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Old 12-04-2006, 06:13 PM   #401
Firefoot
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"Certainly," said Cela, taking the necklace from Dick's outstreched hand. She examined it closer now and observed the same lock that Dick had pointed out. "It's a shame we can't open it - whatever is inside might offer some clue to whose it is." She flipped it over. "There aren't any initials on the back of it, either."

She thought for a moment and then placed it on the high shelf behind the cinnamon. "I'll just set it right up here. It's bound to be valuable to someone, and I'm sure they'll come asking around for it." She shrugged, already having lost most of her interest in the trifle that Gable had found so fascinating.

As she resumed her cooking, she glanced over at Dick and grinned. "I daresay the Inn itself seems determined to put you through some sort of initiation test. You can't but sit down and you're right back on your feet again finding out what else is wrong. We'll be forgetting what business as usual means - except that folk are always hungry enough."
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Old 12-05-2006, 02:14 PM   #402
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“Stars above, I’d say you were right about that, Fair Maiden of the Stove,” Dick said with a huge sigh and then a mock bow. Cela forced herself to scowl at him. He became serious and stepped nearer. “I have to say, though, I agree whole heartedly with you. I certainly hope it’s only for a first, initial test o’ me and things will soon become normal again. Otherwise, I’ll have no other alternative than to believe that I brought horrid bad luck to the place!”

And shaking his head with feelings of evil foreboding, Dick went out of the kitchen and into the main room to see if anyone should need any services rendered them. He stopped at the counter and placed both elbows on it to lean over and glance over the gathering there. Many people sat in pairs, talking and chatting merrily over their breakfasts, or cradling some hot steaming cup in their hands. A few sat alone, eating or drinking in silence.

“I say,” Dick muttered to himself as he caught sight of a strange face in the room. “That poor chap doesn’t have either food or drink. He looks worn out, too,” Dick went on in his mind as he stood up and made his way around the bar. “I wonder if he’s come far already today.” He threaded his way through the tables as he thought and approached a tired, travel stained elf. The stranger noted his approach and he straightened himself in his chair as Dick stopped before his table.

“Good morning, sir!” Dick said with a cheerful smile. “Can I help you? Perhaps you’d like some breakfast? Or a mug of ale to waken your spirits? Perhaps some hot tea or coffee?”
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Old 12-05-2006, 02:48 PM   #403
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Edric had been quietly enjoying his morning cup of coffee when the lady, Gable, announced she had found a locket and for the owner to come and claim it. It appeared to Eddie that Gable seemed sad by having to make this announcement. She probably wanted to keep it, he thought. And by right she should be able to keep it.

Edric usually isn't the type to get involved in matters that don't concern him, but there was something different about this particular matter. He saw the Shiriff go outside and decided to pursue him.

'Greetings, good sir.' He said to the Hobbit. 'My name is Edric Gulwine. I come from Rohan and just arrived here last night. An Elf lady mentioned something about finding a locket?' Edric made a slight pause, to gather his thoughts and think, before he actually said something he might regret later. 'Well, the locket aint mine or anything. But, if you ask me, if nobody claims it by the end of today, that locket should go to the lady who found it. It may not really be my business, but if you ask me, if someone can't hang onto their own things they deserve not to get it back. It's each person's business to take care of and protect their belongings. If they can't do that, than frankly, they don't deserve to have it. That's all.'

Edric didn't even wait for the shiriff to respond. He simply opened the door, to the inn, sat back down, and continued drinking his coffee.

Last edited by Boromir88; 12-05-2006 at 03:34 PM.
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Old 12-06-2006, 06:30 AM   #404
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Hearing this from the gentle looking hobbit, Tarathiel gives his best smile he can despite his appearance.

"Well, I would not say no to some Lembas, but I will happily take anything you have," Tarathiel says, trying not to sound too desperate.

Before the elf knew it, he had joined his hobbit acquaintance in a mug of ale and was having a very good time.

"What brings you here to this little village?" asked Dick.

"Traveling out in the West with a small band. I got separated about a tenday ago. And since I have been looking for somewhere to rest...and I think I have found the place!" replied Tarathiel.

After an exchange of names, the tired elf felt at home.

"Why dont you meet some of my friends here? I am sure they would love to meet you," said Dick.

"I cant say no to that, either," the elf smiled.
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Old 12-06-2006, 10:36 AM   #405
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Dick sat with the new elf. He had agreed to take a drink with him. No one was calling for anything and if they did Rowan or Tollers would probably be able to manage it. As Cela had said, Dick hardly had a moment to sit down and now there was a good excuse - a shy elf who apparently wasn’t used to hobbits and inns.

“Why don’t you meet some of my friends here? I am sure they would love to meet you,” he offered.

“I can’t say no to that, either,” Tarathiel said, a small smile coming into his face. Dick grinned and turned about in his chair.

“You’ll have to tell me who you want to meet first. Over there, walking across the room, is Cir. He’s a twin with another elf, but I haven’t seen her today.” Dick turned back towards Tarathiel and leaned across the table towards him. “You won’t guess what they did to me yesterday,” he said. “They came in and introduced both of themselves as Cir! How was I supposed to take that?” The elf shrugged slightly, his eyes fixed on Dick’s face, “I don’t know how I took it, I just did. Anyhow, they’re Cir and Cir, and Cir isn’t down here yet, only Cir is.” He laughed at his own joke and turned back again to point out more familiar faces. When he turned back around, Cir had disappeared, going through the door towards the bedrooms.

“Over there in the corner, with his head back and eyes closed (he’s probably thinking, he does that a lot) is Izmakiel. He came in this morning, about the same time you did, I think. He comes often. He’s a ranger here abouts,” Dick said. “And you’re lost, aren’t you? You said you lost your companions some days ago? Well, Izmakiel may be able to help you find them again.”

“Who was the lady elf who asked about the locket a few minutes ago?”

“Oh that? That’s Gable. She’s been around here for years. I don’t remember when she first came...she helps about the place. She especially likes working with the horses and ponies out in the stables. She rides often, too.

“Over there,” indicating the short, stout figure of Tollers passing between two tables, “is Tollers. He’s a young fellow who works for me. Rowan is over there. Will keeps the horses, he’s in the kitchen, and Primrose and Cela Brandybuck cook all this delicious food for us.”

And so Dick went on, he named what faces he could, and skipped over the rest, until he had covered the whole room, and some people who weren’t even in the room.

“Now,” he said as he finished, turning back to look Tarathiel in the face again, “I’ve named everyone I know well enough to introduce you to. Tell me who you’d like to speak with and I’ll make introductions. After that, I’m afraid I have to get back to my work.”

Last edited by Folwren; 01-18-2007 at 02:06 PM.
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Old 12-07-2006, 08:21 AM   #406
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"I would really enjoy meeting another ranger. I wonder where he has traveled?" Tarathiel thought aloud.

"Izmakiel? I doubt there is a place in this world where he has not traveled! Let's go over and meet him," offered the hobbit.

As they walked over, Dick told Tarathiel not to mention trolls to him, because poor Izmakiel does not do to well with them.

"But I am sure that you two will find plenty to talk about. I am sure that your paths have taken you to similar places," said Dick.

The two sat down with the ranger, a rugged and dangerous looking fellow.

"...Could I help you?" asked the ranger.

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Old 12-07-2006, 05:13 PM   #407
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Limaris Arahad had been with the company of Rangers for almost a full year, a time in which he had time to reflect upon his decision to leave his mother in Linhir and seek a life in the service of Gondor. What he had wanted to seek and had sought so far was the focus of his thoughts. Apart from the obvious military skills he had acquired and was still acquiring was eclipsed in comparison to the interaction of an individual with others.

A rather deep subject he thought to be pondering on an early morn. However it was this particular skill which he had yearned for the most. Company with other Rangers although friendly was for the best of times serious to the extreme; something he understood given the task appointed to the company. It was however only after camp was made and the pickets set that conversation was allowed, and even then when in the field, regulations required it to be muted.

‘Evening boredom’ and ‘Shire’ was the greatest paradox he had ever known, for over the months he had been observing the borders of Buckland and the few times that he had been tasked with scouting the areas close to dwellings Hobbits were a great fan of evening camaraderie and he would often hear their rich voices carried through door and window of the popular inns.

It was in reflection however the greatest test of self discipline perhaps even torture to observe a folk existing comfortably in their houses, while he remained under the stars on hard ground come all weather.

This train of thought and his own self justification oft provoked the stern and quick rebuke from the company officer who reminded him of his position and task and blamed it on his age. He was inexperienced to have been made a fledged Ranger, however it was his particular skill as a tracker that had caught the attention of the command and landed him here following the convoluted course of the Stockbrook.

The sound of a splash and crunch of grit wrenched him out of his reverie and he noticed that he had strayed into the shallows of the brook. Wandering or ‘ill-discipline’ as Bregil, commanding would say, often meant he went astray, to the annoyance of his comrades also, and something that time in the field would eliminate.

Back to his senses his training began to restart, young eyes scanning the ground ahead the small but distinguishable signs of animals having visited the brook, a foxes tracks leading away from the water, coney depressions in the soft ground where they had rested the previous day. The morning was a blend of greys and blues, accompanied by the gentle trickling sound and silver glittering of the water. Noting the angle of the sun he quickened his pace leaving in his wake the destruction of a myriad of habitats too small even for his eyes to see.

Leaving the water’s edge to avoid his prints forming in the soft ground that might betray his presence to a visitor in the future his mind fell upon his orders. The course he was taking was a wide and ever winding path inwards till he was on the outskirts of one of the Shire’s largest villages, Stock. His was on a routine patrol of the land directly within the border patrol set by other masters, and one that would require him to enter the village, which was one of four his company were given specific watch.

His orders when he had entered the village were to observe, remaining impassive and inconspicuous. However if needed he might approach the local inhabitants and gently inquire as to the goings on over the past few weeks, a precaution in case even the eagle eyed watch of the company had missed any trespassers.

Having made steady progress for an hour along the brook he noticed that the surrounding vegetation began to clear, and grasses became more prominent amongst the reeds and water loving flowers that thrived within a few metres either side of its banks. It was a few minutes later that he noticed the road, the Causeway it was named, it was one of two main roads that crossed through Stock and came from further north by the Brandywine bridge.

The name sparked off a snippet of its history, something he had picked up on his wanderings. It was said to be an alteration of the Elvish Baránduin which translated meant ‘golden brown river’, and it had become Hobbit custom in previous years to be called Bralda-hîm or ‘heady ale’.

A name which made a slight smile split his lips; he’d thought of a perfect idea, the Golden Perch Inn would be the best place in the area to seek out any knowledge, for it was widely known its ale was the finest in the East farthing. With that pleasant thought in mind his dulled spirits flared and his step quickened slightly, remaining off the road however and amongst the vegetation to provide himself with some cover, of late you could not be overly cautious. However again he was lost in thought and the surroundings became nothingness compared with the thought of good ale.

Tracking the road for a short distance he came to an intersection with the Stock road and the ground which had been rising gently as he neared the village peaked as a small hill by which the Inn was built. It’s large out sign welcoming travellers and promising good company and a warm hearth for the weather was cool enough to warrant more than the average number of layers a man would wear.

On first inspection it was a distended building, with various roofs at different heights, no doubt to accommodate for its varying height of patrons. He had paused just off the road and noticed that some of the inhabitants of the village making their way to and from chores were glancing at him. He’d not wanted to draw a great deal of attention on his entrance, Shire folk were at times quick to frighten and judge visitors with strange behaviour. Again the small smile spread across his features at the image of a group of the more stout Bucklanders running him out of the village.

Lurching forward he put a warming smile on his face and strode toward the Inn entrance. Stooping through the heavy weathered door he was confronted by a large open room, filled with tables and benches, stools and the bustling and babbling of its customers. No eyes turned, no conversations stopped on his entrance, visitors from all over were frequent and not to be concerned over; his nose was immediately assaulted with various smells, of food and strong ale, leather and light smoke from pipes and the large fireplace that dominated the room.

Pausing briefly as if he were fumbling with his cloak clasp he scanned the room.
Large ale casks and the counter to his right with a door behind, the clatter of dishes rose above the chatter, men, elves and of course Hobbits were present. The atmosphere was friendly and folk were shifting seats to converse with others, holding the cloak in his hand he cast it over his shoulder and slowly made his way to the counter, careful to avoid hitting table corners and stools with occupants lest he spill tankards.

Standing at the bar he was pleased that he had appeared as just another traveller though was well aware that his garb may well have attracted glances as he made his way to the counter, he had left his weapons with the company camp but had kept back a small dagger which was at his felt, a common enough implement for a man but still…

Besides it felt good again to be among others, and he breathed deeply, a contented sigh escaping him. Leaning on the counter with his elbow he gave the counter a slight knock.

“Inn keeper?”

One hand went to his money pouch concealed beneath his clothing, and his eyes flicked round the room once more, looking for a likely start of conversation with the local populace.
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Old 12-07-2006, 08:44 PM   #408
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“Could I help you?” Izmakiel asked, glancing from Tarathiel to Dick and back again.

Dick took a seat as he answered. “Well, yes, I think so. This ‘ere elf says he’d like to speak with you. He travels a bit, I think, and – and,” his attention wandered suddenly. His eyes had caught someone enter the door and then he heard himself called. He stood up. “And he thought you two might have a bit to talk about. I must beg your gentlemen’s pardons.”

He bowed and turned as quickly as he could without being impolite and hurried across the room. He thread his way through tables and then around the counter, skittering up as fast as he could to the place just opposite the new comer.

“I am the inn keeper, sir!” he said, looking up into the young man’s face. “How can I help you?”
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Old 12-12-2006, 10:22 AM   #409
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Limaris having called the Inn Keeper had let himself be absorbed into the atmosphere of the open room, however he knew that unfortunately his time would not be unlimited and he was to have only two days in Stock before setting out at first light on the third to report back to the company.

It was however likely that he would be sent back to continue on any leads, and indeed on more of the regular patrols closer to civilisation. Yet he had just arrived and the smell of the ‘heady ale’ was thick in his nostrils and intoxicating, he had no qualms over what he was going to order.

He had set his coin pouch on the counter and as he sought likely avenues of conversation with the local inhabitants, he was informed by his superior before he had left, that the weather and family was always a good point to start with. But to be wary of asking too many questions of these types, lest he be judged as a nosy busy body and consequently ignored. For although Hobbits he had been told were a talkative folk there were wary of complete strangers and the regaling of close family tales to them.

On his second glance around the room his eyes fell upon a rather shady character in Ranger garb no less faded by constant exposure to weather and the dirt from the road, though that may just have been the light which appeared to be a little dark, sat at the back of the room at the opposite him about to enter conversation with what may have been a man or elf; he could not deduce which for his back was to him, though it was plain he was tall, a good few inches more than Limaris himself. Which he estimated would put him just over six foot, not uncommon for a man however his inquiring gaze was interrupted by the site of a small figure skittering in his direction.

His gaze now fell upon this figure, a Hobbit, which was clear by his height, and it immediately struck Limaris that he would turn out to be a most affable individual, a revelation of sorts that could only be attributed to his round face framed with brown curly hair and the most sparkling of eyes he’d yet seen which even from this distance were clear.

Here was someone who clearly thrived in the company of others. Sporting a fine embroidered waistcoat, over a cotton shirt he swung round the corner and in behind the counter.

Limaris started, and struggled with keeping his shock from the Hobbit and others in the Inn who may have been watching. He was about to be addressed and he had not thought of a cover story nor a name for himself, annoyed at himself for being easily distracted, he put on half a smile as the round face of what must be the Inn Keeper looked up at him.

“I am the inn keeper, sir!”

He exclaimed with what perhaps may have been a slight puff having sprinted the entire length of the room; however Limaris could not be sure.

“How can I help you?” he continued.

Maintaining eye contact with the Inn Keeper, he quickly thought it best to take the direct and friendly approach without making it obviously false.

“Good day sir! Allow me to commend you on your most athletic approach! I would not ask for your “help” rather your dire assistance in obtaining a tankard of the finest ale in the East farthing for a foot weary traveller.”

Hoping he had taken the right approach and set a correct and believable tone he waited the Keepers response.
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Old 12-15-2006, 12:48 AM   #410
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The doors to The Golden Perch Inn slammed open suddenly and noisily, causing a temporary silence among the patrons and for many of them to turn their heads in the way of the disturbance. Kuric Spearhead is who met their gaze, though they couldn’t be sure if he was looking at them as his eyes were shadowed and hidden due to uncommonly deep eye sockets.

Kuric appeared in bad shape, rather drawn and weary though there was an uncertain air of dignity about him. On his fiery red beard there was a noticeable layer of oil and dirt and his hygiene seemed generally overlooked. His boots and pack were also rather soiled and weather worn from the long road that had been traveled; these were in stark contrast to his radiant full coat of mail. It was made by one of the finest dwarven craftsmen of old and appeared as bright and as polished today as on the day it was forged. Those who had a reasonable familiarity with metallurgy instantly could recognize the metal for what it was: pure mithril. It was of the most exquisite handiwork that could be found in Middle-earth, the links were so perfectly woven and fitted that no trace of a rivet or weld mark could be seen. Not merely for its monetary worth did Kuric love his mail; for it had, on more than one occasion, turned aside the blade or an orc or other foul creature, and had given him a sense of near invulnerability. There was another reason for his deep adoration of that mail that was only shared with the most trusted of friends and that he held dear to his heart.

With so many stares made at such an entry, most patrons would be uncomfortable, but not Kuric, he had grown accustomed to such stares on his many travels. With a low guttural grunt he dismissed the onlookers and began his way to a table at the far end of the room. As he made his way among the patrons, conversation in the inn began to steadily increase and not few were the whispers of this strange new dwarf. Over the low hum of the ensuing conversation those near to Kuric could still hear the steady thud made by his determined and strong stride. While he stood rather tall for a dwarf, the physical aspect that was most impressive was his breadth; his chest was nearly as wide as he was tall. His muscles were honed and taught and at a glance it could be determined that he had seen many battles. Scars marked his face and any other part were skin could be seen. He was fully armed with mace and a spiked buckler and they appeared to have been used frequently.

He found a vacant table near the corner and took a seat. Tired as Kuric was, he was determined to taste the famed ale of The Golden Perch Inn prior to retiring, plus a couple of pints always makes one sleep a bit easier after such travails as Kuric had passed lately. Without even looking for who the inn keeper might be he loudly bellowed,

“Three pints of yer finest!”

and began to impatiently tap his left fist on the table.
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Old 12-15-2006, 08:42 PM   #411
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“Good day, sir!” said the traveler with a smile. “Allow me to commend you on your most athletic approach!” Dick blinked and then grinned, and continued to listen in silence. “I would not ask your ‘help’ rather your dire assistance in obtaining a tankard of the finest ale in the East farthing for a foot weary traveler.”

“Aye, sir, I can manage that,” he said, his smile becoming even broader at this young gentleman’s speech. He reached beneath the counter and took one of the pint mugs. “You’ll have it right quick!” He turned The ale poured down in a great foaming cascade and rose swiftly. With the tip of his tongue touching his upper lip in concentration, Dick finished it off with the foam just above the rim without spilling a drop.

“There you are!” he said, setting it carefully down on the counter. The young man reached out with a coin in his hand and placed it on the counter before wrapping it about the mug. “Thank you kindly, sir.” He paused and looked up. The man seemed to hesitate slightly. “Have…” Dick paused. The ranger looked at him. “Have you been in the Shire before?”

The young man opened his mouth to reply, but his answer was cut off as the door swung open with a great clatter. Dick’s head jerked up in surprise to see the opening blocked by a particularly tall and broadly set dwarf.

“What!” he said, only half allowed. “Here’s a character…” His eyes narrowed slightly as the dwarf made his slow, very set, very determined progression across the room to the farthest end and there sat down. “I wonder…” What he wondered remained unsaid. He shrugged the idea off and his cleared again. “As I asked-”

“Three pints of your finest!”

Dick’s eyes turned at once to the dwarf who had just entered. He frowned slightly. He was with another customer. But there was Tollers just near him, coming around the counter with his hands occupied with a full tray.

“Ah! Tollers!” Dick said, stepping back away from the counter to meet the young hobbit. “I say, can you get three pints to that new dwarf over there?” He nodded towards the dwarf.

“Oh, him? Yes, I can do that,” Tollers said, nodding. Dick stepped back and returned to the man waiting at the counter.

“Have you been in the Shire before?” he asked, apparently happy to finally get the question out again at last.

Last edited by Folwren; 12-27-2006 at 09:29 PM.
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Old 12-16-2006, 09:57 AM   #412
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Tollers threw a sideways grin at Dick and, clutching two mugs in one hand and one in the other, approached the visitor who was sitting by himself at one of the corner tables. The hobbit couldn't help but think what a strange fellow this dwarf seemed to be. Requesting three pints to drink without a stitch of food was a very odd way to begin a morning. Maybe one, or even two, but who would be foolish enough to bolt down three full pints of ale without a good helping of Cook's bacon and eggs? But then, it wasn't only the fellow's odd breakfast request that had gotten Toller's full attention. To come blasting into the Inn dressed in full battle armor was hardly a thing that your average hobbit would do.


Hopefully, the fellow had dropped off his sword or axe in the special spot near the entry door that Dick had designated for everyone to deposit their weapons. Tollers certainly did not want any trouble. Plus, this fellow, with his thumping of fists on the table and raised voice, seemed a bit out of sorts. Still, t wouldn't do to be suspicious of one of the Inn guests without even giving him a chance. Tollers sidled up to the table and set the three pints down in front of the guest. He couldn't resist saying something.

"Ah, good sir, this is Tollers here. I'll be glad to help you with anything you want. Seems like a waste to swallow all that good ale and never have a plate of something from the kitchen. We have good rashers of bacon and ale, or a stout piece of bread with cheese. You wouldn't happen to fancy one of those?"

For a moment, the Dwarf said nothing but looked Tollers up and down as if deciding how to reply. It was then that Tollers remembered the coin in his pocket that he had found the day before. The one dwarf had told him it might be a dwarf coin. He fingered the precious gold and reflected. Armor or not, he had better start a conversation with this fellow if he wanted to try and find out more about the coin. He couldn't just pop it in the fellow's face and demand an answer out of nowhere.

Taking one step back, Tollers nodded at the Dwarf and continued talking, "That's alright. Take your time deciding if you want something from the kitchen. It's rather slow at the moment and I'm in no rush. You look to be from outside these parts. Seems from the look of you that you've been on the road for a while. Perhaps you'd like to stay a day or so in these parts and rest. We have rooms for the big folk with plenty of hot water and soap in case you'd prefer something larger than the usual hobbit chamber. Or perhaps you're coming to our fair town for longer than that? Dick gives good rates for those who decide to stay a week or more. I'll be happy to point out some of the sights you might want to take in. And, oh yes...." Tollers grinned broadly. "Don't know if you like to fish but these parts have the best fishing in all of the Shire. Take it from someone who knows."

Tollers glanced over at the dwarf hoping that he would manage to get him talking.

Last edited by Tevildo; 12-16-2006 at 10:02 AM.
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Old 12-17-2006, 09:00 PM   #413
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Having just requested his ale, Kuric lowered his head to await the service. After a few moments Kuric began looking around at other patrons. He noticed many hobbits and some men, and then he spied an elf and spat in disgust. “Elves” he grunted and looked away. He glanced back to that bar and was pleasantly surprised to see how quickly that his ale had been served. He saw a young hobbit ambling his way with three pints. The sight of a tiny figure balancing three pints was rather comical and a slight but inaudible chuckle escaped Kuric’s mouth.

The sight of hobbits always caused mixed thoughts in Kuric’s head. Being from the Lonely Mountain, he had met Bilbo once and knew many of his stories and thought very highly of him. He also knew Bilbo to be an anomaly among hobbits and he found hobbits in general as rather dull and uninteresting due to their lack of daring. Other than Bilbo, he found most conversations he had with hobbits as rather mundane, they preferring to speak about rather banal topics such as the weather. Give me a dwarf or adventurous man any day, mused Kuric. Despite them being rather dull conversationalist he found it difficult not to like hobbits, in part because of their diminutive size and their seemingly perpetual cheeriness. Besides, if Bilbo went on adventures maybe others might. Kuric decided to keep his mind open to that prospect, despite his doubts.

The hobbit that approached him was noticeably portly, even for hobbit standards, and looked softer than most. As soon as the hobbit had arrived he immediately began chattering away about breakfast and what Kuric might want to eat. Kuric chuckled inside because he could sense and see the unease of this hobbit at seeing a mighty dwarf fully clad in battle armor. He was rather accustomed to such responses. He managed to catch the name of the hobbit to be Tollers. Odd name Kuric thought as he sized him up, looking him up and down.

About to respond, Kuric was interrupted by a nervous Tollers rambling on about staying at the inn and fishing. Just like I thought, boring topics from a boring race, I wonder if he’ll ever let me answer or he’ll continue to chat all day without ever listening for a response, Kuric let his thoughts wonder. I doubt adventure will be found here, still the ale promises to be good and that’s not all bad .

“Tollers, that’s a rather strange name don’t you think,” Kuric stated rather matter-of-factly.” “Well Tollers, the pints might go down a bit better with a bit of food, why don’t you go get me a bit of everything ye’ve got”, instructed Kuric. “As for fishing, unless I need the food on the road I don’t fish, far too boring!” Before even waiting for any response Kuric loudly asked, “What’s the best room ye’ve got? It’s been far too long since I’ve slept in a proper bed so I’m looking for the best,” Kuric asked and began immediately to gulp down the ale.
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Old 12-18-2006, 01:15 AM   #414
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Tollers:

The hobbit glanced over quickly at Kuric and was about to snap back a curt reply but immediately clamped down on his tongue. On the outside, Toller's face was wreathed in a welcoming smile; inside, he was seething.

Just who did this fellow think he was? There was absolutely nothing wrong with the name Tolman Burrows around these parts. Tollers had worked in Inns long enough to have heard a hundred different names belonging to Elves and Dwarves that sounded rather outlandish to his own ear, but he had always possessed the decent manners and good sense not to push his private observations back onto the guests. Was this fellow so dim witted that he couldn't see five feet beyond his own front door and understand that folks came in all different sizes and shapes and that the names they bore were correspondingly diverse.

Moreover, anyone who thought that fishing was "boring" had a thing or two to learn. Tollers highly doubted whether this dwarf had ever waded out into a fast moving stream at the break of dawn and tried to outwit a thirty-pound salmon as the creature fought his way upstream.

Although a naturally affable fellow, Tollers could be clever and quick with his tongue. In normal circumstances, the hobbit would have cheerfully tried to convince the dwarf of the error of his ways. However, there was something in the visitor's face that went far beyond the words he'd used. Tollers had a sinking feeling that any kind of reply would be lost on the guest since he hadn't even responded to his polite offer to point out the best sights in the area. As much as Tollers wanted to find out about the coin he and Jack had dug out of the river, he was not about to lower himself to that level. If the dwarf thought he was a dim-witted, doltish farmboy, then that's exactly how Tollers would act.

"Ah, yes, sir, I'll get that plate right away, and a key to the very best room in the Inn. Whatever you say." Tollers scurried away and wandered over to where Dick was standing. He whispered a few words in his ear and then walked back over to the bar, grabbed a plate of food, and a large key that sat on the upper shelf. Then he hurried back to the dwarf's table. "I hope this will do. And here's a key to that room. The very largest room in the Inn and also the most luxurious. That will be one shilling."

Tollers held out his hand and stared meekly downward, occupying his time by counting the floorboards. What the hobbit did not tell his guest was that the large and luxurious room in question was situated next to the chamber that was currenlty occupied by Goodwife Thedgethistle who was staying with her eight children aged three months to twelve years. They were a very loud and mischievous bunch, up at all hours of the day and night, and given to all kinds of practical jokes. And despite the impressive array of battle armor worn by the Dwarf, Tollers would have put his money on the children as to who would survive a night in the Inn and emerge unscathed in the morning.....

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Old 12-18-2006, 11:37 PM   #415
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Kuric took a long draught of the drink and slammed the empty pint down one the table. With foam stubbornly clinging to his beard Kuric declared rather loudly, “This is mighty fine ale, I must say. I’m likely to send others this way if they are near to taste such fine beer as this.”

Kuric quickly began rummaging through his coin purse and acquired the necessary coins to pay for the room, food and ale. He had considered giving a bit more for the prompt service but then thought better of it, and bluntly stated “Ye haven’t even asked me name yet.” Without waiting for Tollers to query about his name, Kuric started excitedly, “It’s Kuric Spearhead from The Lonely Mountain, and I know of a hobbit by the name of Bilbo Baggins from around these parts. Ye’ve likely heard of him, of course? Because I’d like to send word that I’m here. I haven’t been to Erebor in a number of years. I’m sure the good hobbit wouldn’t mind discussing old times with me. If ye would send word, or at least find somebody to send word to him that I’m in the area and may drop by for a visit, I’d pay ye and your messenger well for the favor. So what do ye say, Tollers, can ye help me out or not?”
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Old 12-19-2006, 02:22 AM   #416
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Limaris inwardly breathed a sigh of relief at the broadening smile that broke the features of the Inn Keeper, it appeared that his response had not seemed flustered and rushed, and the tone he had set was correct. Although the smile was slightly worrying in that it may actually have been a smile of inward amusement at the oddness of his speech. He would be hard pressed to maintain the rather jovial character he had unwittingly created.

However on further reflection it may have given him an advantage, his jocular response he hoped would present him as a fellow who was easy to confide in; consequently more likely to glean the information that he needed to complete his mission successfully.

His mind continued to muse over the character that he would play, when he felt a slight numbing feeling in his right arm which he was using to support himself against the bar. Wincing slightly as he stepped back and straightened it he noticed that he had been bent almost double to accommodate his height at the bar, and the Hobbit seemed to shrink even further as he bent down behind the counter presumably to pick a tankard.

It occurred to him that he had probably presented himself a rather comical figure bent right over on the bar, perhaps another reason for the broad smile on the features of the Hobbit before he had dipped below the counter. The beginning of his day was not entirely going to plan; it was a miracle that the Inn Keeper had not stared at him blankly and in bemusement at his strange dialogue.

Pausing he breathed deeply, he was worrying unduly. Calming himself he flexed his arm returning the circulation to his finger tips, and studied the supreme efforts of the Hobbit as he attended to the drawing of his pint. Face screwed in concentration, tongue working his upper lip as he watched the golden rich ale fall into the maw of the tankard.

It was now Limaris’s turn to be amused, and he managed to hide his smile by turning it into a grimace as he flexed his arm causing a warm and stinging sensation. Had the Hobbit not poured many pints? Or was this face on of pure pride and professionalism? Well it was a perfect avenue for continual conversation with the Inn Keeper, who was in his mind the best person to talk to over matters concerning the village of Stock.

For the Golden Perch was a busy place and many a traveller would pass through, and he would have either seen, heard or dealt with all of them. The Hobbit carefully lifted the tankard onto the counter, the foam head of the ale shifting slightly on its liquid bed.

“There you are!” he exclaimed.

Clearly proud at not having spilt a drop, and thus answering his question, pure pride and professionalism.

His hand dipped quickly into his money pouch and deposited the single coin on the counter returning his pouch quickly to the inner folds of his clothing, and gripping the tankard firmly with his free hand. The look on the Keeper’s face told Limaris that he was about to ask a question, so having bent over again at the counter, arranging himself in a less comical and awkward fashion he paused.

His heart raced a little as the Hobbit inquired whether he had been in the Shire before and again his young mind raced with the possibilities of asking such a question. Perhaps his tone had sounded too “shire-like” revealing an extended period of time staying in and around Shire-folk.

Perhaps a patron arriving earlier to the Inn had spotted him on his way in and mentioned it as idle gossip. Dispelling the answers with decisions, he was a traveller of forty years, his ‘occupation’ fitted with his earlier dialogue with the Inn keeper, and he just hoped that he looked older than he actually was, the words he had used were more likely to be used by an older person than the youth of today.

However before he was about to give his reply a large clatter resounded through the room and cut some of the conversation in the Inn immediately as if they had been suddenly made mute, only the darkest and furthest recesses of the Inn Common Room remained in conversation, either having not noticed or not caring. Limaris made a quick observation that it was mainly inhabited by men, less likely to be startled so obviously than the Hobbits who seemed to have flocculate in the middle of the Inn.

It was a Dwarf whom looked extremely worn apart from a shining mail coat. The site of the mail made him raise an eyebrow, it was mithril, obvious for its gleaming appearance no torn rents which were filled with new rings and were consequently not as dark and worn looking as the others around it. And because the Dwarf did not seem restricted at all as he strode across the room, predictably making his way to the rear of the Inn.

Shouting his order to the entire Inn he settled at a table in a loud thud. The frown on the Hobbits face opposite him revealed that he was slightly annoyed at such an entrance, perhaps more to do with the fact that he was entirely clad in armour and hefting a sizeable weapon. Then again Limaris did not blame him, and Inn was a place of peace. It would probably help his standing and the makeup of his character if he too appeared to be disconcerted by the new comer.

Limaris could tell that the interaction with the Shire folk with the character he had landed himself with would test him still he silently thought it would certainly be interesting and no less exciting. However he readied himself to reply as the Inn Keeper having delegated the serving of the Dwarves order to a rather unfortunate Hobbit by the name of Tollers finished his intended question.

Considering he was playing a traveller, it was probably wise to say that he had heard of the Shire, but had travelled more extensively in the eastern regions of the world and had not ventured far into the west, and so was his reason for being here today; he was on a trip of enlightenment.

“No good sir, I have not had the fortune of visiting the Shire before, it seems all these years I have been missing out on a wonderful part of the world. However it is not the first time I have met your fine folk. Indeed I met a small group of Hobbits in Bree.”

Not wanting to reveal too much of his story immediately he stopped to take a draught of his ale, slamming the tankard down he continued before the Hobbit could respond but not too fast as to suggest that he was preventing him from speaking.

“Ah, now that was worth the long route I took! And even more worth it seeing customers of all sorts you get here! A rather ‘queer’ entrance from that dwarf.” He added lowering his voice.

He had leaned in toward the Hobbit and grinned; still aware that his appearance may not suggest a weary traveller at all, although in his favour was the rather ragged appearance of his beard, a consequence of being in the field for an extended period. Taking another swig from his ale, he looked intently at the Hobbit and continued, his response coming fluidly and in succession, a perfect and plausible show of an interested and overtly talkative traveller, at least Limaris though travellers were very talkative.

“But heights above, I’ve not introduced myself, please attribute my temporary lack of manners to the dust road! I am Tehol. I would be most gratified to know your name sir and the history of this fine establishment if you would take the time to tell all, I have been to a fair few Inn’s but none as homely as The Golden Perch.

A fine name for sure!”


He exclaimed finally.
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Old 12-21-2006, 02:58 PM   #417
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Gable stood and brushed the hay off of herself before shaking her head at a silly thought. She stood and looked at the injured pony, who was resting in his stall. “Who were you from, girl?” she whispered to the sleeping pony.

Gable stood and walked quietly into the Inn. She saw Tollers talking with a dwarf, and decided that thanking him could wait until later on. But, then again, it seemed as if he wasn’t looking himself.

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Old 12-23-2006, 09:59 AM   #418
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Tollers fidgeted nervously as he heard Kuric inquire about the whereabouts of Bilbo Baggins and stated that he knew the hobbit. Tollers almost felt guilty for what he had done about Kuric's rooming arrangements.

The Shire was a tight knit place. Letters and gossip routinely floated back and forth with the help of the mail carriers of the Shire Post. Most hobbits had already heard of Bilbo's adventure, which had taken place some sixteen years before. Moreover, Tollers was a great admirer of Bilbo. Sometimes he dreamed of setting out on his own and having an adventure just as grand. But it wasn't as easy as that. Bilbo was a leisured gentleman and well-to-day burrow holder, while Tollers was only the younger son of a modest farmer who eeked out a decent living working dawn to dusk.

Despite an encroaching feeling of guilt for sending a friend of Bilbo's into a tricky situation, he really couldn't back out at this point. Plus, how did he know Kuric was telling the whole truth? Perhaps the dwarf was visiting the Shire to collect a debt or had somehow overheard Bilbo's name and was just using it to gain his confidence? Still, that slight sense of guilt remained, and he decided to answer Kuric truthfully about Bilbo, even if the dwarf was unlikely to get any sleep that night.

"Well, my friend Kuric. Glad you know of Bilbo. He has quite a reputation around these parts. Some folk think he is a bit.....er....unusual. But others, and I'm in this group myself, are quite taken with his stories, especially about treasure. I am afraid you are some miles away from Bag-end, since it lies in Hobbiton in the middle of the Shire. Indeed, 'tis not far from the old Green Dragon. Of course, I could tell you how to get there, or you might send a letter with the Shire post to see if Bilbo would welcome your visit. Or perhaps you could persuade Master Bilbo to pay a visit here? That would be nicest of all. So let me know if you need directions or would like to send a note out to Bilbo with the post...."

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Old 12-27-2006, 09:27 PM   #419
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Dick had not yet stopped scratching his head about the dwarf’s excitable entrance when he gave the man at the counter his question. He listened in silence to the traveler’s response with all his attention, but half of his mind was thinking about what it would be like having a guest like the dwarf...he wondered what sort of character he was, if he was rough, if they would have trouble with him, or if he would make trouble, or what…the questions went on, but he tried not to let any show on his face.

“No good sir, I have not had the fortune of visiting the Shire before, it seems all these years I have been missing out on a wonderful part of the world. However it is not the first time I have met your fine folk. Indeed I met a small group of Hobbits in Bree.”

Dick smiled again. For now, at least, he could settle his mind on this pleasant fellow. Tollers would take care of the dwarf, at least for the time being. Having taken a drink of his ale, the young man went on.

“Ah, now that was worth the long route I took! And even more worth it seeing customers of all sorts you get here! A rather ‘queer’ entrance from that dwarf.”

No joke, said Dick to himself. He sent a swift glance towards the said dwarf and nodded his head sagely. Tollers was walking back towards him, now, from delivering the dwarf his two pints and probably after taking an order for breakfast.

“But heights above, I’ve not introduced myself, please attribute my temporary lack of manners to the dust road! I am Tehol. I would be most gratified to know your name sir and the history of this fine establishment if you would take the time to tell all, I have been to a fair few Inn’s but none as homely as The Golden Perch. A fine name for sure!”

“Aye, the Perch is an excellent place,” said Dick with pride, his face lighting up again. He could not decide whether to be worried over the dwarf, or to be pleased to have such a friendly customer as this. “We do our best anyway,” he said after a short pause. He didn’t want to brag too much. Before he could go on, he felt a tug at his sleeve. He turned his head half way to see Tollers, leaning towards him in the fashion that people do when they have something they wish to impart in your ears. Dick leaned his head towards Tollers and the young hobbit whispered in his ear,

“I’m giving the dwarf over yonder the room at the far end of the passage. The large one, with two windows overlooking the street.”

Dick nodded and Tollers scurried off. The innkeeper turned towards Tehol again and opened his mouth to speak. But then a thought checked him and his words stopped in his throat. The large room at the far end of the passage? With two windows looking out over the street? By all means, that was probably the finest, underground room they had, and the dwarf would like it, but. . .but there was one objection. One very large objection. . .he could deal with that later, he had something else on his hands for now.

“I’ve hardly introduced myself properly,” he said, focusing on Tehol. “Besides telling you I was the innkeeper, I told you nothing else. I am Seredic Boffin, but everyone just calls me Dick. I’m not really from around these parts,” he went on. “I’d be very happy to tell you about the Perch and how she came about, but, my dear sir, you must be most uncomfortable, bent half over like that. Let’s go find a seat,” he said, with a glance around him to see that nothing needed immediate tending to, “and when we’re both more comfortable, I’ll tell you all you want to know.”

Dick liked a good chat when he could get one. He pointed Tehol over to an empty table and excused himself quickly so that he could fetch his pipe from the kitchen. It was mid morning by now and none too early for a short smoke and a stool to prop his feet up on. In five minutes he was settled in deep in his chair, one arm over the back, his feet on the chair underneath the table, a pipe in his hand, and the traveler opposite him with his ale mug in his hand.

“Now, if you get bored or want to hear something else, or want more to eat or drink, just interrupt me and we’ll make you comfortable,” said Dick, and began to tell him what he knew about the place. He told him about the Goodbody family, how he had met them and married the old innkeeper’s daughter. He talked about the many sorts of people who came in and out. He talked a great deal about their famous beer, how it was known all throughout Eastfarthing. “We have people come from miles about just to taste some of this!” he told him, quite in earnest, too. And in all this time, Tehol never interrupted him.
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Old 12-31-2006, 03:57 PM   #420
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Limaris’s answer to Inn Keepers question was little more than a nugget of the thoughts he felt for the area. It was with mixed emotions that he had been bought to the borders of Buckland; being many leagues from his mother who this month would be aged at seventy years was the main angst. As a child he had enjoyed the freedom and did not care for when he spent long periods away from home.

However as he saw more winters his ideas matured, he began to realise that his parents, more so his mother now that his father had died would become reliant on him for support. There were only so many years one could work full time, and a tanner’s occupation was not for the faint hearted; the early mornings and physical aspect of the job that needed to be carried right though the day took its toll.

He remembered, during his short stay at home before travelling to the White City to join the Rangers, that his mother would come home and collapse into the chair in the kitchen. He had got used to starting the fire in the kitchen and carrying the water from the well and performing other small mundane tasks that were essential for a meal to be cooked and the house to remain clean.

His mother he knew was just too tired to do them. Her advancing years would not help the matter, and Limaris felt slightly guilty at pursuing his own ‘career’ over that of his mothers wellbeing, despite her assurances that she would cope and that it was her wish for him to leave for Minas Tirith and make something of his life.

And so at the end of every nostalgic look back into the recent past, his mind would fall upon his promise that he would return to her. Though entering into the Rangers now made the promise seem unlikely, any leave was short and far between, a reflection on the state of the world and his commanding officers concerns. Coming north and west had also bought him into contact with the ‘true’ Rangers as he called them, those who had descended from the Dúnedain.

Tall, taller than himself and despite their often ragged appearance, their cloths worn and faded by their constant work in the field, their features were ever noble, and it seemed to Limaris that no hardship could better them, though no-one spoke of their history, in parts their sad history he was sure if someone did they would bear the sad past without so much as a glimmer of regret.

However they were few and there was a majority of the Ranger force made up from soldiers from the White City and its surrounding territories. Limaris was among giants, for the commanding officer is of the Dúnedain race.

It had become a secret practice among the ‘men’ of the Rangers to try and find who among them were of the ancient lineage. He had heard rumours of only three; they were hard to spot despite their apparent noble appearance, for their mind and bodies were that of a man in his early thirties but their years numbered closer to eighty.

So it was evident to him that it would be some time yet before he was able to visit his mother again, he had considered simply leaving, but a man who abandoned his duty invited fate worse than death upon himself, so he had resigned himself to the wait of being given leave.

A thought that was threatening to ruin his intended mission here in Stock, for again he had slipped into a slight trance like state. He would have to maintain character if he did not want the Hobbit to suspect that he was someone other than who he said he was.

Focusing on the Inn Keepers face, he noticed his mouth moving, he had missed what the Hobbit had begun to say,

“We do our best anyway,”

Limaris forced a smile onto his face to break the all to serious and out of character look he had, it was at that exact moment that the Inn Keeper was distracted by another Hobbit tugging at his sleeve, thankful for the interruption he cleared his mind of any thought bar the here and now.

Once again he was the cheerful Tehol. A choice of name that was all too real to Limaris, for it was his father’s name, a name given to him by his father Liramis as he was affectionately known. A good earthy sounding name as were all the names throughout the Arahad family. Though his real name was….


“I’ve hardly introduced myself properly,”

The warm sound of the Inn Keepers voice bought him back to the conversation. The Hobbit that had been next to him had pattered off to the far end of the counter to collect a plate of food and what looked like a key from behind the counter off a rack.

“I am Seredic Boffin, but everyone just calls me Dick. I’m not really from around these parts,”

Hearing that last sentence he realised he now had another avenue of conversation that he might pursue, for Hobbits were known to be close knit especially within families, so no doubt Seredic had retained interest in his home area; consequently he probably had news of the place, news that would flesh out his report when he returned to the company.

“…but, my dear sir, you must be most uncomfortable, bent half over like that. Let’s go find a seat,”

Limaris had hoped he would have noticed, but wanted to appear too polite to say anything, and following Seredic’s hand, he was pointing to an empty table, hard to believe given the Inn was filled to the brim, like a good tankard of ale. Seated comfortably he hid the sharp jab of fire that ran up his right arm as the blood was allowed proper circulation now that he was not leaning on it, and listened to the Hobbit as he regaled him with tales of the Inn’s beginning and his own family.

The Goodbody family seemed to Limaris a solid and dependable one. No great adventurers here, but a family respected and who were keen to promote themselves, though perhaps that was more on Seredic’s side as it was clear he was most proud of the Golden Perch, evident due to the verve with which he spoke about the place.

“We have people come from miles about just to taste some of this!”

At these words, Limaris jumped at the invitation,

“Remarkable indeed! I as a traveller have met many a strange person on the road, but this place as you say attracts many folk from all around, surely you must get some very ‘queer’ ones from time to time?”

Well, he thought, who said the most direct approach was a bad one?
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Old 01-04-2007, 12:42 PM   #421
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“…But others, and I'm in this group myself, are quite taken with his stories, especially about treasure…”

Hearing the excited tones with which the hobbit spoke of Bilbo and treasure set Kuric at ease and warmed his feelings to his diminutive companion. Slouching a bit in his chair, Kuric crossed his right leg over his left and let Tollers finish speaking, There may be some hope for this one yet Kuric thought and couldn’t help but crack the faintest of a smile while putting down his mug from his latest drink. Kuric’s expression became pensive and appeared somewhat pained. He slowly raised his left hand and began methodically scratching his forehead causing it to exaggerate its naturally large furrow.

He had been on many adventures and had gathered much treasure in his relatively short life. It had always been his passion, despite efforts of his clan to be a bit more clannish; Kuric relished in the open road and setting off in search of treasure. While using treasure hunting as his excuse for adventure actually finding treasure was a perk at the end and not a requirement, as he already had a vast amount of wealth. No, for Kuric it was simply the adventure that mattered and while he felt at home in the mines of his people he never felt settled, only on the road was his heart ever at peace.

He had met many men and dwarves and occasionally had traveled with elves but never had he traveled with a hobbit; though he had heard a bit about them during his travels so he knew enough of them to know that this was unusual behavior in most hobbits.. The only hobbit he had ever heard of going on any sort of adventure was Bilbo. To see a hobbit speaking excitedly about treasure and adventure made him reconsider his view on hobbits. I wonder, are many hobbits like this or is this another rarity, another diamond in the rough just like Bilbo? Either way it was too early to tell but perhaps he would enjoy his conversation with this hobbit after all, an early rest might wait if he could just keep his eyes open. After such a long road Kuric initially had hoped to enter the tavern, eat and drink a bit, not engage in any conversation and simply go to bed. Tollers had made him reconsider this; he now hoped to have the stamina to give a tale or two of adventure to Tollers in hope of kindling an even greater love of adventure in the young Hobbit.

Leaning forward, Kuric animatedly stated, “Ye like treasure do ye? Well then, I may have a few tales that’ll be of interest. Of course, treasure’s a bit of a passion of mine so to speak, being a dwarf and all and what’s more treasure leads ye on adventure and somebody’s not truly alive unless he’s living.”

Letting his emotions get the better of him Kuric stood and with a firm pat on Toller’s back, Kuric proclaimed, “Tollers, you’re all right. I must say I was only coming here to get some beer and rest I never expected to meet a hobbit that would be akin to dear Bilbo in spirit. Why all that I know in Erebor speak very kindly of Bilbo and from all accounts I’ve heard hobbits don’t care much for adventure and it seems that mostly it’s true by yer own word, but you might be a bit different lad. Let’s send word to Bilbo perhaps I may pay him a proper visit soon after a little bit of a rest or perhaps he can come give us a visit if he has the time. Now tell me good hobbit, what do you know of adventure, are there any to be had in yer land here?”
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Old 01-07-2007, 01:16 AM   #422
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Tollers listened carefully to what Kuric was saying while putting his hands behind his back and nervously twiddling his fingers. He was beginning to feel guilty for the trick he had played on the Dwarf by assigning him a room next to a passel of noisey and mischievous young hobbits. After hearing Kuric speak, he could almost like the fellow. He wanted to come up with a good idea for an adventure to make up for the lack of sleep that the poor Dwarf would surely suffer later that night.

"I think your idea of writing Bilbo is a good one. The Shire Post goes out every day, and you could buy a stamp and give the letter to the postman. Perhaps you could even try and persuade your friend to make a visit here. I've heard he spends some time in Bree every year, and it wouldn't be hard for him to stop at the Perch on his journey east. I'm sure Bilbo would have some grand ideas for an adventure, better than any I could come up with. You know....perhaps I could speak with Master Dick and see if he'd be willing to offer Bilbo a free room for a night or two in exchange for some of those stories he would tell us. But I wouldn't do that unless you gave me the word."

"Now, as to the other.....chasing an adventure down before Bilbo gets here, I am no expert on that. But this place has been livelier than usual. Yesterday, we had a wolf show up in the courtyard and a few of us managed to evict him from the premises. Perhaps there's a band of wolves around and we could track them down? But I'm afraid I don't know too much about wolves or their ways."

"Now trees and things that grow....that is another matter. I grew up on a farm and have plenty of experience with growing things. I don't know if you've heard about this but Stock is right next door to Buckland. It's just a stone's throw away over the bridge, and the folk around here pay homage to the thain. It's folk from the East Farthing that founded Buckland years ago, and we're mighty proud of that. But just east of Buckland stands the Old Forest....."

Tollers glanced around and lowered his voice to a whisper, as if he was afraid a bad spirit might overhear and come over and knock him on the head. "You see, Master Dwarf, there's some mighty strange doings in those parts. Some folks say the trees walk and talk when they have a mind to. Some of the old stories say that, years ago, those trees waged war against the Bucklanders and threatened to swallow up all the farmers. All the folk there as well as those of us from East Farthing got together and put the bad 'uns down and then built a big hedge to keep them out for good."

With a sigh, Tollers shook his head, "If you want an adventure close by, that might be the place to look. I've heard a pack of strange tales about the Old Forest, and you could find anything there.....that is, if you're brave enough to go looking for it. Only one word of warning..... You Dwarves are often partial to axes. But if you hope to come out alive, you might want to leave the axe behind or keep it covered in a satchel so that none of the trees will see it. Folks say bad things happen to those who wander into the forest bearing an axe in broad daylight. Even a brave adventurer like yourself might want to think hard about that."

"As to hearing the stories you have, I'd be so happy to do so....perhaps later today when folks gather for lunch or dinner? I'm sure that there are a considerable number of hobbits and other guests who would be happy to listen to your tales. Even folk who are stay-at-homes, and we have plenty of those, like to hear a good yarn while warming their toes beside the fire."

"If you'd like then, I can get you a map of the area that will show you exactly where the Old Forest is. You know, I wonder...." Tollers eyes gleemed with hope. "Do you think Master Bilbo would ever think of coming here and going with us....er, I mean with you....on an adventure in the Old Forest?"

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Old 01-07-2007, 08:14 PM   #423
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“Sure you must get some very ‘queer’ ones from time to time?”

“Oh, we do, we do,” Dick said, nodding his head sagely. He sat up and leaned confidentially across the table. “We don’t usually have that much, see,” he said. “Not very many outsiders wander into the Perch all that often, but sommit seemed to have happened to whatever fairies were keeping ‘em all out of the Shire. Just yesterday, when I took over the good old inn, a whole flood of these sorts came in.” Dick sat back again, stopping abruptly. “Not that your so common yourself,” he said, “but still,” sitting forward again, “there’ve been worse.”

“Like that dwarf over there,” he jerked his head towards Kuric before he moved his eyes towards him. Whatever words were forming on his tongue stopped before they’d rolled off it. His eyes fixed themselves on Tollers and the strange dwarf. They were locked in what appeared to be an interesting conversation, if anything could be told from the rate that Tollers was talking. “He seems like an interesting fellow,” Dick continued slowly after a long pause. “And he’s evidently got Tollers quite enthralled. Oh well,” he shrugged and looked back.

“You must meet a great deal of people yourself on the road, you don’t need me telling you about them.”
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Old 01-09-2007, 02:51 PM   #424
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Cir had decided to wait for his sister to stir before getting breakfast. After the hearty of the night before even he was not yet really hungry. He smiled at the the sight of his elder sister once more deep in the paths of elvish dreams. She was never at her best in the first thing whereas he liked the cool brightness of morning and would catch up with rest later if necessary.

Even the excitement of the wolf attack was not sufficient to rouse her today and he wondered if she had drunk more freely of the hobbits ale than he ... even if she hadn't it would be something to tease her with later he thought wryly. Given that they had so few possessions with them it took little time for him to be ready. He did not call for hot water but paused in the yard and washed any remaining sleep from his head under the pump. The body of the great wolf that lay there still was more sobering even than the cold water.

He knew his father would say that wolves were the wildest of all wild creatures and servants of Morgoth, but there was something about the slain beast which disturbed him. What had driven the pack to attack the inn,so dangerous and unnecessary when it was spring and easier pickings could be found in the relative safety of the woods further from habitation. There were wolves and worse in the Misty Mountains he knew but he had never heard of any attacking settlements. Rivendell was perhaps safe but would the dwellings of the dunedain in the Angle? He had not heard of a wolf attack there - but then, he thought ruefully, he was always being told he didn't listen.

Cir had not determined the path his feet had taken but they had carried him away from the village and into the woodland and with a start he realised that he had been tracing tracks the wolves had made on their way to the village. He had never thought of himself as much of a tracker and was generally content to leave suce things to those who seemed to enjoy them and was suprised that he had been able follow relatively subtle signs without trying. ... maybe it was just chance that had brought him to this place where paw prints were clearer in a patch of soft earth. More to test his skill than anything he followed the trail until he made a discovery that placed him on the horns of a dilemma. And though he resented at times not being allowed to make his own decisions, he knew he had to consult his twin and ran back to the Golden Perch as if the hounds of Sauron were after him.

"Guess what I've found" he demanded, bursting into their room without ceremony and getting a less than warm response from his sister.

"A silmaril? " she asked sarcastically before covering her head with a pillow to block out her brother and the light.

"No wolves!" he replied excitedly.

"You woke me to tell me THAT?", Cir was struck on the head by the pillow thrown with some force, "I know there were wolves - and they came to the Inn, you hardly found them ...go away and leave me to sleep..."


Mor words tumbled form the boy's mouth:
"Not those wolves ... wolf cubs .. in a sort of den in the woods ... I think they may have belonged to the ones the hobbits killed or chased off ..they were all alone and looked ... well hungry and not very strong. I didn't want to leave them .. but I know what Ada would say about interfering . and I thought the mother might come back ... So what shall we do?" Cir crouched close by his sister's bed, his face now about a foot away from hers, was expectant.

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Old 01-10-2007, 09:22 AM   #425
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‘Heady ale’, the rough translation of the old name for the Brandywine, was an apt description for the ale he had been consuming, the pewter tankard from which he was drinking was almost empty, taller than it was broad allowed the drinker to take long draughts, flavours were more readily tasted that way than if the ale was being drunk from a smaller vessel. Not just that, but the pungent fumes given off by the yeast and hops also helped to enthuse the drinkers mind, also enhancing the taste.

It was well known that you tasted also with your nose. It was all these factors combined that had caused himself to feel slightly light headed, not one for ale often, coupled with its outlawing when in the field had meant he had gone some months without a drop passing his lips; liver and brain were not used to its effects, and the slight adrenaline he was running on was not helping.

He was glad it had not affected his speech, slurring words on the first tankard would not bode well, and the seasoned traveller he had posed himself as, would also have to act as a veteran drinker. Whether he would fare any better in stability he would find out soon, collapsing would have an even more detrimental affect to his mission success. The thought of explaining himself to his commanding officer that he had not gained an awful lot of information of worth because he had collapsed in a stupor would no doubt cost him his career and derision for the rest of division. Although most debriefings took place in secrecy somehow details of the meetings always found their way to the rest of the ranks.

Thoughts that only served to sober him, and he continued to stare at the Inn Keeper as he spoke. Seredic leaned in, as if he were going to impart something of great importance that should be for his ears only, and again Limaris worried if his “disguise” had been seen through; and as the Hobbit spoke he fought the tide of apprehension and a slight fear that had taken a loose grip on him as the words left the Hobbit’s mouth.

“Not very many outsiders wander into the Perch all that often, but sommit seemed to have happened to whatever fairies were keeping ‘em all out of the Shire. Just yesterday, when I took over the good old inn, a whole flood of these sorts came in.”

The words resounded within his head, and he immediately began going over the implications and repercussions the words the Hobbit had just uttered. If indeed they were a true expression of fear that he felt than it would have a serious effect upon the distribution of forces within the North. They had only a tenuous hold of its territories and their forces were stretched thin. He wondered if any of the combat troops from the White City would be drafted in, however that seemed unlikely, not only was the White City in its own turmoil with a Steward who had been increasingly spending time alone, but should words of trouble in the north reach his ears then the secrecy regarding the mobilisation of forces around the was likely to be revealed.

No, the troubles would be reported only to the commanding officers of the Rangers, who even kept such things out of the common knowledge of even the council in the White City. Still he wondered if the guard upon the Shire increase. It would mean less leave, perhaps even a restriction to leave altogether. For a fleeting moment he considered leaving out these words from his report. Chiding himself harshly he knew that was not the course to follow. The safety of the North was deemed grave enough to have committed such a large force there.

For although only the officers knew their companies missions, and even then they only knew their own, and only brief notes on other companies, there was a well accepted rumour throughout the entire division that there was something of grave importance in the North, worryingly, something that might aid the growing shadow should it be discovered.

While the rank and file objected to being left in the dark, it was obvious that it were for the best, the less you knew at times the better. Limaris wondered if the Hobbit realised the implications of his own words, a small smile crept over his face at the thought…This Hobbit may just have caused the total reorganisation and mobilisation of the forces in the north, perhaps even the increase in military numbers.

For the words eluded to breaches in the defence, and while orcs and wolves would stand out should they be bold enough to approach habituated areas, they may well have slipped though the Rangers nets and be lying hidden in dead ground, indeed any spies of the shadow for they were many could have slipped past preparing unseen havoc.

He immediately had another line of questioning for the Hobbit. However they would have to wait,

“Not that your so common yourself,”

A smile spread across his features, it was best he though to take a blasé attitude toward the comment. Further comments came about the dwarf, curious he was, and Seredic’s comments on his enthralling the other Hobbit were promising also. An enthralled Hobbit could mean a number of things, but usually because of a good tale told or interesting gossip.

The dwarf would at some point have to be approached and questioned carefully. Thoughts drifting back to the effects of the ale on himself he knew that it was perfect for loosening tongues, still it would be expensive to loosen that dwarf’s tongue, and he’d drunk three tankards already. Limaris just hoped that the travel had weakened his resistance to its affects somewhat.

“You must meet a great deal of people yourself on the road, you don’t need me telling you about them.”

The Hobbit was not giving an awful lot away, and was asking probing questions himself, Limaris knew he would have to begin taking more risks. It was evident that the Inn Keeper would immediately be more curious about the identity of his customer, he was sharp, not dull witted.

Limaris answered,

“Aye, that I do young sir! It is a travellers curse you might say.” He paused finishing the ale.

“Or gift, to meet folk on the road. Though I can tell you I’ve met a number of folk who better fit with the curse bit.” Chuckling softly, and hoping it was a convincing laugh, he continued,

“Still I know for a fact, and first hand now, that Hobbits are a welcoming people, so I assume that more queer folk are more likely to approach you than a wizened traveller, you see we’re more cautious as to the folk we take in company.” Pausing again, judging whether the moment was right, he asked,

“Tell me Dick, has there been any violence in the town; an attack on the Inn perhaps? I’ve known a good few Inns in my time attacked because of the occupants inside.” Heart beating hard eyes fixed on the Inn Keeper he awaited an answer with baited breath..

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Old 01-10-2007, 11:10 AM   #426
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Cir stared at her brother as the last vestiges of sleep left her eyes and what he was saying finally got through to her brain.

"Wolf cubs? You found wolf cubs?"

"Yes!" Was the excited reply. "What should we do?"

"I ... well, did you see the mother?" Cir sat up slowly, trying to recall the events of the morning. Had there been a female wolf outside?

"No, but perhaps she just hasn't returned yet. I saw tracks leading away just not leading back. But the wolf that was killed this morning, someone said it was male but I am not certain - I wish I had taken a closer a look at it before I set off this morning but they have taken the body away now I think .. ."

"It may not have been the mother, but let's go take another look. If she comes back it'll be ok."

"And if she doesn't?"

"I don't know Cir. Let's just go back to where you found the cubs and hope the mother does turn up. We'll think about what to do if she doesn't if we have to."

Throwing off the bedclothes Cir shoved her brother out of the way and got to her feet. Grabbing cloak, shoes and Cir's hand she set off downstairs with her brother in tow. The two siblings made their way back into the woods, with the younger Cir now leading the way along the path he had found earlier. Crouching down just a few feet away from the little den Cir had found earlier they waited, their dark cloaks keeping them hidden from the three little wolf cubs who seemed to have no fear of playing in the small clearing in front of the den.

"Don't they look thin?" Whispered Cir, turning to his sister with a worried frown. "Maybe it was the mother. Maybe she came to the Inn to find food because she couldn't find any here. Even if the dead wolf was a male, there were others which were driven off they might have been killed too by farmers or ..rangers even - there were at least a couple of them in the inn last night I think"

Cir had to admit that it was possible, and as the morning sun reached its peak and there was still no sign of the mother she was becoming more and more convinced that her brother might be right.

"Ok, lets go back to the Inn. We -"

"What? We can't just leave them here, what if something happens?"

"Cir, let me finish alright? I know you want to take them back with us.. "

"No!" her brother cried with unusual vehemence."That is the last place I would take them...not after they killed the old wolf ... they would think like Ada, and would kill them as soon as look at them". Despite his age it seemed as if the boy might cry. The seeming plight of the cubs had struck a chord in his heart.

" And we can't take them back to Woodhall either ... but if we do nothing they will die.." he added..remembering where they were supposed to be..

His sister switched back into elder sibling mode,"They'll be ok for a few hours, and it'll give the mum more of a chance to come back if it wasn't her at the Inn this morning. Does that make sense to you? And it will give us a chance to think what to do"

Reluctantly Cir nodded, and with a wistful glance back at the cubs the two walked back again.

The twins having wasted no time in getting breakfast ate for a while in thoughtful but companionable silence. Carantilion sipped his milkless tea... an idea had formed. He leaned forward and his twin mimicked the gesture so their dark heads were close enought for him to whisper.

"What if we leave them where they are but take them food? I think they look old enough to eat proper food not just milk .... that might keep them going until their mother can get back if she has just been scared out of the way ..and maybe we can find out for certain whether it was a she-wolf they killed and what happened to the others ..there is bound to be a lot of talk about it... I shouldn't think this sort of thing happens often. Of course if their mother is dead..... I wonder how long it will be before the cubs can fend for themselves..." Having not let his sister get a word in edgeways, Cir's voice tailed off into thought once more.

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Old 01-10-2007, 10:18 PM   #427
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A cool breeze followed as Severian turned the bend on yet another patchwork dirt road. The hill behind him descending into the distance, as if another insignificant memory, empty and meaningless. The breeze though colorful and refreshing hindered the tall Gondorians’ vision as his medium length hair wisped in front of his eyes. Removing the hand that had been secured to the strap from which hung his steel shield, Severian pushed back his matted hair with a single brush of his gloved hand.

Returning the recently used hand to its ordinary assigned position the cloaked wanderer lifted his gaze to the forefront of his view. There nestled as if by divine meaning in the distance lay a simple little inn, built humbly into the side of one of the Shire’s many hills. A smirk found its way to the stern figures’ face as he chuckled lightly at the thought of little hairy Hobbits stumbling back and forth with all many of cooking tools to prepare a proper meal. Generally Severian would not stop at such a place, especially in his travel-weary, gruff-looking state. Yet something felt different about this establishment, and his conscience rebuked otherwise.

With a quickly jerked nod and small chuckle the Son of Severius fastened his cloak’s brooch tighter and quickened his pace towards the hovel-like structure in hopes of a comfortable room, some ale, and a warm hearth. After all, his coin purse had been growing heavy as of late.

Leaning his sword hand on “Sorrow”, the large blade that lay at his side, Severian stepped towards the small oval shaped door. Extending his off-hand he pushed forth, his black Gondorian bracers, bearing the White Tree showing for only a moment as they appeared from the folds of his brown cloak for the motion’s duration. Bending his head he stepped forth through the threshold and into a lively and peaceful common room.

Snapping his head back suddenly as to let his cowl fall backwards, he scanned the room until he found the bar counter to his right. Paying no heed to the other patrons the young Gondorian sat himself at the stool nearest the corner propping his feet up against the nearest stool. He pondered for a moment if he should sharpen his skinning knife but instead stayed his hand.

Leaning back against the wall Severian sighed enjoying the atmosphere, his sword and right hand invisible to the naked eye under the folds of his cloak. Settling himself deeper into the wall Severius nodded at the rather intoxicated looking man aside him, and with a smirk turned his attention to the kitchen side of the bar, waiting for the barkeep.
 
Old 01-17-2007, 10:27 AM   #428
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This apparently innocent, curious traveler was almost getting too curious, even for Dick. His pipe was just about empty know and he drew a deep breath as he knocked it gently. “I don’t see why anybody should attack this inn. We don’t have any conspicuous occupants.” He stood up abruptly. “I have a waiting customer,” he said, seeing a newcomer enter the inn. He started away, but he had only gone two paces before he turned about again.

“As a matter of fact,” he said, “I wouldn’t normally go talking about it, for fear of spreading discomfort among the guests, but I think you could manage not to spread the tale. This morning, we were attacked.” Limaris’ eyes became sharper and his attention more direct. “Not by hobbits or men or anything. We had a group of wolves come in. They got into the stables and took refuge there. Some of us had to go out and fight them off.

“Excuse me,” he said. “I do have to go see to this new customer.” He hurried to the counter and came around it to face the man sitting there. “Good morning to you, sir,” Dick said, putting his hands together and resting them on the counter top. “What may I get for you?"
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Old 01-17-2007, 07:58 PM   #429
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Severian gave a gruff good-intended smile, as he looked to the humble looking Hobbit on the other side of the counter. Pushing some hair that had drifted into his eyes out of the way Severian answered. "How do you do good sir? I'd rather like some lodging for the night and perhaps an ale and some meat for now." Severian tried being more jovial but failed miserably the smile washing away from his face, as it once again became hardened and dust-covered.

Reaching within the folds of his cloak he removed a small satchel full of currency and placing it on the counter said. "I hope this will cover any costs." And with that he returned to his business of scanning the room, and as a precaution to avoid curious eyes he slide the cowl of his cloak back over his head, hiding his visage in shadow. Leaning back against the wall once more he settled into the stool and waited for his food and drink to arrive.
 
Old 01-17-2007, 11:06 PM   #430
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Kuric sat listening to Tollers speak on. He had felt tired but the sustenance was beginning to take effect by working the languor out of his body. Talk of adventure and of Bilbo had erased all thoughts of sleep from his mind. Now he was simply willing to swap stories with this hobbit, of course he realized that it would be himself that would do the most talking.

He resolved that he would indeed invite Bilbo to the Perch for a visit. It wasn’t the reason he had ended up in The Shire but since he was here he couldn’t resist the prospect of properly meeting Bilbo. He also understood that Bilbo would be truly delighted to see a dwarf from Erebor again. Suddenly Kuric was startled out of his thoughts by hearing about wolves. Wolves he mused, I wonder if it could have anything to do with…Naw, it couldn’t be, well at least I hope not

Turning his attention back to Tollers, who was surprisingly becoming a friend, he heard him speaking about adventure amongst trees and advising him not to carry an axe. Upon hearing this Kuric jumped up and boisterously proclaimed, “AXE! Why I don’t have an axe! Look here you little scoundrel I carry a mace with me, I’m never without it, see.” With that Kuric promptly produced from his mace and gave it a light thud on the table. “What’s this yer saying about trees? What adventure could trees give me? Trees can’t attack or bleed, why just two days ago my mace was stained with the blood of…well, I mean.” Kuric trailed off rather stupidly. “TREES” Kuric blurted suddenly after a moments pause. “You hobbits sure are a queer folk to think that trees could give an adventure, what do I look like a danged elf?”

“Now about that Bilbo, why don’t you fetch me a piece of parchment and I’ll write him a quick invitation to come and visit us over here,” Kuric added. “Maybe the three of us can get some ideas of where some adventure and treasure lie near by these parts.
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Old 01-18-2007, 02:27 PM   #431
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Cir cast his gaze around the common room for any likely source of information. There didn't seem to be anyone he recognised particularly from the night before. The dwarf was not one of those they had made music with the evening before and had already cast a scornful glance in their direction, while the younger men who had been talking to Dick at the bar also seemed to be newcomers and it seemed to him that there was something rather forbidding about their appearance.

He frowned thinking that most of those they knew had likely not stayed so long abed and had breakfasted and gone about their business or their journeys earlier in the morning. Turning he saw another face, a friendly looking one that he recognised. It was the man who had arrived late the previous evening. Cir had not talked with him having been occupied with playing and singing but he fancied he had heard something him being from Rohan. If that were so he might know a bit about wolves seeing as that land had the Misty Mountains and the White about it's borders. Besides he looked as if he might appreciate some company, sitting alone lingering over his coffee.

Cir nudged his sister and having swallowed the last of the toast and honey which had completed a surprisingly large breakfast for a not particularly hungry elf, he picked up his mug of tea and tentatively approached the man who raised his head as the elf approached and looked at him with clear blue eyes.
Encouraged Cir spoke:

"Excuse me, Sir, do you mind if we join you? My name is Carantilion Laicirith and this is my sister Enpauriel Laicirith - but usually we just get called Cir" he added looking hopefully at Edric.
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Old 01-23-2007, 10:12 PM   #432
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After Edric's little talk with the shiriff he sat back down at his table and continued to sip at his coffee. He was surprised the shiriff had not returned to give him a reply as far as the found necklace was concerned. He became even more surprised when he unexpetendly heard the sound of a fair voice.

"Excuse me, Sir, do you mind if we join you? My name is Carantilion Laicirith and this is my sister Enpauriel Laicirith - but usually we just get called Cir"

He looked up and remembered the two faces from the night before. Why these were the Elves who had played the wonderful music last night! Eddie thought he had accomplished almost everything he ever wanted to do in life. Never did he think he would meet and actually talk to Elves. The tales told in Rohan and Gondor, about the Elves, were not particularly good. The Elves were a mysterious people that like to play trick your mind, but Eddie always knew deep down inside these tales were false. He could not believe he is now talking to, not just one of them, but two!

"Forgive m-me...for b-b-being so...rude. Oh, I'm so-so s-s-sorry. I've just...never, well...umm...t-t-alked to Elves before." Once Edric got some of his first jitters out of the way he calmed down and regained some of his calmness. "Oh my, you must think I'm a bumbling fool. I apologize for stumbling over my own words. It's not usually like me. Your melody was absolutely beautiful last night. I've never heard anything so wonderful before! Oh pardon my manners, I forgot to introduce myself. My name is Edric, would you two care to join me?"

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Old 01-26-2007, 06:28 AM   #433
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He’d blown it, there was only so much pressure you could apply, even to Hobbit’s whom Limaris had found over the year upon the borders of the Shire to be natural gossipers. Perhaps Inn Keepers were different, wary that any secrets or tales they might ply to customers would be spread, and their names as the “root” of the rumours and so compromise his or her credibility.

Dick tapped his pipe out while answering rather defensively. And while Limaris may be too judgmental most of the time and often incorrectly, he was sure that it seemed as if the Inn Keeper was hiding something. For while he as sure that Dick would have mentioned a very unsavoury character something had occurred.

That small glimmer of hope lit in his heart like that of a flickering candle almost but not quite extinguished, and he fought to maintain a calm and relaxed appearance as Dick turned having walked just a few paces,

“I wouldn’t normally go talking about it, for fear of spreading discomfort among the guests, but I think you could manage not to spread the tale. This morning, we were attacked.”

The words seemed to come slowly from his mouth, again a rush of implications flit through his mind, leaning slightly forward and showing a direct and interested stare he conveyed the air of an apologetic and distressed friend, while inside he was reeling. He could at times become over “excited” and worried over a situation, and it was something he had been told frequently, again by the Captain of the company, in comparison to the rest of the company he knew he was more like an excited child that a calm and collected Ranger of the north.

The mention of wolves sent more thoughts running through his mind. And as Dick excused himself he quickly answered.

”Of course, please, attend to him.”

With that he sat slowly back in his chair, taking the last of his ale he began to ponder. The company had not come across any wolves on their patrol, though it was likely that the animals had travelled some distance in the search for food. If Limaris surmised that it was the time of year that they were rearing cubs. Yet the factor of them attacking the Inn in was worrying, whether they were after the horses and were simply defending themselves when the Hobbits tried to prevent them, or it was a deliberate attack on Hobbits, he did not know he had been unable to extract any more details from the Hobbit.

However his mission parameter were clear, he was to find out any information pertaining to unusual events with a particular look out for violence within the Shire. He told himself not to dwell on it too much, he would not be the one who gave the orders he was merely the messenger. Still it was appearing more and more likely that the end of field leave would be cancelled.

There were no wolves near Linhir his birthplace, yet there were much the same as any wild animal, attacking really in desperation, which supported the view that they had cubs that needed feeding, or that they were dominated by some will greater that their own, and had been “commanded” or “provoked” into attacking the Inn.

Another factor came into the equation which supported the view that it was the horses they were after; Dick had said that they were in the stables; they had not simply randomly attacked any Hobbit in Stock but had made straight for the stables, and taken “refuge”.

Why they should seek refuge in their stables was bemusing, perhaps leaving their cubs unattended, it did not make sense, especially when Dick had said they had “attacked” the Inn, there was either something else to the story or the Hobbit really had misunderstood the incident.

That or something darker was at work. Perhaps there was taking refuge, desperate enough to fight the Hobbits only when they were discovered and to abandon their cubs, then it hit Limaris much like the impact of a training sword, perhaps they were fleeing from something.

These were the thoughts that clouded judgment; still surely there was no harm in exploring all possible angles. He was in no way skilled or ranked enough to impress any of his thoughts on his superiors. He would have to find out more. Talk to other who had been present or seen the events of the “attack”.

The dwarf was still nagging him, he seemed to have travelled a great distance. He may well have heard of something, not of the Shire but from other parts, he may not have come directly to Stock. Limaris resolved that the dwarf would have to be approached. But how too, he seemed to be rather gruff and closed, and he had entered in full armour with axe in plain view.

It would not do to simply walk over and start an interrogation, the noise the dwarf’s voice had reached across the entire Inn conveying slight impatience. However the Hobbit who had been serving him seemed to have calmed him. So the question still remained; how to approach a tired fully armoured dwarf, enter into conversation and seamlessly probe him for knowledge of his travels while extracting any rumours without arising suspicion?

Limaris perhaps rashly, decided to create another character, an armourer, and someone who knew a fine piece of work when he saw it, befitting really seeing as the dwarf had entered with a shining coat of mithril and that his father was an armourer also, blanching at the fortune the dwarf was wearing in plain view was astonishing, especially as it was a full coat of mail. Summing up the courage he stood and approached taking advantage of Dick’s distraction.

His idea didn’t bode well; already the dwarf had appeared enraged by something the young Hobbit had said. Pausing he swallowed slowly and sat at another table, he’d wait till the dwarf had calmed and there was room for another at the table as it were.
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Old 01-26-2007, 10:03 AM   #434
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Biting back the laughter that threatened to spill over as the poor man first stared in astonishment and then talked himself round in circles Cir simply smiled and nodded in reply.

"We would love to join you, Edric, and thank you, we do enjoy making music and love it even more when it pleases other people. But please don't apologise! We were the same when we met a Hobbit for the first time, and don't get me started on how rude Cir was the first time he saw a Dwarf."

"Hey!" Came an indignant interruption from her brother. "That was only because of things a certain sister of mine had told me."

A guilty grin crossed Cir's face as she remembered that particular incident and she quickly shushed her brother before he could tell the tale and ruin the so far not bad reputation she had with this man.

"And it is very rare that we get to meet someone from your homeland. It is Rohan you come from isn't it?"
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Old 02-11-2007, 02:43 AM   #435
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Jadelen let out a loud, frustrated sigh as she ungracefully plonked herself down on a patch of grass. “I have been walking around in circles for last two hours” Jadelen murmured to herself. She had a tendency to murmur things to herself. She was an only child and thus had no one to talk to and it became a habit to say things aloud. Jadelen was somewhat spoilt and very disorganized but was joyous and very caring. She was extremely mischievous like her closest friend Cir. She pondered about Cir then remembered her current situation of being lost.

“I should have just listened to mother” She murmured to herself once again. Jadelen thought back..
“You may not go visit Cir.” Helanore, Jadelen’s mother, commanded.
“Oh, but why?” Jadelen said while throwing her hands in the air in frustration.
“Jadelen, you know very well that you may not go wandering about in the forest by yourself. You don’t even know the exact whereabouts of Cir.”
“I do” Jadelen paused to read the letter she had received from Cir stating her whereabouts, “she is staying in an Inn called the Golden Perch Inn for a while then they are off to their aunt’s house in Mithlond.”
“And where is the Golden Perch Inn exactly? I will disuse this topic no longer. You know how” Helanore continued, Jadelen never listened to the rest of what her mother had to say as she was uninterested and already made up her mind that she was to go.

She sighed once more blowing a golden curl out of her face. “If I had just listened, perhaps I wouldn’t be lost.” As she said this, she noticed a little building in the distance. She got up, and tightened her deep purple cloak and pushed her long golden hair out of her face and then squinted to try and read the sign on the building. She followed the trail in the direction of the building. It was a lovely forest, large, tall trees that were the prettiest green Jadelen had ever seen. As she came close to the entrance to the building she read the sign aloud “The Golden Perch Inn”. Excitement shot down her body making her whole body shiver, even her toes shivered with excitement.

As she entered she ducked careful not to hit her head like she had done on so many occasions. She straightened up and looked around once she was in the Inn. Curiously there was no one behind the counter. She waited for a while but Jadelen was a weakling for curiosity and began to peer around the Inn looking at all the strange but fascinating characters. She hoped to find Cir and her brother somewhere, hopefully up to no mischief.

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Old 02-12-2007, 06:58 AM   #436
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Carantilion was piqued enough not to be so easily shushed by his twin sister and before the still slightly flustered Edric could reply, he cut in his words tumbling almost as much as the man's had done:

"She's always getting me in to trouble and we're probably in more now since we shouldn't really be here.... we slipped off for a walk nearly a day ago now ...and we have already been...", he struggled for the Westron word, "banished? from home.. well maybe banished is not right but we have been sent away for a while..to stay with our aunt - now you should hear her music - it is wonderful but she hates performing - whereas we love performing but don't get the chance so much ...they don't think we are so good at home, in fact Ada thinks we are good-for-nothing wastrels ... " .

He stopped, sensing before he saw, the startled look on his sister's face and hung his head. He had blurted out to this kind faced stranger what he had concealed from his sibling, the gist of the overheard conversation between his parents. His pale face flushed and was glad that his dark hair had fallen to shield it from his companions on either side.

"so it was very kind of you to say that you liked our music Edric... " he added quietly, and picking up his mug. He gazed into it's emptiness as if it was a Palantir, "I think I will get another cup of tea? Would either of you like anything - then we can hear all your tales of Rohan" he added as nonchalently as he could manage, as if he had never uttered his outburst but his eyes were low and a little too bright and he was biting his lower lip... Cir hadn't cried in public for years and he was determined not to do so now. He had managed to control himself in the face of the ire of the elders of Imladris but perhaps kindness was harder to deal with.

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Old 02-15-2007, 12:16 PM   #437
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Edric was quite pleased with getting some company; something he had been sorely missing in Gondor. These two elves seemed a bit different from what he was expecting. However, he didn't mind, he was still talking to Elves for the first time. Oh, if only I could tell my sisters back home... he ended in thought.

"I think I will get another cup of tea? Would either of you like anything - then we can hear all your tales of Rohan."

"No, thank you." replied Eddie.

When Cir had left, Edric and the other elf, were in complete silence. Eddie kept looking around as to avoid eye contact, trying to make the situation a little less awkward. He let out a sigh of relief when Cir came back with a fresh cup of tea. Edric was anxious to break the silence.

"I was born in Rohan, yes." he said. "So, you could say I'm from there, but I don't feel like I'm a part of anywhere. I don't know if you ever had that feeling, where you just don't seem to belong?"

He stopped for a moment, to see if the two Elves were following him. They simply looked on, seemingly interested, and waiting for him to continue.

"I am afraid, good sir," he said addressing Cir "I really have no great tale worth telling. At least not one I'm sure Elves wouldn't care to hear about. Which is rather unusual for a man as well travelled as myself. I've been wondering a lot lately. I guess you could say I'm trying to find myself. Though I'm afraid I've lived a rather bland, and at times, bleak life. I say I'm not really from Rohan, though I did spend most of my life there, because I can no longer bear to consider myself one of them. After that ruthless tyrant, Thengel, that is. Even his own son had fled to Gondor. Once I could, I got away too! Supposedly, Gondor was going to be a lot better, but I really found nothing great about it. So, I packed up again and this time came out West to settle down. I'm afraid there's not much more to tell. Unless you want to go on hearing about being the only man in my family for over twenty years, which I wish not to bore you with such stories." Despite Edric saying that, he really hoped the Elves would care to listen to some more. Edric hadn't said this much in a long time. "Anyway, enough about me for a while, I would think that you two would have far better tales to tell."

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Old 02-15-2007, 04:43 PM   #438
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'Good-for-nothing wastrels.' The words spun round Cir's head, almost echoing as things clicked into place. Her brother's bad moods lately, the quietness, the turning to her for advice in so many matters. Had Ada truly said such a thing? Had they really disappointed him that much?

She barely noticed as Cir left to fetch a cup of tea, neatly excusing himself from what he knew was brewing in her. But he couldn't stay away forever. As lost in thought as she was Cir was aware of Edric and how uncomfortable her hurt and agry silence was making him, and knew that her brother would not be able to stand by and watch as the poor man continued to fidget in his seat. Sure enough, before too long Cir was back, allowing Edric to relax and continue his tale. Still though she barely listened.

'Good-for-nothing wastrels.' Why hadn't Cir told her? They always shared everything. Where was the point in having a twin if they weren't there to be your confidant? Anger grew in Cir as the feelings of betrayal thrummed through her, making her usually still frame agitated. Jerking her head to the side she caught sight of a familiar figure carefully picking it's way through the crowded common room. A few seconds passed as she focused on the newcomer, until some sense that they were being watched caused them to turn. Their eyes met and a smile spread across Cir's face. Jadelen. Suddenly realising that Edric had finished speaking she picked up on the last few words he had uttered.

"Anyway, enough about me for a while, I would think that you two would have far better tales to tell."

"Apparently so!" She answered, one quick glance at her brother all she needed to convey her disgust at having been left out of the loop. "And it seems that it is Cir here that has many such tales, as well as the one we intended to tell you, so I shall leave him to tell you them. I must excuse myself, I've just seen a friend I really have to welcome."

Rising from her seat Cir directed a graceful bow at Edric and headed toward the site where she had last seen her friend from home. Her brother she treated with a cool indifference, not even looking at him as she felt his fingers reach out to grab her sleeve, and felt a disquieting sense of satisfaction as she sensed him withdraw.

Slipping through the furniture she found Jadelen leaning against a wall on the far side of the room, obviously waiting for her.

"Mae govannen!" Cir called as she reached Jadelen's side. "I am so glad you've come, the things I have to tell you!"
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Old 02-18-2007, 01:56 PM   #439
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Cir wilted inside, in the face of his sisters scarce concealed fury - it was one thing for their parents to be angry and disappointed in them - that had been a fairly normal state of affairs for the past decade or two but he could not remember his sister ever being quite this angry. - They argued of course as siblings do but she normally calmed down after a while,and remembering this he made no further effort to impede her departure. To try to talk to her now would probably make things worse he decided besides it seems she had secrets of her own. She hadn't seem surprised to see Jadelen - and to see one of the few other young elves of Rivendell,here of all places was pretty surprising, especially since Gable was already living at the inn. It would be more or less just the old folk left in Imladris he thought taking a sip of his tea before speaking after a momentary pause to the man.

"I'm sorry about that Edric, I guess I should have told her .... but girls are strange sometimes....but I suppose you know that if you are the only man in your family" he added almost smiling for a moment. He quickly reviewed in his mind what else Edric had said and wished he had paid more attention to his lessons.

"I am afraid I don't know very much about recent events in the South - my father went to Gondor but a long time ago - he was in the army of Gil-galad at the Last Alliance but his father and brother were killed so he doesn't talk about it much ....and I am afraid we didn't pay much attention when Erestor tried to teach us and he gave up - so I am a bit hazy on everything after the meeting of Cirion and Eorl." Cir spoke sadly, embarrassed both by his ignorance and his earlier outburst.

"I didn't realise Rohan was so bad - I though it would be nice there - with the mountains and the horses and near to Lorien and Fangorn". Cir had made more effort in the study of geography than history. It changed less frequently and had seemed more useful.

"Oh have you ever seen an Ent? I am not sure I believe they really exist! And what about wolves ..have you ever seen them before today?". It was not the most subtle segue but his genuine curiosity about Edric and his anxiety about the fractured relationship with his twin had not driven the seemingly orphaned wolf-cubs from his mind.

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Old 02-19-2007, 10:08 AM   #440
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Tollers:

Tollers shook his head and dug in his curly toes. He could be very stubborn when he wanted. "I wouldn't be so sure about those trees, my friend! I've heard tales of Big Folk getting lost in the woods, falling asleep underneath a tree, and then vanishing, completely vanishing, by the next morning. I don't know what happens to the men but, whatever it is, it doesn't sound good! And they had maces and axes and swords to protect them. Believe me, these aren't the kind of trees that an Elf would take a liking to.....more like something akin to a giant spider or bat, aloof and mysterious and not all that fond of dwarves or hobbits!"

"But as to your request, I can certainly do that." Tollers sprinted over to the bar, took out a sheet of parchment and a writing instrument and brought them over to Kuric. "Here you go now," he said, as he pushed the materials over to the dwarf. Go ahead and invite him and see what he says. It can't do any harm."

"Now, I've got to be about my business. So if you'll excuse me." Tollers turned and left the table. He liked the dwarf but the fellow did seem a bit uppity. No sane person living in Buckland or the eastern part of the Shire would be silly enough to doubt the power and might of the forest. Tollers remembered tales from his granny who had talked about how the Trees had become angry in her youth and battled back against the Master of Buckland's hedge. That skirmish had even woken the wolves and the other nasty creatures who preferred to slink about in the shadows. The hobbit shuddered slightly as he remembered the creatures who had attacked them earlier. He wondered if their presence at the Inn could possibly be related to some ancient grudge or discontent among the Trees.

As he reached the kitchen, Tollers caught sight of one of the children whose lodging were next to Master Kuric. The lad had slipped into the kitchen and stuck his fist into one of Cook's apple pies that had been set on the window sill to cool. Now he was sitting cross legged on the floor and boldy licking the apples off his fingers. "There, there, none of that," Tollers scolded. "You're not supposed to be in here. And none of that stealing pie! Just wait for lunch." As the lad stood up to scamper away, Tollers grinned and called after him, "You're going to have a new neighbor.....a great dwarf warrior with a gigantic mace who is not even afraid of the wild woods. You might want to pay him a visit later today and see what's doing."

Then Tollers gave his attention back to the remains of the apple pie. There was a large hole on one side of the pie. Surely, Cook would not want to have her pie looking so raggedy. Taking a knife out of the drawer, the hobbit cut himself one generous piece and then a second, reasoning that he needed to even out the edges and make it look all proper and neat. He sat down and began to eat.
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