-2003, 07:23 PM   #2
The X Phial
Shade of Carn Dűm
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Out there with the truth. Come find me.
Posts: 320
The X Phial has just left Hobbiton.
Sting

In accordance with her wishes, I am placing Bethberry's post for her. It works well here [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]

++++++++++++++++
Crouching disinterestedly by the lakeshore, Calumdril had watched the first settlers reach the crest of the hill and then suddenly halt in amazement at the sight of Lake Evendim. It had shimmered in the setting sun like ripe, red fruit rippling on the laden branches of serviceberry shrubs in a gentle breeze. It was almost unbelievable to many of them that the long trek was over and they forgot exhaustion in the awe of arrival. He had watched them mass slowly at the top of the hill and then with sudden quick movement descend to the shoreline and begin animated talk. So unlike him, who had not even yet relaxed into simple pleasure and delight that the long trek had ended.

Calumdril had ridden ahead of the caravan and scouted the lake's shoreline to find the best favoured site for the first night's camp. He had found a small level plain, not too rocky, and had left a small stake with a green flag flying to signal where the caravan should camp for the night. Rocks had played havoc with many of the horses' ankles, and the settlers had lost valuable animals on the long trek. The shoreline was strew with boulders for many miles and the lake bed itself salted with boulders, stones, large rocks, many showing lines of scratches and etches. Calumdril guessed glaciers might have dug out the lake. The rocky shoreline made Calumdril happy, for it lessened the chance of any attack from across the water.

He had then tracked the nearby bush for telltale signs of the Hillmen. There were, eerily, many signs and he could tell that he himself had been observed as he searched for signs of them. Five, perhaps six, of the Hillmen had hidden in the bushes, then brushed out their tracks. Yet he could find broken twigs where bodies had rushed too closely by trees, dust settled on leaves where none should have reached, the small undergrowth of the forest showing crushed fungi and flowers where bare feet had trod. This was no virgin land Aragorn had sent the settlers to, but territory over which strange tribes held dominion.

Calumdril stood up and walked towards the encampment site. Borgand, his face animated, even ebullient, was busily overseeing the setup, receiving the congratulations of the many settlers who had for some time begun to dispair of ever arriving. Calumdril quietly circulated, speaking a few words to some of the men who would be watching with him that night, and arranging for others who would escort him out the next day to survey the official site for the log walls and cabins of the new city. Finally he sought out Borgand's tent.

"How fares Bregand?" he inquired of the young boy whose face had so often appeared feverish.

"He fares well. For the first time he ate a full meal before returning to his bed. And now it is time for your meal, Calumdil. You won't get to speak with Borgand until you put some nourishment into that wiry flesh of yours," Illith chastized him gently. Calumdil smiled. Illith reminded him of his second oldest sister and he was quite happy to play younger brother with her.

"I'll eat only if your food is tasty tonight," he joked in return.

"Tut! It will stick to the walls of your ribs. That's all you need worry about for tonight," she retorted, gently shoving him into a chair by the makeshift table. He ate with an unruffled manner, asking Illith about the final day's journey, Borgand's and her thoughts for the settlement, the boy's health. He brushed aside any of her concerned questions about the site and then rose quickly, excusing himself to find Borgand and deliver his news about the presence of the Hillmen.
__________________
But then there was a star danced, and under that was I born.
The X Phial is offline  
Old 08-30-2003, 07:34 PM   #3
alaklondewen
Song of Seregon
 
alaklondewen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Following the road less traveled
Posts: 1,201
alaklondewen has just left Hobbiton.
Sting

“Cuilad! Quick bring me the bag.” Collothion watched as a young girl stood up in the back of her family’s wagon and toppled off. A brief moment later, Collothion was off his horse and at her side. Cuilad untied his father’s tan medicinal bag from his own horse and lugged it to the scene.

Collothion looked the girl over. She couldn’t have been past her sixth or seventh year, and her tears stained her dust covered face. The only damage Collothion could see was a large gash in her left shin from landing on a rather sharp stone.

“You’ve taken quite a tumble, Miss.” He smiled kindly as he wiped a tear from her cheek smearing the dirt. “Cuilad, boil some water and find my alum.” Collothion tore a strip from a rag he carried in his pocket and tied it around the child’s leg to stop the bleeding. In the meantime, Cuilad followed his father’s instructions, first putting water on a small fire, and then digging in the bag for alum. He finally found the root and handed it to his father who immediately crushed a small portion of it before sprinkling it into the water.

The girl’s parents realizing what happened stood over Collothion and Cuilad with worried expressions. The healer reassured them that she was a lucky little girl for coming out of the fall with only a minor injury. As soon as the water boiled, Collothion cleaned the cut with the mixture and bandaged the small shin.

The family thanked him profusely before returning to their wagon and heading on their way. The only thanks Collothion wanted was the sweet smile given by the child…it made his work worth every minute.

Cuilad dutifully picked up after his father and stomped the fire out. After tightly tying the tan bag back to his horse, the men returned to the road. Several hours passed without further excitement when they crossed the last of hills that surrounded their destination. The sky was painted with a dazzling array of reds and pinks as the sun was lowered behind the hills in the west. The water of the lake already reflected the night sky. Collothion caught his breath taking the view in and turned to his son whose eyes were the size of saucers. Cuilad met his father’s gaze and smiled broadly nodding with approval. The joy in his son’s face caused Collothion to laugh aloud.

The father and son both nudged their horses with their right foot and followed the folk in front of them. As soon as they reached the bottom, Cuilad worked to raise their tent within the circle, while Collothion started his rounds before all was dark. Many of people had fallen ill along the way, and some were even lost. He checked tent by tent to see all was well. Jolly voices rose around him wherever he went. Only a few folk needed his assistance, and he did what he could when the need arose. However he was looking forward to checking on a special patient…a small boy who’d had a rough time on the journey.

Collothion could see the boy’s mother outside cooking, and he called to her waving. “Hello, there, Madame Illith.” He bowed his head slightly as she waved and smiled enthusiastically. “I came to see how the boy is.”

“Oh, Collothion. He’s doing wonderfully well. He ate a full meal today.” The news lightened the man’s heart and he asked her if he could look in on him. Nodding, the woman opened the curtain to the tent, and Collothion stepped in.

The light from a candle showed Bregand’s small face. “He’s getting his color back,” Collothion said to Illith who nodded in agreement. “I can already tell this place is special. The air of Arnor will return his health.” The man spoke softly with his eyes intensely searching the boy’s face for any signs of waking, then he turned quickly to the boy’s mother and thanking her he quickly left the tent and made his way back home.

Home, the thought just hit him and he breathed deeply with anticipation of all that was to come in this place. Yes, Home. In just a few minutes, Cuilad was visible. The boy had already kindled a fire and was cooking something in a large pot. Collothion grinned with excitement and put his arm around his son patting him on the shoulder. With a slight squeeze, Collothion told him, “This is our new life, son.” Cuilad warmly returned his father’s hug, and then went back to stirring the hot stew over the fire.
__________________
At last I understand why we have waited! This is the ending. Now not day only shall be beloved, but night too shall be beautiful and blessed and all its fear pass away!
alaklondewen is offline  
Old 08-31-2003, 06:45 AM   #4
Manardariel
Ghost Prince of Cardolan
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Rivendell
Posts: 817
Manardariel has just left Hobbiton.
Shield

“Mother, look! Isn´t it gorgeous?” Ciana twirled around, her long braids falling around her. The setting sun was illuminating Lake Evendim, making it shine and glimmer under it´s green waters. Ciana did a cartwheel in the sand of the shore, her hands prickeling with exitement. They were here. After a long, wearying journey north, they had finally arrived in their new town, Evendim. Their new home.
Aletha smiled as she watched her daughter´s exitement. She was glad to have arrived, though Evendim wasn´t nearly as promising as it had sounded in Minas Anor. But at least she was free here, free to do whatever she wanted, start a new life. A new life. The sound, and the possibilty frightened her. Could she give up on being who she was in order to start a “new life”? Ciana could. The girl was talking less and less about the White City each day, she had even come to refer to their primitive wooden cabin by the lake as “home”. Aletha sighed. What was she doing here, in the wild? Did she belong here?
The truth was, Aletha didn´t know- and she didn´t want to, either. But what she did know was that whatever life had in place for them here, it was better what it had been at home.

“Ciana,” she called, “come on here. Dinner´s ready.”

Ciana got up and walked over to Aletha who had set up a fire before their small tent. Her eyes were shining full of exitement. Being out here was just wonderful. This is the kind of life I was made for! Not a boring life in a boring city- exitement, the wild, that´s where I belong! She looked around at the Lake, the colony of settlers. Families were eating, men fishing, children playing tag between plan wagons and tentds. They had arrived barely an hour ago. People were making plans for their houses, chatting happily about rooms, stables and working areas. Their was an air of exitement and dawn in the camp. Ciana sighed. Neither her mother nor herself had ever tried building something, let alone a house! But that was a worry for tomorrow. Tonight, they would spent another night in their tent. And it woldn´t be the last one...

Ciana joined her mother around the small fire. Evenings were friendly up north, though the weather was much harsher than down in Gondor. But the evenings were warm, and to Ciana and Aletha, that was a gift: they didn´t own a wagon, only thick woolen blankets, a small tent and the grass below them. That was their bed, and so it had been for the past weeks of traveling. They would be spending their time outdoors anyways, even later one when they did have a house. Here, they had sun and stars over their head, and other settlers to chat with if they wanted. Ciana looked up at her mother, grinning.

“So,” she said. “What next?” It wasn´t a question, not really. It was more an invitation to pull out an expected gift or idea. Aletha shrank together before her daughter. The truth was, she had no such present.

“I don´t know, honey. I thought things would settle themselves when we got hzere. I thought, we would have helpers, thought there´d be more people like us. People who don´t have a clue about the wild. I thought we´d manage...I think I was wrong.”
Horrified, Ciana jumped up. “You weren´t wrong, mother. We are managing. We have a tent, and blankets. We have enough to eat. We have friends. We perfectly fine. What did you expect this to be, a picnic?” Aletha smiled at her big girl, who always seemed to find the right words.

“We´ll manage,” she said, her voice louder as usual. “We´ll be fine."

Keep your hopes high, Ciana though. As high as those hills behind me.

[ August 31, 2003: Message edited by: Manardariel ]
__________________
Love is a perky elf dancing a merry little jig and then suddenly he turns on you with a miniature machine gun. Blog :-)|FanFicDream City
Manardariel is offline  
Old 08-31-2003, 09:56 AM   #5
*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

Therin stood by the lakeside, watching the stars disappear in the sky above as the glow of the morning sun began to rise above them. The camp was quiet – most of the settlers appeared to be sound asleep, having gone to bed in surprisingly good spirits considering the long journey they must have had from Gondor. Aside from the odd man striding through the camp, there was little movement.

The dwarf was not in a mood to sleep longer, as he watched the pale light of the rising sun reflect upon the still waters of Lake Evendim. Imagine – soon this would be a city, not simply a circle of tents. Hills rose around them, the sun casting light on them. Therin had thought them cold and dark the night before, his mind filled with the stories of the Hillmen.

A ranger had told Therin the night before of the Hillmen who lived in this region – ominous tales, of how they were the enemies of the Dunedain, and had been known to be associated with the Witch-King. Therin sincerely hoped they would not stir up trouble – there so many families here, hoping for a new start, a new life. And Therin wanted a change from the daily life of the Blue Mountains. No Hillmen were turning him out of Arnor, he grumpily said to himself. He’d cut them down with his axe first, patting it as it lay beside him.

Slowly, the camp began to come to life. Children eagerly poked their heads out of their tents, running around in the cool morning air, feet soaked with dew, anxious to explore their new surroundings. Mothers started wood fires to make the breakfast, and every now and then, a Ranger would go through the camp, speaking to the settlers. Therin beamed at the children running past him, as they slowed down to stare at this strange, short figure sitting by a small fire, cooking his breakfast of a rabbit he had caught earlier. He was foreign to them, as many had heard of dwarves, but never seen one in the flesh. Therin chuckled to himself as their mouths opened in surprise, before realising their manners and scurrying off in the opposite direction. This would surely be an enjoyable place to live.
__________________
'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 08-31-2003, 11:15 AM   #6
Susan Delgado
The Perished Flame
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: behind my eyes
Posts: 1,096
Susan Delgado has just left Hobbiton.
Send a message via ICQ to Susan Delgado Send a message via AIM to Susan Delgado
Sting

Thorgil rose before the dawn, knowing the first thing he had to do. There was a large group of people camped on the lake shore; he had to find out who they were and why they were here. He quickly prepared and slipped out of camp before the sun had fully cleared the horizon. He didn?t miss the girl, Alearindu slipping out after him, but he would let it go as long as she remained silent and hidden.

He watched the crowd set up camp along the lakeshore. They must be settlers, why else would they come in such numbers, and with women and children? He was not without a touch of bitterness at the thought. Travelers were one thing and easy to protect from the hillmen, but a settlement, an actual town, would be something else altogether. He glanced at the sky; the light was brightening quickly. He watched them and waited for them to stir for the day. He did not have long to wait; before long, women began stirring up the coals for cooking fires and men rose and stretched and gossiped about their neighbors. To a man they seemed in high spirits and he wondered how long they had been traveling for their arrival to induce such jollity. He shook his head at their antics. They would learn soon enough what a harsh land this could be.

At last the seeming leader of the camp appeared at the entrance to his tent, stretching and scratching himself in places that would make a woman or a younger man blush. Thorgil ignored it, however, and approached the man as a near equal, for even in his undergarments he had the bearing of a soldier, and did not seem surprised at the appearance of a stranger. He was missing a leg; his body was propped up on a wooden post attached to the stump. Thorgil would never trust himself to such a flimsy substitute.

After introductions and formal words of courtesy, Thorgil got down to business, warning Borgand and the crowd that had gathered about the presence of dangerous hillmen in the area and promising the aid of the Rangers in protecting the settlement. Borgand was appreciative and assured Thorgil that there were quite a few ex-soldiers among the settlers and they would gladly aid the Rangers. He also asked for one or two Rangers, if they were willing to help, to aid in defense until the settlement got on its feet. Thorgil told the man he would ask his men for a volunteer. Borgand nodded in appreciation. There were murmurs of assent from the crowd, and all seemed relieved. Thorgil nodded around and slipped back to the Rangers' camp to apprise the men of the situation and elicit volunteers to stay in the settlement.

When he arrived and gathered them together, there was some grumbling from the men about how it wasn't their job to be protecting settlers like that, and what were settlers doing here anyway? What did they think they were doing here in this dangerous northern waste? Thorgil waited patiently for them to be quiet and ten told them he would need one or two volunteers to stay in the settlement until it had established itself. There was silence for a moment as they considered this. He glanced around the group; they seemed unlikely to volunteer when a voice came from the back of the crowd. "I'll go, I'll do it."

He looked up, surprised. The voice was Awyrgan's, the last person he would expect to volunteer. As he watched the man, Awrygan added, "I'll watch them, but from the outside only unless circumstances require otherwise," Thorgil nodded, still bemused, but willing to let the man go to the settlement, though he was still fairly young, and unproven. He glanced around one last time and noticed the girl Alearindu watching Awrygan with an expression he could not identify. He considered for a moment. Two heads there would be better than one, though these particular heads could each be more reliable, and it would keep them both still in the same place and easy to keep an eye on. He said to Awrygan, "Alearindu shall accompany you." Both seemed startled, but made no objections. They went off to prepare and the rest of the men dispersed.

[ September 28, 2003: Message edited by: Bęthberry ]
__________________
"Man as a whole, Man pitted against the universe, have we seen him at all 'til we see that he is like a hero in a fairy tale?"
Susan Delgado is offline  
Old 08-31-2003, 11:26 AM   #7
Belin
Shade of Carn Dűm
 
Belin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: all the wide unfriendly pathways of the world
Posts: 330
Belin has just left Hobbiton.
Send a message via Yahoo to Belin
Silmaril

Unseen in the dim light, Wolf stared down from the side of the hill at the path along the lake where he had been so often of late. He hoped that none of the younger hunters had been foolish enough to leave traces of their presence, not that this weary group of travelers with their formerly fine clothing seemed very likely to be capable of any decent tracking. They moved along carelessly, many of them on horses as travelers so often were, talking and laughing among themselves as if they were alone in the wilderness and free from unfriendly eyes. A murmur went up as they descended the hill, and they stared at the lake as if they had never seen one before.

Wolf was aware that, unobtrusive as he was in his drab garb and earth-colored skin, any of them could have seen him if they looked carefully up at the hill, but moving was more dangerous still, and besides, they were fools and spent all their attention on the lake and the meadow before them, and on each other. It was principally the children that looked around, and he did not think that any of their eyes had lighted on him. Do they train all the sense out of them on purpose? he wondered irritably.

The presence of the children was not a surprise to him. He had received news of this group from several of his more reliable trackers, and had come to see for himself. As they had promised, it was a larger group of travelers than any he had ever seen, whole families and many of them, and with even more gear than he might have expected them to carry. In fact, they were unlike any travelers he had ever seen, more tattered and slow-moving certainly, and they looked at the lake differently. He was nearly certain he did not like the way they looked at the lake. He wondered for a moment how far they had come, and what business they possibly have out here. There were those who speculated that they were staying, and listening to the relief in the voices that floated toward him, Wolf had begun to believe it. He watched them for a few moments longer, sick children, tired women, and a crippled man who bore himself with surprising authority. As darkness fell, he moved off slowly and silently around the hills, never showing himself on their crests and never quite descending to their feet either. Around him, he could hear the wolves barking softly to each other as they assembled, and as the howling started he was nearly home.

The village was quiet. Except for the priests among them, the Hillmen seldom emerged at night, knowing its dangers well. Maybe the night would be enough to drive off these travelers, but he doubted it. There were so many of them. Wolf went straight home. He needed time to think.

His brother Knife was staring into the fire, as he often did at night for reasons Wolf had never fully understood. "Did you see them?" he asked.

"I saw them. You were right. There are more of them than I’ve ever seen, and they have come from far away, there’s no doubt of that."

"And…?" Knife watched him carefully. The way to deal with Wolf, he’d found, was not to ask more questions than were needed to give him space to say what he wanted to say.

"And they look like the Rangers. And if I didn’t think they were staying I would leave them alone; there are too many of them, far too many." Wolf frowned.

"Why would they want to stay here?" cried Knife. "What is there? Nothing! There’s nothing here even for us! Why would they leave their own country where they have whatever they need for our stones and what’s left of our hunting? Are they insane?"

"I don’t advise you talking like that," answered Wolf sharply. "We still have to live here, you know." Knife glowered but was silent. "I think I will watch them for another day or two. I don’t want to fight them if I don’t have to. But if they stay... they’re in the watering spot. So much of what we’ve been eating comes from there, and I won’t be starved. Or invaded. But I think the Rangers will side with them. I’d like you to gather some hunters and some spies for me in the morning."

Knife nodded. "That’s always been a good hunting spot, and now... well, now it is a good hunting spot again, I guess."

[ August 31, 2003: Message edited by: Belin ]
__________________
"I hate dignity," cried Scraps, kicking a pebble high in the air and then trying to catch it as it fell. "Half the fools and all the wise folks are dignified, and I'm neither the one nor the other." --L. Frank Baum
Belin is offline  
Old 08-31-2003, 01:19 PM   #8
Carrűn
Wight
 
Carrűn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Behind you, counting to 3
Posts: 234
Carrűn has just left Hobbiton.
Tolkien

The bright afternoon Sun shone down in a dazzling display of yellows that reflected off the many ripples racing along Lake Evendim's surface. Near the Western shore the water gave way suddenly to reveal the shape of a man gliding smoothly from the bottom of the lake to the surface. He paused, waist deep in the lake shaking the excess water from his ears and wringing his hair. Stretching, he walked to where his clothes lay and dressed quickly. His sharp eyes noticed fresh deer tracks running along the soft mud of the lakeside. He glanced to where his gear lay, and was relieved to see that he had remembered a bow this time. Gathering his assortment of weapons & tools he set off, following the hoofed prints.

He traveled for some time before his highly-tuned senses warned him that he was getting close to his target. The vegetation had thickened, and there was sporadic rustling in the bushes. As the breeze shifted the man froze and dropped to one knee. Several yards in front of him his quarry stood, oblivious to the danger. The man's bow was already out and an arrow was soon notched. Slowly, the man began to raise the weapon into a comfortable position. He took his time for the wind was still on his side. Five minutes later he was in position. As luck would have it, the wind shifted. The deer's eyes bulged as it caught the unfamiliar sent. It took one great giant bound before a whistling arrow stopped it in midair and dropped it to the ground.

Grinning, the man rose from his concealed location and walked over to the deer. Pulling the arrow out of the animal he placed it back in the quiver. He paused, cracking his back, and then slung the deer over a shoulder and began the walk back. About halfway to his destination he began to wish he had come across a smaller deer.

In the distance he was sure he could hear the unmistakable sounds of someone setting up camp. It had to be newcomers, for Rangers or Wild Men would never generate as much noise. He considered following the noise for a closer look but knew that there were several other Rangers in the area who had most likely already scouted the noise out.

It was nearly dark when the weathered man arrived at the Ranger campsite, it had moved about a hundred meters from the previous night and it had taken him a few extra minutes to locate. Few of the Rangers currently at the site acknowledged him as he strode through their parameter and he gave no sign of recognition in reply. Someone had carried his tent to the new site, but had left it un-constructed in a pile. It was far away from all the other men's sleeping areas but was within the camp's limits. Setting the deer down the man constructed a quick tent out of the canvas sheet he carried with him and then used readily available bark and brush to camouflage it. Picking up the bow and arrow he silently walked across the site and returned it to its owner, a gruff older man who grunted slightly and gave him a crooked grin as Awyrgan handed him the weapon. The man gave his thanks and an honest attempt at a smile in return.

Returning to his solitary campsite the man skinned and cleaned the deer. It was not a task he enjoyed but it was a necessary one. When he had finished he carried the skin over to the tent of the camp leader Thorgil and set it in the growing pile of animal hides. Thorgil had not returned yet so the man walked back to where the half-prepared meat lay - only to find one of the dogs making himself at home. With a surprisingly realistic wolf-like growl the man sent the dog packing with his tail between his legs. Seeing that the damage was not too severe the man's expression softened slightly and he tossed the excess of the carcass and damaged meat outside the parameter. Several dogs descended on the remains at once as the man laughed darkly. Lighting a small fire he set about smoking the strips of meat. Satisfied that things were going smoothly the man crawled into his tent and went to sleep.

He awoke early the next morning to the sound of men grumbling as they shuffled around small fires in the chill morning of the Northern wastelands. A dog was licking his face and he pushed it away, cursing affectionately at the creature as he did so. He grinned as he recognized the shaggy features of Fang, the self-elected pack leader of the Ranger's dogs.

"Gitatta here!" Fang shuffled off wagging his tail, a smoked piece of deer clasped firmly in his jaws. Awyrgan had no dog of his own, but Fang had apparently taken a liking to him.

The Ranger glanced up to notice the figure of Thorgil passing him on his way to the center of the camp. He nodded briefly in greeting to his superior and was surprised to receive a similar response. Awyrgan still felt somewhat uncomfortable in the presence of the other Rangers and was hoping to have a talk with Thorgil about his place in the camp when he could; the feelings of one man couldn't always be on the top of a leader's priority list.

Reaching the center of the camp Thorgil called all of the other Rangers to gather around him. Dragging his feet slightly Awyrgan followed the rest of the men as they formed a semi-circle around their leader. He explained the situation to them and Awyrgan, for lack of anything else to do, joined in the collective grumbling running rapidly through the camp. This was to be expected and was more a chance for the men to let off steam than seriously complain. The general shared feeling however seemed to be that these newcomers from the South would be one additional burden on the already heavily tasked guardians of the Northern Kingdom. Still, Awyrgan was not surprised when Thorgil asked for several volunteers instead of just assigning a group. He was obviously a skilled leader and Awyrgan had only been in his company for a few weeks.

However, Awyrgan surprised himself and everyone else around him when he heard himself saying. "I'll go, I'll do it." He sat back and waited for the camp leader's response. It was not long in coming

[ August 31, 2003: Message edited by: Carrűn ]
__________________
"Dic, hospes, Spartae, nos te hic vidisse iacentes dum sanctis patriae legibus obsequimur."
Carrűn is offline  
Old 08-31-2003, 01:21 PM   #9
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

Barzűn left his tent, still strapping his axe to his side. The sun was rising and Barzűn had to go to work. For Men. Barzűn grumbled, complaining that the Dwarves never needed help and that Men must be weak to need to call on others for aid. But then again, the Dwarves were the best at this work. Barzűn just hoped that there would not be any Elves around. The thought of Elves made Barzűn start grumbling again. Awful creatures, these Elves, so full of their own virtue and self-righteousness, always thinking that they were the best.

Barzűn went about looking for the other Dwarves. They had to get an early start, and Barzűn did not want any laziness in his camp. That kind of behavior would not be tolerated. Whether his workers were Dwarves or Men, if it came to having Men help labor, Barzűn would not tolerate slacking on the job. When the job was over, then people could be merry and have their parties. Barzűn, himself, liked a nice celebration now and then as well as the next Dwarf, but it was a matter of priorities. The Dwarves had pledged a few of their kind to help build this Evendim.

A small child bumped into Barzűn. Even though he was a small child to the Men, he was already up to Barzűn’s shoulder. Barzűn swore at the child who ran away before Barzűn could scold him. Barzűn scowled a bit. It would be twice as hard to try to construct with all of these children around. He hoped the women took care that the small ones did not get in the way once the actual building started. They would have casualties due to accidents if that were the case. Barzűn would make sure that those casualties were not Dwarves.

Some Men greeted Barzűn, giving him a “Good morning”, while others just shot him curious looks. Barzűn grunted in response to the first greeting and just glared back when given the second. Children ran around everywhere as Mothers tried to either call them in for breakfast or just try to gain control of the wild young Humans. Barzűn’s glares managed to keep the children from barreling into him too much in their play.

Humans everywhere, but where were the Dwarves? Barzűn continued to walk and look around. He saw a few Dwarves sitting together eating breakfast. Barzűn’s stomach rumbled as he saw the Dwarves. The first trace of a smile touched his lips when he smelled the food and heard the Dwarves speaking. He forced the smile off his lips and crossed to the Dwarves. No need to show them any weakness on the first day of work.

He spoke to the Dwarves, forcing a more serious demeanor than even he felt. They spoke of work and of building. Finally, one offered him a seat and some breakfast, which Barzűn quickly accepted. He sat down to eat, giving one last glare to a very small child who stopped to stare at the Dwarves, obviously never having seen a Dwarf in his life before. The child went wide-eyed at the glare and ran off to play with the other children again.
__________________
"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 09-01-2003, 06:12 AM   #10
Rimbaud
The Perilous Poet
 
Rimbaud's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Heart of the matter
Posts: 1,096
Rimbaud has just left Hobbiton.
Pipe

Hillmen

Calem was cold and miserable. He had wanted to watch the strange newcomers arrive. Instead, Wolf had told him to sit by the riverbank and catch some fish. Calem knew there were no fish at this part of the stream, it was too shallow and rocky, little more than a trickle at times.

He could smell the fires of the newcomers on the air and tasted food on the air. He was hungry. He would return to the others and see if they would throw him something to eat. There were no fish here.

He lurched to his feet and moved forwards, his left leg as ever dragging slightly behind him. Overlong and under-muscled, it caused him great frustration as he could only move very slowly and awkwardly. When he tried to run, he fell and struck his head. He bore the bruises, cuts and untended scrapes to prove this. Some of the cuts on his hands had festered in the dirt and grime and sores had cracked open. Calem had not noticed these for some time.

He was still hungry and the others seemed no closer. He grunted and kept his head down. The others did not like to see his slack-muscled, twisted face, or especially the deep-set, squinting eyes. He hoped they had not drunk tonight. He rarely got food if they were drinking. He wanted to go back to the village. He did not know why Wolf had made him come.

He was still hungry. He growled as he struggled up over a small ridge. He would be at the others soon. Perhaps they would not mind that he had not brought them fish.

[ September 08, 2003: Message edited by: Rimbaud ]
__________________
And all the rest is literature
Rimbaud is offline  
Old 09-01-2003, 05:43 PM   #11
Meneltarmacil
Ghost Prince of Cardolan
 
Meneltarmacil's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: The bottom of the ocean, discussing philosophy with a giant squid
Posts: 2,287
Meneltarmacil is a guest of Tom Bombadil.
Eye

The sun was just beginning to creep over the horizon when Thoronmir woke along with the other rangers in their camp. He had breakfast along with the others, and reported in to the meeting with Thorgil and the other leaders. "As some of you may know," Thorgil had been saying, "there is a new settlement being built on the shores of the lake." Thoronmir nodded, having already noticed the large number of people who had been gathering on the shore along with the supplies for the new colony. "Awyrgan and Alearindu have already volunteered to stay with the settlers to protect them. I am going to need more volunteers to scout out the surrounding hills for the hillmen's strongholds."
"I'll volunteer," said Thoronmir. "I'm already familiar with the area."

And that is how he found himself in the southern hills of Evendim several days later.

He awoke one morning to the rising of the sun in the east. fastened his sword to his belt, threw on his cloak, and strapped on his pack, bow, and quiver of arrows. He got on his horse and rode off down the trail toward where he had spotted the hillmen the day before. He had not had much luck finding the hillmen's strongholds until the last couple of days, when he had begun following the group he had seen. If he was lucky, they would probably lead him right to a major stronghold.

When he arrived at the camp, he found that the hillmen had already left; only a few blackened stones were left to show where they had made a fire. Thoronmir dismounted and examined the ground carefully for signs of where the hillmen had gone. He found what looked like trampled undergrowth going in a regular path to the southwest. Thoronmir remounted his horse and started following the new path.

[ September 02, 2003: Message edited by: Meneltarmacil ]
__________________
I ♣ baby seals.
Meneltarmacil is offline  
Old 09-01-2003, 05:49 PM   #12
Arvedui III
Ghost Prince of Cardolan
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: In Rohan, with Carolina on my mind
Posts: 631
Arvedui III has just left Hobbiton.
Send a message via AIM to Arvedui III
Shield

Dawn crept quietly over the landscape of Arnor, reflecting in the glassy blue lake as though it were a mirror to second world, seamless and unobstructed as the still water. Yet the sunrise reflected also in twin black eyes, pools as cold, glassy, and keen as the lake they watched in the early morning.

Knife had been right. They had appeared, and it didn't look like they would go away.

Fletch crept down to a lower rock and cursed as one of the circle of gray figures turned his way. Fletch tensed behind his hiding place, straining to descry the spy he had aroused and be invisible at the same time. But, it was only a passing glance; Relaxing his small frame, he returned the little shaft he'd pulled from a pouch around his neck gingerly. Now his watery eyes swept the camp around the lake, full of tents, horses, untended firepits, dirty pots from the night before.The outlanders were starting to stir, children starting to come out of tents and play, and noise such as Fletch had never heard before began echoing through the hills.

The whole scale of the invaders disrespect and sheer -there was no other word for it- defilement of their land, his land, made his blood seethe.

But Wolf would drive them away, Fletch soundly believed that. The night willing, they would drive the Southmen away, and he had every intention of helping anyway he could. It would start this morning, Fletch thought as he made no sound heading back to report. Now that the sun was rising, he would help it start.
__________________
I have no idea what you just said, but I'm inspired!
Arvedui III is offline  
Old 09-01-2003, 09:18 PM   #13
TheLadyAerowen
Haunting Spirit
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Ohio, United States
Posts: 82
TheLadyAerowen has just left Hobbiton.
Send a message via AIM to TheLadyAerowen
Silmaril

Just before the first rays of dawn appeared over the horizon, Alearindu awoke. Quietly stretching and rolling up her blankets from the night, she packed up her gear and placed it into Mornen’s saddlebags.

Snorting and shaking his straw-like black mane, Mornen shoved his velvet-like muzzle into Alearindu’s hand. She rubbed his muzzle and waited for the other men to rise. What she didn’t know was that Thorgil, the company’s leader, was already awake and had left the camp.

Thorgil and the other Rangers didn’t exactly approve of Alearindu. They tended to ignore her and not care about her opinions or inputs; but they did manage to tolerate her and allow her (after much persuasion) to join them. She put up with everything so she could stay on the journey and have a chance at revenge for her father. She had gotten weary of wandering pretty much aimlessly, and besides, where else could she go? Their treatment caused her to become quiet and forlorn, but even she could sense a bit less tension between the lot of them and her during the past moons, and yet not much.

After some stirring and activity in the camp, She spied him leaving and followed, so quietly that he didn't even notice (she hoped) She took a spot sitting on a hill over-looking the group he had gone to visit. There were quite a lot of them. Thorgil did go talk to a man, whom she guessed was the leader, and after a bit of talking, Thorgil returned to the Ranger-Camp and addressed them; she returned behind him and found a place in the back of the crowd.

“Men," After a pause he added, "...and Alearindu. There is a group of Gondorians camped out on the shore of Lake Evendim. I spoke to the leader, Borgand, and he informed me that they are settlers. They are staying here.” He paused to let the men absorb this, and waited patiently as they muttered amongst themselves. They quieted after a few moments, and he continued. "Borgand has requested that I send a man to stay in the settlement, to guard and defend them. You would have to live in the camp until they become self-sufficient, and they may want you to help them build. I will accept a volunteer." He paused and glanced over the men. Alearindu looked too. They were looking at each other, and even she could see most of them would never volunteer; they had been Rangers all their lives, most of them, and would sooner give their arm than stay for an indeterminate amount of time in a settlement.

In her private survey of the crowd, she noticed Awyrgan. He was also fairly new to the camp, like her, and young, like her. She had only spoken to him a few times, but she wished she knew him better. She thought they must have much in common. After a few moments, she looked back at Thorgil to see what he was doing about the fact that no one had volunteered. He looked about to speak when a voice in the back of the crowd said, "I'll go, I'll do it." She looked. It was Awyrgan. He looked Thorgil directly in the eye, his own bright green and flashing. "I'll watch them, but from the outside only unless circumstances require otherwise," Suprised at the usually quiet man's forwardness, Thorgil nodded. He then glanced around the crowd, saw Alearindu watching Awyrgan and said, after a pause, "Alearindu shall accompany you."

Alearindu was silently surprised that Awyrgan had volunteered, and that Thorgil would have let one of the young, new ones go to the settlement. But, Alearindu and Awygran were both young and new. She had thought for a moment she, for once, wasn’t going to be the one doing the work the others didn’t want to. For now, at least she wasn’t the only one.

Alearindu scowled to herself, turned, and walked to Mornen. She tightened his girth, untied the reins from the tree, pulled them over his head, and mounted. She was ready to set-out; to set-out to protect the settlement.

[ September 02, 2003: Message edited by: TheLadyAerowen ]
TheLadyAerowen is offline  
Old 09-02-2003, 10:51 AM   #14
Belin
Shade of Carn Dűm
 
Belin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: all the wide unfriendly pathways of the world
Posts: 330
Belin has just left Hobbiton.
Send a message via Yahoo to Belin
Silmaril

Tinuviel of Denton's post

The Hillwoman frowned. Her husband and his brother had gone off investigating rumors of those cursed Dunedain settling on their land. Aye, it was barren, rocky and it had poor soil, but the land was theirs and noe cursed Mand of the West was going to take it from them, not while there were Hillmen to defend it. They had their own land, those men of Gondor; they could leave these rocky hills alone.

Her son, Flint, came running into the hut, crying because some of the bigger boys in the village had pushed him down again. “Mama, Mama,” he whimpered. “They pusheded me down again.”

“So push them back or stay indoors,” she retorted. This was too much. So what if he was smaller than they were; he had to learn to stand up for himself and learn not to come running to her every time he had a problem. He’d never get any respect that way, and if he wanted to ever be someone important, he’d have to earn the respect of the other boys, starting now. So Kestrel pushed her son to be strong, so that someday, when she was old, and her husband could no longer hunt for her, Flint could take care of his mother.

The tot sniffled a few more times, then ran out again, saying defiantly, “I’ll push 'em real hard, Mama!”

Kestrel nodded, proud that her son would prove his strength this early. Even if he was only two. She turned to her daughter, who was sitting in the corner of the squalid little hut, attempting to weave a rush basket. And Rain was going about in entirely the wrong way.

“No, no, no!” she scolded. “You do it like this.” Rain had to make a good match for them. There was no way that her daughter would ever be dependant on charity. She had to be a perfect wife and make her mother proud. Kestrel was going to have enough to do just dealing with Flint. Rain would have to get a good man, or at least a man who could take care of her, and that would have to be enough for her. Her mother wouldn’t be able to.
__________________
"I hate dignity," cried Scraps, kicking a pebble high in the air and then trying to catch it as it fell. "Half the fools and all the wise folks are dignified, and I'm neither the one nor the other." --L. Frank Baum
Belin is offline  
Old 09-02-2003, 10:52 AM   #15
Kryssal
Wight
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: I be one of those hick Utahns.
Posts: 180
Kryssal has just left Hobbiton.
Silmaril

The first look at the lake had been beautiful, but that might have had something to do with Kaben being very tired of traveling. Smiling at a kid running by him, Kaben stoked up the fire slightly with his good arm.

“Oh, don’t worry about that. I’ll keep the fire up,” a nice young maiden said as she took her own stick and put it to the fire. She was the oldest daughter of the family Kaben had taken to traveling with. For one thing, they had the many teams of horses to pull the wagons, and for another, Kaben couldn’t get his two wagons to move by himself. It was mostly a business deal; Kaben paying the father for the use of the animals with a nice bonus for the son who was driving the second wagon, but naturally he had gotten to know them and they were now good friends.

“Thank you Terari,” he said as he stretched back and rubbed his right arm causing a sharp pain, he had expected it though, so his wince wasn't that pronounced.

As Terari started to prepare a dinner for their first night in ‘town’ she spoke up from across the fire. “Is your arm still bothering you much?”

Kaben smiled ruefully. “’Course it is, but it’s nothing I can’t handle,” he winked as she looked over, causing her to laugh and shake her head. Thinking back to the accident that had happened while traveling not too long ago brought a slight frown to his face, but he didn’t want to think about that. He had made it to his destination, that was good, and that was all that mattered.

Soon he would be making absolute plans to set up shop, right now he only had tentative ideas: find an assistant (Apthan, the only son of Tauven, Kaben’s temporary traveling partner, was dutifully following in his father’s footsteps and couldn’t help) to help him with lifting, he was weak even without his wound, plus there were a lot of settlers and that would mean a lot of time to help them; set up the wares that would be wanted right now at this stage of the towns development; and to get his own living quarters set up.

His own father had been very kind to him, giving Kaben a generous loan to start up his own work. Even with the money from his father, he was slightly worried about being able to make everything work the way he wanted. First off, he needed a lot of help with setting up his shop, building it and his living quarters. Combining home and work would probably be much better for him, not to mention his pocket. He also wondered how much the new towners would be able to spend at his shop. He had to make good business with the settlers to be able to make good business with the traders to continue the cycle. The first trader would be coming in little under a month, not much time in Kaben’s mind.

Kaben came back to himself as Tauven clamped a hand onto his shoulder to help in the sitting down process. Kaben smiled and made mild fire talk with the now gathered family. It was a pleasant evening and everything seemed to be going well for the settlement. Some of the children got frightened when a wolf pack howled in the distance, but they were soon laughing again when Kaben told them a funny story about how his younger brother had been chased around by a vicious little puppy and how his father had finally caught the pet by ambushing it around the house. Full night set in and the soon to be shop owner slipped into his sleep roll with thoughts of set up keeping him awake till his body simply refused to keep conscious any longer.

~*~

The wild men seemed to be moving in and out of their camps by ones and twos a lot lately and the leader was in a foul mood. They hadn’t done anything that caused him much alarm, so Tane didn’t race to report yet. Something was definitely agitating the group though. He squinted to see the individuals better from his hiding place.

Tane wasn’t worried. If something had happened he was sure that Thorgil had known it before. He, however, did not need to sit and watch the wild men any longer. Looking over his back he could see his replacement coming through the hills. Backing out of his hiding place among some sparse brush, he walked down and over to where he had made his small camp for the past night. He packed up the small belongings he had taken with him and saddled up his horse Skit. He smiled at the memory of when he was given the horse from his father when he first set off with the Rangers. It had cost his father a lot to give him this one last present and Tane had let his little sister name the beast. She had giggled and said, “Well, he is rather skittish isn’t he?”

Brushing away the memories he greeted the replacement with a raised hand.

“Hoi, what news with the wild men?” said Ethiner as he reached the camp.

“They’ve been moving about a little more seemingly rechecking something and the leader is more troubled than usual. Do you know what’s bothering them so?” Tane responded as Ethiner dismounted and came over to the cold fire where Tane was standing.

“Aye, a large group of settlers has come in and decided to make the lake shore their new home. Thorgil is going to put in a few permanent posts at the village, young Alearindu and old Awyrgan are going there now.”

Tane smiled, “Wouldn’t think of Awyrgan in a village, would you?" the two men shared a smile. "Well, we all have our place. Good watching,” and he mounted in one fluid motion and gave a type of salute to the Ranger taking up his post who nodded in reply. Then he turned Skit into the right direction and started off, anxious to see and learn more about this new settlement.
Kryssal is offline  
Old 09-05-2003, 06:50 PM   #16
Meneltarmacil
Ghost Prince of Cardolan
 
Meneltarmacil's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: The bottom of the ocean, discussing philosophy with a giant squid
Posts: 2,287
Meneltarmacil is a guest of Tom Bombadil.
Eye

Rangers
After the hillmen were a safe distance away, Thoronmir followed out of sight. The hillmen had climbed over a steep hill, and Thoronimr's horse was having trouble getting up it, so he dismounted and left his horse at the bottom, climbing the hill on foot. As he reached the top of th hill, he looked down into a rocky, bowl-shaped valley. He had been here before, he noticed, recognizing the valley as one of the various old campsites where he and his friends had lived while he was younger.

He felt the terrible sense of depression as he thought of his friends, of their faces, before they had died in the great war. Not many of his group had been left alive on the Pelennor Fields of Gondor... He buried the memory once more, trying not to think about it.

Now the valley was again a campsite, but for a different group of people. Several shelters had been set up, and Thoronimr saw the hillmen wandering about their camp, apparently having set up there a while ago, even before the lakeside settlement had been established. But he saw few warriors in the camp. Where had they all gone, he wondered. Then it all came together. They had gone to spy on the settlement. He had to get back to the rangers' camp at once.

As he turned to go, however, Thoronmir accidentally dislodged a fairly large rock from the hillside. It rolled down the hill in plain view of the hillmen. A woman stopped watching her son attempting to fight several larger boys to look up at what had made the disturbance. Thoronmir wasted no time in getting out of there. He ran down the hill toward where he had left his horse.
__________________
I ♣ baby seals.
Meneltarmacil is offline  
Old 09-06-2003, 05:35 AM   #17
Himaran
Ash of Orodruin
 
Himaran's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Thangorodrim
Posts: 777
Himaran has just left Hobbiton.
Send a message via AIM to Himaran
Sting

When Olin the dwarf slowly and unsteadily exited his tent, the sun had risen and noon was approaching. The young dwarf was an amusing sight; his beard was tousled and entwined the wrong way, his entire face covered with loose strands of dark brown hair. For that was how Olin always looked upon waking, his only thought being to reach the campfire without tripping and falling over. The dwarf had experienced the embarressment of doing so many times before, all slightly different versions of the same mishap.

Finally reaching a campfire, Olin snatched a nearby mug and filled it with steaming hot tea. Taking a deep drink, the dwarf ignored the scorching pain from the heat and allowed the marvelous property of the drink to fill him with new life. Looking down at the empty mug, he refilled it and drank again, this time emptying the cup in a single slurping gulp. Ah, tea; delicious and soothing. Now I can focus on the task at hand.

Returning to his tent, now moving quickly, Olin dressed properly and re-braided his beard. Next, he checked his weaponry and equipment. The dwarf was unsure of when he assistance would be needed, but he wanted to be ready either way. Now fully awake, with his personal chores out of the way, Olin decided to take a stroll over to lake Evendim.

Soon arriving at the bank of the wide body of water, Olin sat on a nearby log, watching a fish glide through the clear waters. Suddenly, a larger specimen appeared from a cove in the lake side, gobbling up its helpless prey. Olin studied the matter thoughtfully, bringing it into context with the matters at hand. The dwarf had listened intently to the various tales of the Hillmen; and to him it seemed as if they had the potential of becoming a formidible enemy. He turned again to look at the victorious predator, which darted back into its cave.

A trespasser will certainly get eaten by a larger foe. Hopefully, we can hold our own in these parts.

[ September 06, 2003: Message edited by: Himaran ]
__________________
"Then we must go on, if there is a way."
Himaran is offline  
Old 09-06-2003, 09:59 PM   #18
Belin
Shade of Carn Dűm
 
Belin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: all the wide unfriendly pathways of the world
Posts: 330
Belin has just left Hobbiton.
Send a message via Yahoo to Belin
Sting

Osse's post (Hillman)
Bear sat hunched against the large oak that grew amid the ruins atop the hill over looking the lake. The twinkling torches of the strange company were reflected in the glass-top surface of the water. The reflections shuddered and were distorted as a sharp breeze swept accross the lake from the north. Bear pulled his wolf pelt cloak around him more tightly and peered through his mane of grizzled hair down into the knoll where the company currently camped. As he peered into the fast engulfing gloom, he fingered the blade of his axe.

Knife was correct, these foreigners did move without due care. A leaping anger was kindled at the thought that these men were so arrogant. Another part of his mind contemplated the grey figures stealthily patrolling the skirts of the intruders camps and found that that was the basis for the camp's arrogance.

When Knife had rushed to him the minute he got back from tracking the party, Bear had not immediately sprung into the evening to see for himself, he waited until Knife had told Wolf about the intruders and Wolf had departed to see for himself, before he fetched his axe and departed for the ruins on the hill. He knew his brother well enough to know that he would be staying off the tops of hills, and sticking to cover if at all possible. To avoid being seen was second nature to Bear and he did it effortlessly as he made his way to the hill.

Now as he surveyed the strange company's camp he took into account the location and surroundings of the various tents, he also knew that the grey-clad sentinels were not to be taken lightly.

The sky clouded over, obscuring the moon as he rose; giving Bear a sudden sense of foreboding.
__________________
"I hate dignity," cried Scraps, kicking a pebble high in the air and then trying to catch it as it fell. "Half the fools and all the wise folks are dignified, and I'm neither the one nor the other." --L. Frank Baum
Belin is offline  
Old 09-11-2003, 05:25 PM   #19
The X Phial
Shade of Carn Dűm
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Out there with the truth. Come find me.
Posts: 320
The X Phial has just left Hobbiton.
Sting

Settlers

Borgand strode through the camp in the early morning light, intent on keeping his footing on the rocky terrain. The sounds of metal on wood were already ringing across the lake, as well as men shouting and laughing together over hard work. The people of the settlement were still felling trees, trying to get together enough building materials for a low wall around the camp and the beginnings of some of the most important town buildings, which would later be rebuilt in stone. Rudimentary cabins of wood had already been started for sleeping in, though personal housing was not yet thought of. The settlers were mostly content to live out of their tents until the final plans for the town were drawn up by the dwarves and approved. Borgand would be heading to see the Dwarves about the plans as soon as the watch was changed.

No word had been heard of the Hillmen since Calumdril had noticed their traces on the first night. The rangers who had come to watch the camp were silent on the matter. Though they showed Borgand and his people all due respect outwardly, there was condescension in their eyes, as if they thought of the settlers like children they were too important to be babysitting. Borgand relied on Calumdril’s sharp senses and training to keep him informed on the status of the surrounding area. He knew the activities in the woods had scared away most of the game, for instance, and that messengers from the ranger camp still managed to disappear in front of his highly trained soldiers as if they, themselves were part of the landscape.

The soldiers were awake, if not totally alert, and Borgand saw Calumdril sneak up on one of them as a lesson in watchfulness. He chuckled to himself at the look of surprise, but resolved to set the guards to a more disciplined training schedule. They couldn’t afford to allow surprises. On the other hand, most men in the camp were pulling double duty, guard for a shift and then the hard work of felling trees. Only the injured, the healers, and Calumdril had been exempted, though all were kept busy with their own work.

For Borgand the hardest task had been the daily meetings with the Dwarf contingency. The entire group seemed insular and suspicious of other races and Borgand had to remind himself that they were master craftsmen and not just guests. There were numerous complaints about the accommodations, and an entire 10th of the population of the camp had been set to work building a forge to their specifications while they worked on surveying the land and drawing up plans. Borgand mused on the problems of dealing with the many children while so much dangerous work was going on. Several of the older girls had started gathering at his tent in the morning to get instructions from Illith on keeping the children of the camp busy and out of the way. He was grateful to have so many excellent human resources at his disposal.

Finally catching up with Calumdril, Borgand broke into a smile.

“You’re up early, friend,” he started. “Anything astir around us today?”

“Nothing, including game. I was hoping to find a hare or deer to supplement our rations, but it seems our arrival has sent everything else into hiding.”

Borgand nodded at him. “We do have enough stores for the moment, but we will need to start finding game soon if we are to last until the crops are planted and harvested. It is lucky we have arrived during the planting season. We may still be able to get a crop in and harvested before winter. In any case, I was relying on trade with Bree and successful hunting to see us through.”

“Aye. Well, I am certain we will find something soon. Especially since this noise cannot last forever.”

“Any word from the rangers?”

“They are as tight-lipped as ever,” Calumdril sighed. “I think I am winning some ground, however. They no longer feign boredom when I speak.” His eyes were twinkling with what was either amusement or irony.

“Well, you are among the best of us. If they cannot see that, they are not worth our concern.” Borgand cut Calumdril off when he would have replied. “I have to go and meet with the dwarves. If I am late they mutter in some language or another and I am sure it is not with concern for my busy schedule,” he winked.

Borgand nodded to the now hypervigilant guards and noted that they were still red with embarrassment at having been caught unawares. He gave them a rare smile and headed back into the camp to see if the dwarves were any closer to finalizing the plans.
__________________
But then there was a star danced, and under that was I born.
The X Phial is offline  
Old 09-12-2003, 04:23 PM   #20
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

DWARVES - Barzűn

Barzűn saw a man approaching. He grumbled when he saw the man was obviously coming over to him. He was in no mood to deal with the Elf-loving humans. The man would probably want to know more about the plans for building and the like. Barzűn saw the other Dwarves stand up and stand respectfully as the man approached. Barzűn begrudgingly joined the respectful Dwarves and stood, keeping a bit of a scowl on his face.

He noticed the man had a post in place of a leg. He had seen this man around. Curious that a man so disabled would have what seemed to be such a high-ranking position. Well, maybe the man was more lethal than he looked. Barzűn noticed other Dwarves staring at the post. They had obviously not seen the man. Others looked unphased, though. Either they were not surprised, or they had met with this man before.

“And how may we serve you, Master…?” Barzűn asked, trying to show clearly with his voice that he was being disturbed.

“Borgand,” the man replied kindly. He showed no sign of being offended at the insincere greeting Barzűn had given him.

“Ah,” Barzűn said, “Now what can we do for you Master…Borgand?”

“I just came to see how you were doing with the plans,” Borgand said, maintaining his poise easily despite the Dwarf’s sarcasm.

The Dwarf was thrown off by Borgand’s polite, patient manners. Most of the men either became curt with the Dwarf or were intimidated. Barzűn quickly did a mental check of where they, in fact, were with the plans. They were still in the process of being drawn up, but there was no need to tell the man that they were slightly behind schedule.

“They are coming along fine, Master Borgand,” Barzűn said gruffly, “The plans would come along even more quickly if we were able to work without interruption.”

“Oh,” Borgand said mildly, “I did not know you were in the process of drafting them. I shall leave you to your business then.”

“We were not working on them now,” Barzűn said gruffly, without thinking. He spluttered, trying to explain that they were in the process of discussing the plans. The other Dwarves were utterly useless. They were just standing there respectfully, not aiding Barzűn in the least. Some were even still staring in shock at the post the man had in place of part of his left leg. He shot the others a glare. They just moved back a bit, not showing any expression. The Dwarf turned back to the sickeningly polite man. There was no working with this man. He showed no negative emotion, which just was not natural.

“The plans are coming along fine,” Barzűn finally said, “We are going to discuss them as soon as we finish breakfast. If that is all right with you, that is.”

“It is fine, Master Dwarf. There is no need to rush. Rushing leads to mistakes and we do not need mistakes in this undertaking,” Borgand said politely. There was an air of authority in his voice, though. It was obvious that while he was kind to his workers, Borgand still demanded respect. Well, he would have to prove himself to get any respect from Barzűn. Humans did not earn respect from Barzűn by merely acting with authority. The Dwarf could not remember any human he had really respected.

“You can rest assured that we will make no mistakes,” the Dwarf said, glaring as though he was daring Borgand to suggest otherwise.

“I would assume not. I have always heard that if you want something built, you should call the Dwarves. I trust that the talk will not prove to be false,” Borgand said. “Well,” he continued, “I merely came by to check up on you. I suppose you will want to get back to your planning.”

“Yes, that would be most appreciated,” Barzűn said, hoping Borgand was wrapping up his visit. The Human gave a small bow to Barzűn and the other Dwarves as he departed, showing composure until the end of his visit, and silently left the Dwarves to themselves.

Barzűn turned to the other Dwarves. “Well,” he said, “You heard what he said. It is time to plan. Now stop your lazing about before you are sent back to the Blue Mountains. And where are the others? There are at least five of you missing.”

The Dwarves shrugged that they did not know where the stragglers were. No doubt they were off eating or wandering about with the Humans. So many of the Dwarves seemed to show an unhealthy interest in the ways of the Humans. It was as though they thought that Human ways were better than Dwarf ways. Barzűn snorted aloud at that thought, gathering looks from the other Dwarves as they quickly finished their meal. While the Dwarves ate at a speed that was unusual for Dwarves, trying to finish their meals before Barzűn lost his temper, the Dwarf made his way to his tent to pick up the unfinished plans. When he returned, one or two of the lost Dwarves had returned. They were quickly told off for their sloth and neglect for their job. The Dwarves received the upbraiding quietly as Barzűn laid the plans out on a nearby table.

“I suppose we must start without the other lazy fools,” Barzűn grumbled in a loud enough voice that he was sure that all the other Dwarves could hear his mutterings. They muttered quiet agreement. “Now,” Barzűn said, quickly clearing everything except the plans from his mind, “About the previous structure we had laid out for this house…”

The Dwarves all contributed to the designs. When it came to creating plans, all Dwarves were allowed to voice their opinion. Barzűn did not disapprove of contributions. He, in fact, welcomed them. It showed that the other Dwarves were thinking about their jobs and not just sleeping on their feet. As the day progressed, the arguments and discussions moved along as well. The Dwarves worked surprisingly quickly, much to Barzűn’s delight. The right Dwarves had been picked for the project after all. Soon, all of the Dwarves, even the late ones, were gathered around, as intent on the designs as Barzűn.

[ September 12, 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 09-12-2003, 08:40 PM   #21
Kryssal
Wight
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: I be one of those hick Utahns.
Posts: 180
Kryssal has just left Hobbiton.
Silmaril

Settler

Kaben stretched out his arms trying to relieve the built up tension and weariness. Setting up even a temporary shop was very tiring, especially for someone who couldn't lift without help. Fortunetly that help had been found in the form of a young boy of about sixteen years named Eydin who was only too greatful to get away from building duty by helping set up a much needed shop.

Many more people than Kaben would have thought had already come by and bought things before they were set up properly. Replacement cloth and candels seemed to be the most regarded right now, though a young man had bought a small necklace for his lady interest.

Not even half of his items had been unpacked yet and the thought of unpacking more made Kaben's arm protest. He hadn't even gotten to the food stores, though they weren't nearly as nurmerous as his other merchandise.

"Eydin, careful!" the young shopkeeper rushed to stop the crate from falling that Eydin had been trying to move by himself. The two tried to ease it down to the ground, but Kaben was in an ackward position and managed to get the crate pinned onto his foot. Once it got stuck there Eydin scrambled to the other side and heaved with all his might until Kaben was once again free.

"Is your foot damaged too much, Sir?" his voice raised in concern.

Kaben limped over to a chair and sat down heavily. "I'm sure I'll be walking right as stalks in two days or so. Don't worry so, it'll match my arm nicely. Now, why don't you go and get the blankets out of the big wagon, they go over in that corner opposite of the tools."

Eydin ran off and Kaben now stretched out his sore foot. It would be alright, but it was just another glitch to go in the day.
Kryssal is offline  
Old 09-12-2003, 10:19 PM   #22
Himaran
Ash of Orodruin
 
Himaran's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Thangorodrim
Posts: 777
Himaran has just left Hobbiton.
Send a message via AIM to Himaran
Sting

The dwarven debate soon became heated once again. They had agreed that it would be best to construct the city on the eastern side of Lake Evendim, just north of its single outlet. However, the group was divided on the issue of how close the city should be to the lake, and the basic layout.

Already tiring of the ongoing argument, Olin lit his pipe and attempted to shut out the gruff conversation; running over possible plans in his mind. Finally he held up his hand and spoke. "The ground is good in these parts. Why not build over this very camp, with the western wall a good twenty yards away from the edge of the Lake for safety measures. Then have the city extend southward, with a bridge coming across the river and leading into the south gate." Illustrating his idea on a scrap of parchment, Olin passed it around, with other dwarves writing notes of their own. The dwarf knew that the city would not be built overnight, but he hoped that his plan would help to speed the process.

At length, the dwarves broke for lunch. Olin was disappointed with the fair, but the beer was good, and there was plenty of it. It is hard work, designing this city. But as long as there is beer such as this nearby, I will be fighting to accomplish it.!

[ September 14, 2003: Message edited by: Himaran ]
__________________
"Then we must go on, if there is a way."
Himaran is offline  
Old 09-13-2003, 03:54 AM   #23
*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

Dwarves

Therin scowled slightly at Barzun as Borgand walked away, but the older dwarf appeared intent on discussing the plans and did not notice his discontent.

"This is ridiculous," Therin thought to himself. "We've been here all of twenty four hours and already he's antagonising the settlers! What kind of impression is that going to give them?"

He awoke from his thoughts to discover Barzun glaring at him, his eyes darkening.

"Wake up, Therin! Honestly, with you half asleep and others not even here, this town will never get beyond a pile of stone!" Barzun turned away from the dwarf to berate several others who had only now decided to join the group.

A discussion duly began, and Therin brought out some papers and began to draw busily. Great halls...towers of stone...all these were talked about, and more. This would be a city fit for kings by the time they were finished.

Some hours of talk later, the midday sun was high in the sky and the dwarves were famished. Disappointedly, Therin looked at the food - while certainly not a meagre amount, it was not the size of meal he and the others had hoped for while listening to Barzun. Olin turned to him and told him what he had overheard.

"It seems our arrival here has frightend all the game away. The settlers don't want us dwarves eating their food too fast, it seems."

Therin grumbled and settled down to enjoy his meal, hoping sincerely that the game would return before too long.

[ September 13, 2003: Message edited by: *Varda* ]
__________________
'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 09-14-2003, 03:22 AM   #24
Bęthberry
Cryptic Aura
 
Bęthberry's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 6,040
Bęthberry is a guest of Elrond in Rivendell.Bęthberry is a guest of Elrond in Rivendell.Bęthberry is a guest of Elrond in Rivendell.
Boots

Settlers -- Calumdril

Perched on a large branch of the pine tree with the gnarled, rough bark pressing sorely against an old bruise, Calumdril felt around his armpit, winced, and then grunted with dissatisfaction. He had developed a large boil where the leather strap of the bow had grated against his skin and he couldn't get rid of it no matter lancing it twice now. He likely ought to see the healer Collothion but he was loathe to.

The man had reacted poorly when Borgand had taken Calumdril off tree felling duty, as had many of the settlers. Hard labour was making them cranky and they had objected to losing a strong pair of hands with so much work around. Collothion had pointed out that he was plenty busy with dysentery, fevers, cuts, strains, even a limb broken by a poorly planned falling tree and yet he wasn't exempted. Borgand had responded by relieving Collothion of tree felling duties, which everyone accepted, but he had had his hands full at that meeting explaining just why Calumdril was needed elsewhere. And so far, Calumdril had not produced the needed food.

The hot sun baked the pine tree. The sap, which a chickadee had been pecking at earlier, was oozing and, on impulse, Calumdil scooped some up in his fingers and sniffed it, rubbing it back and forth between thumb and forefinger, and then gingerishly tasting it. It was pungent but not unpleasant and he took more into his mouth, chewing it. At least it seemed to cleanse the stale feeling in his mouth, so he dug more out and packed it away in his small canteen. The sharp needles of this tree stung, tipped almost like porcupine quills. Their strong and unfamiliar scent was beginning to bother him but he did pack some of them away also, an offering to Collothion who would be looking to learn about the new vegetation here.

Calumdril hadn't expected the northern sun to be so hot. And he hadn't expected these swarms of black biting flies either, his neck and throat and any exposed skin covered with tiny bleeding bites. He wanted to eat, not be eaten. Seeing no herd of deer from his vantage point, nor any sign of the tribesmen who called this place home, he decided to climb down and do some tracking by the river bed where perhaps animals would have gathered to drink.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

It was a little cooler but more humid by the river, and there were different insects buzzing around the shoreline and skipping over the river. Thankfully, these ones didn't seem to bite. Calumdril splashed water over his head and neck, rinsing away the blood from the bites, and then filled his flask. He heard only the drones and buzzes of birds and insects, wind blowing through trees, grasses and sedges. Not even squirrels were scurrying around. Far off in the distance he could catch the yelling of voices, the ringing of hammer and axe. He would have to track farther away if he hoped to catch any game.

Something had been here! Calumdril was excited at first, but then confused. It wasn't an animal, he decided, with more than a little disappointment. But it was not a track he could clearly identify. Someone, something, had been dragging a foot it seemed, and sometimes fallen, yet the footprints might have been human, five-toed, no claws. But the heel and outside of the right foot made a deeper impression in the sand than a normal print would. From the smudged drag on the left side, he could not tell how many toes that foot held. Calumdril was confused, disturbed, wary.

Whatever it was, Calumdril felt his anger rise. He wanted to question Thorgil about it. They should have been told about strange creatures here! The rangers were being entirely too close lipped. He was tired of their supercilious attitude, their lack of coooperation. He was going to challenge them, rangers against the settlers, in a hunting match, that's what he'd do. Maybe that way the settlers could win some respect from the rangers. And find some food. They didn't want to have to slaughter their cattle. Not yet.

Calumdril sighed, wondering just how many surprises this place held and how many enemies. And how many challenges.
__________________
I’ll sing his roots off. I’ll sing a wind up and blow leaf and branch away.
Bęthberry is offline  
Old 09-14-2003, 06:08 PM   #25
Tinuviel of Denton
Ghost Prince of Cardolan
 
Tinuviel of Denton's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Amid the hills and dales of the Shire... or not.
Posts: 609
Tinuviel of Denton has just left Hobbiton.
Send a message via AIM to Tinuviel of Denton
Sting

Kestrel saw the figure on the hill only briefly, but that brief glimpse was more than enough to tell her that the man up there was certainly not one of them. He was too upright, too tall. And he didn’t move like they did. He didn’t shamble; he strode. He didn’t hunch over; he held his head high and looked straight ahead. She hadn’t seen any of the Rangers with her own eyes; the warriors saw to that by moving the village when any of the cursed Dunedain got too close to their holdings. Women and children were too valuable for them to risk the Men deciding that the best way to get rid of the threat would be to destroy them.

Still, that had been no Hillman up there. It was someone else, maybe even one of the cursed Gondorians that Wolf and Knife had gone to investigate. It was something she would have to tell them about, immediately. They would deal with the trespasser if he ever dared show himself to them again.

By the time her husband returned, however, she had mostly forgotten the incident. Flint had taken on far too many of the bigger and stronger boys, much more than he could handle. It was one thing to prove his strength early, she thought grumpily as she bandaged his little wrist. It was quite another to take on four or five older boys who were half again his size. The wrist wasn’t broken, but it was quite possibly sprained, and there was a n.asty cut on his head where he’d hit a rock. Besides the two more serious injuries, he had various cuts and scrapes all over him where his roughly-tanned leather shirt didn’t cover, although those were fairly constant.

Of course, being the loving mother that she was, she had personally chased down and thrashed each of the boys responsible for the sprain and the bash on his head. Especially the bash on his head. If those idiots weren’t careful, they could have killed him. And Kestrel would not tolerate losing another child. Iron would be five years old if he’d lived…

She shook herself out of her melancholy and busied herself about the hut. When Knife arrived, she took out her temper on him, cursing the ill chance that led him to be away when his son needed him most. Knife sat silent under her torrent of abuse, then he told her, in the quietly angry voice that he used only seldom, that it was true. There were indeed Gondorians settling in the area around the lake. It silenced her tirade, as he’d meant it to. Though she immediately started a new one, this one was not directed at him but at the cursed Dunedain who dared to invade their homeland. Under it all, the children sat quietly in the corner, Rain with her lopsided basket and Flint with a short stick that he called his spear, silently watching the a.dults. Flint was sucking his thumb.

Kestrel eventually ran out of curses for the settlers and asked her husband what they were going to do. His answer was vague, “Something…”

[ September 14, 2003: Message edited by: Tinuviel of Denton ]
Tinuviel of Denton is offline  
Old 09-15-2003, 05:33 PM   #26
Belin
Shade of Carn Dűm
 
Belin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: all the wide unfriendly pathways of the world
Posts: 330
Belin has just left Hobbiton.
Send a message via Yahoo to Belin
Sting

Hillmen

Wolf, resolved, ducked through the low doorway. His gaze passed briefly over his nephew and niece and missed the woman entirely to settle on his brother. "Call a meeting," he said briefly. "I want to talk to everyone." Knife winced slightly at his wife’s smirk, but rather than embarrass himself further with even an oblique challenge, he nodded his understanding and left the hut without a word. He knew Wolf better than anyone (certainly better than Bear did), and he understood what that calm, preremptory tone meant. Wolf nodded slightly and picked up his spear. He wanted it with him at the meeting. He had to show them that this was no mere hunting party or raid, but that they were once again taking up the old war against their ancient enemies. A real war... Wolf sighed quietly. He would not admit to fear, but such an event had not occurred in his lifetime and he had only the tales of his half-mad old grandfather to tell him what to expect. Those tales, already as vague as the old man’s memory could make them, had further faded during the long years it had resided in his own, and all that was left to him was the general impression of unspeakable horror. Of course, he had only been a boy at the time, and had probably understood it to be worse even than it was, but there were so many of these people like the Dunedáin...

Kestrel’s eyes were still on him, one sharp and bright, the other dead. He smiled grimly at the sight of her scarred face, thinking that, whatever this invasion might mean, surely it could be little worse than what they had to face on a regular basis. Knife was right about that much.

He sat by the hearth, blank-faced and unreadable as he steeled himself to the decisions he’d made. He hated making plans that would result in deaths, and he hated dealing with the aftereffects of those deaths, but anything was preferable to starvation. Better not to keep thinking about decisions that were already made. Better to just talk to Kestrel, who was a good sensible woman, and whose marriage to his brother he’d supported. She’d have questions, of course. Very well, he could tell her a little; after all, from whom would their plans be concealed once the war had begun?
__________________
"I hate dignity," cried Scraps, kicking a pebble high in the air and then trying to catch it as it fell. "Half the fools and all the wise folks are dignified, and I'm neither the one nor the other." --L. Frank Baum
Belin is offline  
Old 09-15-2003, 09:04 PM   #27
Meneltarmacil
Ghost Prince of Cardolan
 
Meneltarmacil's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: The bottom of the ocean, discussing philosophy with a giant squid
Posts: 2,287
Meneltarmacil is a guest of Tom Bombadil.
Eye

Rangers

Thoronmir crept back to where he had left his horse. He considered going back up the hill and having a second look, but he knew it would be too risky. He had already been spotted, and if he went back, he would probably get captured or killed. He got up on his horse and rode off, taking a wandering course through the hills to shake off any pursuit. After traveling for a while, he found a small cave in a hillside and camped there for the night.

The next morning, Thoronmir woke early and rode toward the settlement. He had to warn them about the hillmen before it was too late. He rode through the hills as fast as he could, finally reaching the settlement at some forgotten hour in the dead of night.

After stabling his horse, he went straight to where Awyrgan was staying. "Wake up," he said.
"Thoronmir?" Awyrgan wondered groggily. "I thought you were far away from here by now."
"I was," he said. "I came to warn you. The warriors of the Hillmen-- most of them are not in the village. They must be spying on us somewhere nearby."
"Spying?" asked Awyrgan, now fully awake. "But what can we do?"
"Get Thorgil and call a meeting of the Dunedain," replied Thoronmir. "We must make plans for defending this settlement before it is too late."

[ September 15, 2003: Message edited by: Meneltarmacil ]
__________________
I ♣ baby seals.
Meneltarmacil is offline  
Old 09-15-2003, 09:23 PM   #28
alaklondewen
Song of Seregon
 
alaklondewen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Following the road less traveled
Posts: 1,201
alaklondewen has just left Hobbiton.
Sting

Settlers -- Collothion and Cuilad

Collothion’s hands had been kept busy from the time the sun rose over the Eastern hills until morning faded to noon. Not only did he have his normal duties in camp with fevers, flues, and his regular rounds, but he also lent his services in the forest. Although he didn’t actually cut the trees himself, he helped the other men carry the lumber. He did have a few selfish motives for being in the forest…the vegetation. This new place carried a variety of plants, moss, trees, and herbs he had yet to see, and he could hardly contain his excitement at the thought of what healing potential some of this new vegetation might hold. He would bring Cuilad back here when the other men were gone or on break, and they would take a closer look. In the meantime Collothion would stop now and again when he spotted some undergrowth that looked interesting and slip it into his tan leather bag which hung from his waist.

The ringing of the noon bell was heard coming from the camp, and the men let out sighs of relief as they set their tools down and headed back to rest and fill their weary bodies with much needed fuel to get them through the rest of the day. Collothion waited by the last wagon in line until Cuilad could join him. The boy had worked hard labor all morning and had been excused from his training so he could help with the felling of the trees. Cuilad was covered with dirt and sawdust, and Collothion could see exhaustion in the boy’s eyes, but Cuilad held himself proudly without complaint.

“How are you holding up?” Collothion asked his son whose only reply was the nod of his head as he stopped to rest with his hands on his hips. “When we’re finished here, I want to come back and collect some samples of the undergrowth and foliage. I already selected a few to look at on our break.” Collothion smiled as he patted his pouch. Cuilad shook his head with silent laughter knowing his father would never take a break from his healing duties.

As they reached the edge of circle of tents, they looked upon a long table that had been laid out for the working men. A modest lunch was set out at each seat. The father and son sat eagerly at the end of the table farthest from the trees. Shortly after, Calumdril sat down across from them. The man seemed to be deep in thought and his expression was serious.

“How’s the arm, Old Man?” Collothion smiled broadly at the younger Calumdril who had visited him earlier with a raw boil.

At first Calumdril looked at Collothion with a certain curiosity then he smiled and replied, “Much better, thank you.” Collothion watched the soldier instinctively touch the sore spot with his finger tips.

“It’ll heal much faster if you leave it alone.” Collothion winked as he dug into the luke-warm food on his plate.

Calumdril nodded and began to eat silently. A moment later, the younger man looked up in an almost startled way as though he’d just remembered something. “These came from a pine tree on the edge of the wood…I thought they might prove useful to you.” Calumdril produced a few needles from a small pouch.

Collothion carefully took the dark green needles and rubbed them between his fingers before bringing them to his nose. Despite their small size they had a strong, yet almost pleasant, scent. He could feel his senses clear just from the aroma. As soon as he had a chance, Collothion would steam the needles to see what he could extract from them through simple infusion. “I thank you, Sir.” Collothion stood as high as he could with the bench seat behind his knees and bowed his head with respect to Calumdril. “I will surely let you know what I find out.” This act of kindness touched Collothion and he looked at Calumdril with respect anew.

After sitting back down, the men finished their meals in silence. Only too soon did the ending of their lunch hour come, and the weary souls took to their work again.

[ September 16, 2003: Message edited by: alaklondewen ]
__________________
At last I understand why we have waited! This is the ending. Now not day only shall be beloved, but night too shall be beautiful and blessed and all its fear pass away!
alaklondewen is offline  
Old 09-19-2003, 04:10 PM   #29
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

DWARVES - Barzűn

Barzűn sat down discontentedly as the Dwarves broke for lunch. Although he knew that they would have to eat, he wished they would not take so long with the food. He ate his quickly, then stood watching the others while they ate. Many of them sped up their eating when they saw that he was watching.

Soon, the others finished their lunches. Barzűn barked at them to get back to work and planning. One or two groaned and another asked if they might call it a day.

"We still have planning," Barzűn growled, "The settlers would like to have a town to keep them warm when the winter comes. We should at least have the plans finalized by then."

The other Dwarves silently and sullenly consented and the group went back over to plan. Barzűn looked at the settlers as they went back over to the maps. It seemed as though everyone was working. Those that were not working seemed to be eating a quick lunch. They finished speedily and returned to their labor. At least the Humans were steady workers. So were the Dwarves once they got to work.

But they still were Humans. The Dwarves would prove to be better builders. That was why they had to get the plans finalized quickly. Without plans, they could not start to build the town.

Barzűn studied the plans with the other Dwarves for a second, clearing his mind. The latest plans were not the strongest, probably because the Dwarves had been hungry when they drafted them. He squinted and looked at the design, trying to think of a better idea.

"Now you see how we began to put this house here?" Barzűn began, "That would destroy our ideas to have that shop..."

The Dwarves focused, picking up around where they left off before lunch, working hard and diligently. Barzűn let the fleeting thought that this project just might work flutter quickly through his head before concentrating his attention back on the plans as the sun moved rapidly overhead, the afternoon growing later and later.
__________________
"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 09-21-2003, 07:48 PM   #30
Tinuviel of Denton
Ghost Prince of Cardolan
 
Tinuviel of Denton's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Amid the hills and dales of the Shire... or not.
Posts: 609
Tinuviel of Denton has just left Hobbiton.
Send a message via AIM to Tinuviel of Denton
Sting

Hillmen

Kestrel often wished that she had been born a man, though never more so than now. It galled her that the warriors would go out and fight and she could do nothing to help. She hated feeling helpless, as if she were no stronger than her son. Oh, she knew that wasn't so, but still.

Knife was so placid about this whole thing; it was one of the many things that drove her crazy about the man. No matter what happened, he kept shoveling the thin stew into his mouth. Half the time he didn't even notice the herbs she put in it; the other half, he didn't comment. What he did notice was those times when there was no stew, which lack he usually remedied quickly.

Knife just wasn't much company to her, although her irascibility might have had something to do with the fact that he spent as much time as possible away from the hut and his family. Kestrel could be vicious in her criticism of her husband and ruthless in her correction of her children. But she did love them. Well, she loved the children at least. At night, she would cuddle with them in the corner of the hut, humming and gently brushing their hair with her fingers until they slept. Soon Flint would be too old for that; he was a boy, and as such would be expected to leave his mother's care behind as he learned to take his place among the warriors. She would miss her baby boy.

Wolf sat by the shabby hearth, staring into the flickering flames. Kestrel often heard people complain about Wolf's leadership, saying that Bear would probably be a better leader. Indeed, she heard a lot of things; no one paid any attention to a half-blind woman. She also knew that they didn't know what they were talking about when he complained about Wolf. She thought sometimes that Wolf felt about the people the way she felt about her children. Responsible for their welfare at the very least. He was a good leader; Bear could never do as well.

She sat down next to him; her feet hurt from walking about all day. That was how the end of her day usually was, with her eye stinging from the smoky hut and flickering light and her bad leg aching from the weight she had to put on it. Wolf’s shoulders were taut with the strain that he would never consciously let anyone see. She knew from past experience that he would not want her to try to ease him; he wouldn’t even want her to see that he was tired. She supposed that it felt like a slur on his manhood or some silly thing like that; men were like that. Especially important men it seemed.

“Wolf?” she tried. If he was really tired, he wouldn’t even answer her. If he wasn’t too tired, he might tell her a few things that the men would talk about in that meeting later. She, being a woman, would of course have to absent herself from that. Cooking and gathering was women’s work; fighting and hunting was for the men, though Kestrel sometimes thought that she could do at least as well as certain men, possibly better.

She said his name again, and he grunted in acknowledgement. Encouraged, she asked, “What are you going to do about those cursed Dunedáin? They can’t just come in and think they can take over.”

Wolf nodded. “We’ll fight them. That’s all.”

“There aren’t too many of them then, are there? If we are going to fight them, I mean.”

Wolf nodded, but his expression didn’t change, which meant that there probably were too many of them, but he didn’t want to tell her that.

“Do you think we’ll win?”

He didn’t answer, which meant that he probably didn’t think they would. It was odd how she could read his silences and half-answers. Maybe it was because she’d lived with him and his brother for five years now. She thought that maybe she knew him as well as any woman could know him. It would take a man to really know him though, because she could never understand hunting or fighting as long as she wasn’t allowed to do those things. And those were an important part of Wolf.

She sighed inaudibly, and looked again at her brother-in-law. She could see the tension in his shoulders hadn’t relaxed any, and she searched for some way to make him feel better without being too obvious.

Rain was humming some little tune and Flint sat in the corner, playing with his tiny ‘spear’ which was nothing of the sort. He was stabbing a little piece of leather that had a rabbit’s head drawn on it over and over again. Kestrel thought that maybe she saw a little smile hover on Wolf’s face when he glanced in their direction, especially at Flint.

“Can I tell you something Wolf?”

He grunted.

“I haven’t even told Knife yet, but I think I’m pregnant. I can’t be completely sure, but—I think so.” She searched for a sign in his face that he was pleased as he suddenly turned toward her. There was a little smile on his face, though, more overt than before, and he was just a little more relaxed. She was absurdly delighted to see him less worried, though she was sure that some of that worry was now for her unborn child. He was really a wonderful uncle and she sometimes thought that he should have married and had a few of his own children, but of course, being the leader he couldn’t do that.

That was when Knife returned, and Wolf was again thinking only of what he had to do for the entire village.

[ September 22, 2003: Message edited by: Tinuviel of Denton ]
Tinuviel of Denton is offline  
Old 09-27-2003, 03:52 PM   #31
Carrűn
Wight
 
Carrűn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Behind you, counting to 3
Posts: 234
Carrűn has just left Hobbiton.
Sting

Awyrgan had awakened early, long before most of the camp was stirring. The ride over had been pleasent enough. Not knowing any of the other Rangers very well Alearindu made as a good a companion as any. Still, Awyrgan preferred to keep to himself.

He had pitched a tent far off on the fringe of the campsite. It was a practical location as well, giving him a good view of the grounds and surrounding terrain.

During the day, there was little for him to do. At night he would make the rounds of the camp, feeling not unlike a babysitter.

He had just gone back to sleep when he was hurridly awakened.

"Wake up." What, no bed and breakfast? He sat up groggily and his eyes focused on three Thoronmirs. "I thought you were far away from here." A note of envy was in his voice.

"I was," Thoronmir said. "I came to warn you. The warriors of the Hillmen-- most of them are not in the village. They must be spying on us somewhere nearby."

Awyrgan stood up. He nodded in asent to his companion's suggestion to notify Thorgil. But he needed to think. "You do it - you're senior and you have more firsthand knowledge it seems." Thoronmir nodded and strode off.

Awyrgan sat down by his small fire, trying to remember any details from his few short patrols since he had arrived. There had been a few hillmen tracks, but they were for the most part still keeping a safe distance. But that one set...

A bizzare set of tracks was still puzzling the man. He had his doubts, but they looked almost human. Still, they didn't fit the typical hillman mold.

He shrugged to himself. He'd find someone, notify them, and go out looking again once night fell.

[ October 05, 2003: Message edited by: Carrűn ]
__________________
"Dic, hospes, Spartae, nos te hic vidisse iacentes dum sanctis patriae legibus obsequimur."
Carrűn is offline  
Old 09-28-2003, 07:54 AM   #32
The X Phial
Shade of Carn Dűm
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Out there with the truth. Come find me.
Posts: 320
The X Phial has just left Hobbiton.
Sting

A chill entered the air as the sun slipped below the line of hills. Though it was Spring in Arnor, the evenings could get quite cool. The stone held the heat for a few hours, but by the time the moon rose it would be too cold to sit for long without a fire or a warm bed of blankets.

Most of the settlers would be asleep by then, anyway. The hard labor of felling and hauling trees and caring for children and animals in a wild atmosphere was draining on everyone. Often, by the time the chill settled in the entire camp was quiet, with the exception of the Dwarf quarter, where singing and laughter could sometimes be heard.

Borgand was heading in that direction again. He found the bulk of the dwarves around a merry fire, arguing in a good natured way about the best place to put a mill.

"Good sirs, I am sorry to interrupt your discourse, but we finally have enough timber to begin working on a short wall and a community hall. Would it be possible for me to see the plans as they stand? I would like to build the temporary hall in the city center."

The dwarves looked up at him with an expression bordering bewilderment and shock. Apparently he had overstepped his bounds. The grizzled dwarf who had spoken to him earlier, Barzun was it, spoke up again.

"We are not accustomed to sharing our plans before they are finished, man."

It was clear the "man" part was filled with a sort of contempt, but Borgand brushed it off.

"I would not ask, but I feel our camp needs a center. A place for people to call home, if you know what I mean. We are without a home at the moment, and the sooner we can make this place ours, give it a feeling of familiarity, the better. Perhaps it makes us weak, but if we do not have a center soon, this camp may not make it. I trust that, as our allies, you want to see this venture succeed."

The dwarf and his companions looked at one another. Clearly they understood the feeling of being away from home and in unusual surroundings. Though Borgand doubted any of them would ever admit it, he could see a sense of pity in some of their eyes. Barzun's eyes held no pity, but did reflect a shrewd intelligence, as if he were re-evaluating this crippled man in front of him.

Finally, he spoke again. "While the plans are not yet ready to be viewed, I can tell you that the city center will be on that small hill there." He indicated a small uprise about 500 feet from their current position. "I hope this will be enough for you."

Borgand bowed. "Indeed. I appreciate your candor."

As he left he felt their eyes following him. He did his best not to limp too much. In truth, the reticence of the dwarves annoyed him. They were working for him, not his masters. If a human contractor had spoken to him thus, Borgand would have had him immediately fired. These were not humans, though, but master craftsmen, and he knew that without their help the people would not have sufficient housing before the winter came. He would have to play their game, but the secrecy galled him. They won't even be living here. If anyone deserves to see the plans, it is my people.

From the nearby forest a line of weary men was returning to camp. They brought their tools with them, and several carried large branches for use in fire building. All around the camp the smell of cooking and fires was beginning to get pungent. Small children laughed to know that supper was on its way and older chidren prepared heated water for their fathers and brothers to bathe in. Borgand was proud of his people. They were survivors.

Approaching his own tent he saw that Illith had a group of children around the camp as usual. She often tended to the children of other women so they could look after the animals or take turns gathering roots from the woods. Some of the tough, edible roots and acorns had been found already, but Borgand knew that without game the settlement would be in trouble soon.

Men all over the camp were greeting their wives and children, happy to be done with a day of hard labor. Borgand still had many hours of work ahead of him, though. He had a watch to set and a meeting to call for the morning. Not wanting to trouble any of the tired workers further, he would carry the news of the meeting to each family himself. He sighed into the chilly air and smiled at his wife and son. It was worth it, for them.

[ September 29, 2003: Message edited by: The X Phial ]
__________________
But then there was a star danced, and under that was I born.
The X Phial is offline  
Old 09-28-2003, 09:53 AM   #33
Arvedui III
Ghost Prince of Cardolan
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: In Rohan, with Carolina on my mind
Posts: 631
Arvedui III has just left Hobbiton.
Send a message via AIM to Arvedui III
Shield

Hillmen
A light breeze sifted through the trees leering over the camp at lake Evendim; Only occasionally shifting rocks disturbed the soft wind weaving in and about the wild landscape of Arnor. Fletch licked his lips in anticipation, methodically making toward the village of the wild men, if indeed it was where he still thought it was. The gnawing fear playing gleefully in the back of his mind grew as Fletch, for all the stealth he had acquired over the years, broke into a gangly run once he was well out of hearing distance of the intruders camp.

A little creek now reached out before him, a stream barren of any life by the look of it. The land was moving on, and Fletch cursed his lot, the stream, the greedy invaders he had just surveyed, and many other ills after he glanced into the useless brook. It wasn't the last time he would utter curses this day. Fletch kept along the stream for around another thirty minutes, trotting quickly given the harsh terrain. Quite suddenly, he crouched low, hands finding their way to poison shafts without his bidding. Something was moving.

Eyes darting wildly about the landscape, they came to focus on a hefty figure lumbering away from the stream, clutching something. Fletch once again relaxed and shifted his weight, glaring questioningly at the man limping laboriously away. He was clearly no Dunedain, but then why would any of Wolf's folk be here? He licked his chapped lips again and slowly began to follow. The mystery of the limping wildman became even more perplexing as Fletch trailed him.

The fellow had the sense to be silent as he went, but that seemed to be the only good sense he possessed. With neither the wit to know that someone was only a few yards behind him, nor to bother even trying to conceal his path as he went, Fletch convinced himself that the man he now followed was no man of Wolf's, but still, the figure walked toward the village, so he had to be. Is he a renegade, then? Fletch stopped, squatted, and furrowed his brow in thought, allowing his quarry to turn left and move out of sight.

Fletch's watery eyes again darted to a corner of area, and this time instead of relaxing he tensed and readied a dart in his right hand. Another large figure was making its way toward the village. Knowing that flying now would only delay the inevitable, Fletch sighed and stood up, smirking slightly as the figure realized he was there. "Ah yes, the runt." Drawled the massive fellow as he came into hearing distance. In spite of himself, Fletch felt his cheeks flush and knew then that the man would only just begin his sport. Just let it roll off you. Fletch thought. Let it roll off you like rain on stone.

"Bear, brother of Wolf. Your fire burns well, I trust." Fletch couldn't have added more contempt in his voice if he tried. "Bah!" Bear spat, ignoring the greeting and drawing himself up to at least two heads above Fletch just to look down on him properly. "My fire burns not. Have you seen them?" "Yes, and why the filthy southmen have come I do not know." Both men, large and small, seared with hatred in their eyes, although whether it was for the invaders or each other, the gods only knew. "Wolf wants you." Bear grunted. "I know." Fletch retorted. Bear then shot him one disdainful look and kept walking toward the village. Half tempted to bury ten darts in his broad back, Fletch followed, the smell of fires already starting to reach him.

Southmen in the morning and Hillmen in the evening. Fletch thought bitterly. This was not going to be a good day
__________________
I have no idea what you just said, but I'm inspired!
Arvedui III is offline  
Old 09-28-2003, 01:50 PM   #34
Belin
Shade of Carn Dűm
 
Belin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: all the wide unfriendly pathways of the world
Posts: 330
Belin has just left Hobbiton.
Send a message via Yahoo to Belin
Tolkien

Hillmen

They held their meeting in the house of their priest, their usual public space. It was small and choked with smoke, and the nearness of the mysterious and revered individual who lived there, the only one in the village who lived alone, made most of the Hillmen uneasy, but all of this was to Wolf’s advantage as a speaker. They watched him closely, too nervous to murmur among themselves the rumors they’d all heard by now. Wolf surveyed them with a certain grim sorrow. Over the years, he’d found value in many of them, and he did not like to spend them in such a way. But he trusted their strength, and, remebering the rather pitiful, if large, band of travelers he’d seen, he reminded himself that it was useless to despair before they’d made an attempt. Surely they had nobody to answer Stone, or Spear, or Smoke.

Bear and Fletch came in late, and pushed past the others to sit as far from each other as possible. Both were glowering. Wolf groaned internally. His brother’s quick temper had been an issue in the past, but Wolf had thought he’d be able to control himself in a time of crisis such as this. Of all things, he ought to know better than to antagonize the sensitive and irritable Fletch. Wolf registered the problem quietly in his mind.

The priest, Cleft, was almost finished welcoming them to his house in his low, grave voice. Wolf was sure that he'd noticed the tension as well, but nothing registered on his lined face. Nothing of such a nature ever did, though the expectant look he directed toward Wolf was clear enough.

The chief settled himself on the low bench and looked around at them seriously. He was no Gondorian orator, to use fine words to stir men to great deaths. He was only their chief, who would direct them as well as he could. Without clearing his throat, and without assuming a more powerful voice, he began to speak. No such voice could have been necessary to an audience as intent as this.

“The rumors are true. I’ve seen for myself. There are about five hundred of them, and they look like the Rangers. They are not warriors…most of them are not… but they are many, and the Rangers will be there in strength to protect them.” He looked around. Nobody was surprised. “They are building a town in the watering spot. We must expel them, or starve.” General nods proved that he was not the only one to whom this had occurred. This part of the speech was not news, but a way of exchanging all the rumors for a single set of facts, and of proving that their chief was as wise as they were. The priest was silent and impassive. Wolf continued. “We will fight them as well as we can. They are tired, and busy, and they don’t know the hills. If nothing else, we can frighten them badly. Maybe they’ll want to leave for more comfortable places.” Here he found it necessary to ignore Knife’s smirk. Had the man no sense of propriety? “We will start with spies. We need to learn their habits, and I want to get the aid of other villages before I attack. Fletch, you will serve as messenger. You know where our friends live. Tell them there is a threat to us all, and remind them of their kinship with us.” He would give further instructions in private, but the prospect of allies had cheered them all slightly, as he’d hoped it would. He went on. “I want Smoke and Pelt as the first spies, but others will take their turns later, and the rest of you should be preparing.”

Wolf sat in silence when he had finished speaking, watching them exchange looks among themselves that bespoke uneasiness, if not outright panic. Nothing could cure them of that. After all, they were right. Wolf sighed, wondering how long this would last, and whether there would be anyone left to care for his nephew when he arrived.

Well, he would give them such confidence as he could. He would speak to them of their strengths. But first he moved among them, specifying what it was that each was to do, as they slowly began to disperse.

[ November 01, 2003: Message edited by: Belin ]
__________________
"I hate dignity," cried Scraps, kicking a pebble high in the air and then trying to catch it as it fell. "Half the fools and all the wise folks are dignified, and I'm neither the one nor the other." --L. Frank Baum
Belin is offline  
Old 09-29-2003, 12:28 PM   #35
Bęthberry
Cryptic Aura
 
Bęthberry's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 6,040
Bęthberry is a guest of Elrond in Rivendell.Bęthberry is a guest of Elrond in Rivendell.Bęthberry is a guest of Elrond in Rivendell.
Boots

Settlers -- Calumdril

A short, sharp "Chiv, chiv," sunk through to Calumdril's consciousness and he shivered in the dank chill of barely-light dawn. The flicker's cry was followed by a familiar tat-tat-tat and Calumdril actually found himself grinning. The woodpeckers had followed the felled trees into the settlement, searching for their nests. A pity, thought the man. They aren't large enough to catch and eat.

He rose, moving quickly to bring warmth to his chilled limbs. Much as he would have liked a hearty, warm breakfast, he did not take the time to start a fire, but gulped down some dried grains and nuts, sweetened with some of the berries which had hung fully on the shrubs around the lake. The water in his basin was too cold to wash in; perhaps he could wash himself later in the lake or river, once the sun had risen to warm the day. He didn't want his scent to linger on his trail. Who knows what animal it would attract, that creature whose tracks he had seen yesterday or the wolves whose howling had woken him in the night. He shrugged and went to seek Borgand.

The man was standing outside his tent. Calumdril wondered just how little sleep the man survived on.

"Morning," he whispered, in a quiet tone. The women and children were yet abed and the sun barely streaking the sky.

"Morning," returned Borgand. "What disturbs you this early?"

"Nothing but the flickers pecking at the wood. I'm off to find Thorgil. The Rangers moved their camp again yesterday and I could not find their trail. I'm going back to their main cabin. Thorgil must square with me about this creature whose tracks I found. And about those wolves I heard last night. Each day seems to bring more evidence of matters unshared. I don't like the man. I wouldn't let the children wander far from camp until we know more about what creatures lurk about. Even in daylight."

Borgand nodded a silent assent to Calumdril's advice and watched the man depart the camp on foot.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

It was mid-morn by the time Calumdril found the main Ranger cabin, a largish building of rough hewn timber and chinked caulking. Smoked trailed out of the chimney. Good, thought Calumdril, someone's afoot and I can surprise him.

Calumdril did not even knock but opened the door suddenly and marched into the middle of the Ranger's cabin. Compared to the conditions in the settlers' tents, it was almost luxurious. A large table stood in the centre of the cabin, surrounded by plank benches. Furs hung from the walls, curbing drafts and some covered small wide benches which were obviously for leisurely sitting. A large fireplace heated a cauldron, which simmered with a stew.

Startled, Thorgil stood up from a small table at the far end of the cabin, obviously his desk, and put down his cup. He strode towards The Ithilien Ranger with some surprise but his words were cut off by Calumdril's pointed address.

"There are wolves about. We heard them last night for the first time. And yesterday I tracked a strange being along the south river. A promise of protection should surely bring some honest sharing of information."

Thorgil looked surprised. "Wolves are moving in now, from the south, as the winter retreats and the land warms. But what tracks are these?"

"Likely human, but lame somehow. It showed no sense of how to mask its trail, as the other hillmen had done."

Thorgil released a grunt and large puff of breath, as if worried himself.

"It's this close to the settlement?"

"By the fork in the river, south side, near the small grove of pine trees. What is it?"

"I know not. I've seen the tracks myself, once, twice, usually following the hillmen or skirting 'round them someways. Once it left a bloodied trail."

Calumdril glared at the Ranger. "And you didn't warn us?"

"No one's seen the creature. It hides mostly. Tane was going to track it once but his horse went lame with a stone."

"And who's Tane?"

"My second in command. He's off on the north side of the lake, else you would have met him."

Calumdril continued to stare at the Ranger, not liking the speed of the easy explanations, but realizing the Ranger could be speaking the truth.

Thorgil began to feel uneasy; it was an embarassment to his men that this man had found the tracks which they so often missed. He had not thought it would be worth telling Borgand about. Maybe he underestimated these settlers.

"Are you going to look for it today?"

"No," replied the Ithilien. "I've got more important things to do. I want to track the deer herd. But you'll be wanting to keep Borgand appraised of the creature's whereabouts. If you intend to keep your word about offering protection."

Thorgil bristled. He didn't like this man's attitude but he couldn't blame him.

"I promise you, I'll look for it today and bring word to Borgand myself this evening."

The two men stood eyeing each other with a quietly disappearing unease. Calumdril knew no good would come from pushing the point further. Finally, Thorgil offered Calumdril some of the stew and drink from the hot pot over the fire. Calumdril accepted, sitting down to the long table with thankfulness for a hot meal.

Thorgil took his leave, packing his bow and arrows, with a curt nod.

"I'll see what I can learn about this creature. You're a sharp eye to have seen its tracks."

Calumdril finished his meal alone, taking a second bowl of the stew, wiping his face and hands with the luxury of warm water, and then departed. If he could reach the ridge in an hour, he stood a chance of finding the deer herd.

[ September 29, 2003: Message edited by: Bęthberry ]
__________________
I’ll sing his roots off. I’ll sing a wind up and blow leaf and branch away.
Bęthberry is offline  
Old 09-29-2003, 07:08 PM   #36
Kryssal
Wight
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: I be one of those hick Utahns.
Posts: 180
Kryssal has just left Hobbiton.
Silmaril

The crisp wind stung Tane's face as he prepared his breakfast. He had come in early this morning. He would have been back a day or so ago but he had found some interesting tracks that he couldn't quite identify. After a day and a half of completely fruitless searching and dead ends, the Ranger decided that he had been following the tracks of a creature that the Rangers had long ago decided not to disturb, it being in it's own habitat and not a threat.

Tane was putting out his small fire when Thorgil came out of the cabin. After glancing around the camp, the leader of the Rangers spotted Tane and quickly walked over.

Tane scuffed out the last embers, making sure all the ashes were out before turning to his commander.

"The settler Calumdril came to see me today."

Tane locked eyes. "What did he want?"

Thorgil shrugged. "He wants us to tell him everything we know, of course. Now he wants to meet you. He found the creature's tracks."

The leader of the Rangers was standing quite still as he talked to his second in command. Tane didn't like the way Thorgil was speaking in short sentences.

"That's suprising, but what's bothering you?" Tane pressed. Thorgil seemed more figity, as if he wanted to go out and ride.

Thorgil scowled, "This whole affair. We're like child-watchers. The settlers are now worried about the wolves; thinking they might attack."

Tane nodded. He knew the chances of a wolf pack actually attacking a settlement, and it wouldn't likely happen. The animals might take down a few settlers if they were out wandering on their own though.

"Plus," Thorgil continued. "Calumdril wants updates on the creature. I'm going to go out and track it myself. You'll be in charge again," once again Tane nodded. "Good luck if any of the settlers come calling, you'll need it."

Tane laughed as his old friend walked off to get his mount ready for the hunt.

[ October 24, 2003: Message edited by: Kryssal ]
Kryssal is offline  
Old 10-05-2003, 09:36 AM   #37
*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

Therin sat as he watched some of the dwarves work with the settlers to build some of the houses that the people would live in. Stone by stone, the settlement was beginning to emerge as more than just a circle of tents. Taking a last bite of his lunch,he brushed any crumbs out of his rough red beard, before rising to help the workers.

"Therin!" barked Barzun. "Get to work! We have no time for idlers who sit around all day!" A fire kindled in Therin's eyes, and a younger dwarf who had also just recieved an ear bashing for making a mistake looked at him sympathetically.

Finding himself a seat near the edge of the settlement, Therin began carefully carving away at what to other eyes appeared just a bit of stone. To Therin, however, it was more than this, and would look even better once it was finished.

An hour later, a design etched into the stonework, Therin's attention was beginning to waver, and he took to looking more at the hills around Lake Evendim, and thinking of the Hillmen. Perhaps it was possible they really didn't mind the presence of the settlers? After all, they had not come down to the camp, they had not caused any trouble, as Therin would normally have expected of disgruntled natives, resentful of people taking over their land.

His attention once more focused on his tools and his design, he jumped slightly when he heard a movement, and turned to see Barzun looking over his shoulder and inspecting his work.

"Very good, Therin," the elder dwarf said, giving Therin quite a surprise to hear compliments coming from him. "I hope some of the younger dwarves can carve like this." Therin uttered a mumble of thanks, but Barzun's attention was distracted, looking to the hills. Therin's eyes followed his gaze, to where some small dark shapes were moving about the hills.

"The Hillmen?" Therin asked. "Do you think they are watching us?"

"They may be," replied Barzun.

"We should report this to the Rangers," Therin said. "They will know how best to deal with this." A scowl momentarily crossed Barzun's face at leaving this up to the humans, but he said nothing as Therin picked up his work and walked away.
__________________
'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 10-05-2003, 10:31 AM   #38
Kryssal
Wight
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: I be one of those hick Utahns.
Posts: 180
Kryssal has just left Hobbiton.
Silmaril

Kaben was in a stump. Eydin had to go out and do his turn in helping build the settlement. Thinking of Eydin leaving put the thought that he himself might have to go do his part in help building the settlement. Not wanting to be a nay-doer, but Kaben didn't particularly want to haul stone or such. Hopefully he'd get a smaller, more easy to handle job.

In Eydin's absence Kaben couldn't move any more boxes to set up in his shop. At least the warehouse was all ordered and taken care of. Kaben chuckled at the idea of warehouse, it was more just a big tent, well, a much bigger tent than the one the shop was set up in.

Looking around Kaben saw that he could do several small setting up projects, displays mostly. He had just finished the first display of small tools when someone entered the shop. Many people had come and gone through the shop already, but no one had left any impression. Kaben was hard put to try and learn everyones name. Being a good shopkeeper he immediately went to enquire if any help was needed.

[ October 05, 2003: Message edited by: Kryssal ]
Kryssal is offline  
Old 10-05-2003, 03:57 PM   #39
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

DWARVES - Barzűn

Barzűn watched as Therin walked away. The boy had talent. Barzűn just hoped that Therin would not waste it on idle carving. The lad could have a lucrative career ahead of him if he did not waste his talent.

Then there was this business of wild men around. Barzűn grumbled. Men of any creed were still trouble. The question was whether to tell the Rangers, those sly humans that Barzűn did not really trust either, or to let the Hillmen do as they pleased. The Hillmen could, of course, ruin the work that had so recently begun. It would probably be best to inform the Rangers of the threat that seemed to be lurking in the not-so-distant hills. But that could probably wait for tomorrow or even tonight, at earliest. At the moment Barzűn had more massive problems, such as the builders, who were slacking off again.

Barzűn made his way back to the workers, fixing his scowl on his face again.

"Just because I stop, it does not mean that I have given you a right to stop!" Barzűn barked. "I worked for eighty years to get to this position, and I did not achieve this job by slacking off. If I stop to chastise one of your fellow workers, it does not entitle you to a rest break. Now get back to work!"

A young Dwarf sighed dramatically as he went back to work. Barzűn's glare silenced him, however. Barzűn looked at the sky, hoping that they could get some good work in before having to stop for the night. He despised night, as the laborers stopped their toils when the darkness fell upon the land.

Barzűn sighed, looking again at the sky. There would still be some time to work left. He barked another order, then went back to work himself.
__________________
"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 10-05-2003, 06:03 PM   #40
Meneltarmacil
Ghost Prince of Cardolan
 
Meneltarmacil's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: The bottom of the ocean, discussing philosophy with a giant squid
Posts: 2,287
Meneltarmacil is a guest of Tom Bombadil.
Eye

Thoronmir rode into the Rangers' camp early the next morning. He got off his horse and walked over to Thorgil's tent.

"Thorgil," said Thoronmir. "I have some news from the scouting mission that you might like to hear."
"Very well," replied the older man. "Let's hear your report."
"The hillmen have a fairly large encampment in the southwestern part of the hills. There weren't many warriors there, and I thought they might be spying on the village. I would have stayed longer, but one of the hillmen saw me and I had to get away."
"Spying, you say? That's what we'd been thinking all along," Thorgil said. "Maybe you should go to the settlement and help out the other two Rangers there. If the hillmen are spying on the settlement, they could use someone with your experience."
"Very well," said Thoronmir. "I'll leave this afternoon."

[ October 05, 2003: Message edited by: Meneltarmacil ]
__________________
I ♣ baby seals.
Meneltarmacil 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 02:42 AM.



Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.