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Old 04-05-2020, 08:26 PM   #41
Envinyatar
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Envinyatar has just left Hobbiton.
Soap and water! And an actual towel to with which to wipe hands dry!!
It had been a long stretch since he’d been near to any sort of civilized establishment, much less around a roomful of people all got up in their partying finery. He washed his hands carefully, enjoying the warmish water and the subtle fragrance of the soap - the softness of the towel against his rough worn hands. There had been some kind of sickness, he’d heard, that was moving through the more settled placed in the lands.
People were taking care not to catch it.

For his part, he’d been far away from cities and towns of late – traveling through the forests along the feet of the Grey Mountains. By chance he’d heard from some old fellow traveler that there was to be a party of sorts back at the Barrow-Downs. He wondered if any old friends would be there.

He glanced about as he walked into the large room.
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Old 04-07-2020, 06:48 AM   #42
Thinlómien
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Thinlómien has passed beneath the Argonath.Thinlómien has passed beneath the Argonath.Thinlómien has passed beneath the Argonath.Thinlómien has passed beneath the Argonath.Thinlómien has passed beneath the Argonath.Thinlómien has passed beneath the Argonath.
So many people! Thinlómien thought, happily ambling through the crowd, sharing toasts with old friends and enemies alike. It felt like good old times. And to think, an even bigger party was only to come!

Suddenly, her musings were interrupted by the papery sound of a telephone ringing in the distance.

"Is that for me?" she muttered aloud. "And if I pick it up now, who's gonna pick it up the next time it rings?"
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Old 04-07-2020, 11:04 AM   #43
The Squatter of Amon Rûdh
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Pipe

"Saucepan? Common greeting brings underworld to nothing! I do beg your pardon, Lhuna. Haven't had a chance to do one of those for a while."

This may seem like an odd way for old comrades to greet one another, but it had been some time since Squatter had put a crypticism to the Saucepan Man and the sudden presence of a room full of old friends had left him slightly overwrought. He rambled on, apparently to the world in general.

"The old place hasn't changed a bit. I wonder what we've all been up to. So many unquiet dead returning to their mounds I almost feel newly deceased again. Good to see you anyway. Servant, ma'am."

He trailed off, apparently having forgotten what he was talking about, and gazed around the room. Perhaps he had drifted into some philosophical reverie, but more likely he was looking for canapés.
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Old 04-07-2020, 05:01 PM   #44
Estelyn Telcontar
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Estelyn Telcontar has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!Estelyn Telcontar has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!Estelyn Telcontar has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!Estelyn Telcontar has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!Estelyn Telcontar has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!Estelyn Telcontar has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!Estelyn Telcontar has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!Estelyn Telcontar has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!Estelyn Telcontar has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!Estelyn Telcontar has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!
Estelyn was delighted to see such old friends as Saucepan and Squatter in the ballroom! How wonderful, she thought. Many had become treeish in the past years, as she had sometimes thought of herself, but fond memories had kept the Barrow on her mind and quite obviously, on others' minds as well.

Ah, the good days of adventure - Merisuwyniel and all who had shared those times... Her reminiscences were interrupted by images of the world beyond these halls, where her companion was not an Entish Bow but a sewing machine, where stacks of cotton waited to be sewn into protective masks. The masks of anonymity in the early days, of hiding behind a nickname, had dissolved into the true names and faces of friends, truly met in life, or at the least virtually known. Now it was back to masks again - strange times indeed.
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Old 04-07-2020, 06:03 PM   #45
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Mithalwen is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Mithalwen is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Mithalwen is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Mithalwen is lost in the dark paths of Moria.
Mithalwen lingered outside a long while. She had seen the invitation sometime ago but she had never been a party person and this tendency had strengthened over the years. She had grown more like her name greyer and more treelike in temperament as well as physically. She was definitely not as bendable - “and increasing in circumference year on year” piped up a voice in her head. Her mind’s eye gave her inner voice what her mother would have called an old-fashioned look and the voice bit its tongue.

It wasn’t that she didn’t love the place, she did. it had been a refuge for years but she had another refuge now, a home she need never leave on the blessed island and there were things in the other world which took her time and occupied her mind. She had taken a stop gap job on moving and just when she had planned to move on she found herself a key worker in the struggle against the pestilence. She was working for the victuallers and as a wise hobbit once said “where there’s life there’s need of vittles”.. She couldn’t save your life but she knew where wine and the requisites for the privies were kept... Spending all day answering queries and soothing the irate left her almost grateful for social distancing.

But yet there were people it would be good to see again, those of whom no word reached her in the other place. So she loitered outside and watched others enter, some the firstcomers she knew little, some of her own time, some of The bright younglings grown very well indeed. Inner voice and another that sounded rather like Lalaith’s chivvied her on. She wrapped herself in her shadowy cloak, washed her hands carefully While she hummed the first stanza of “Gil-galad was an Elven king” and slipped in as unobtrusively as she could contrive.
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Old 04-08-2020, 12:26 AM   #46
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1420!

“Oh, look!” Pio’s companion nodded her head toward the man who had just entered and now stood glancing about the room in a somewhat bemused manner. "He looks like that fellow you told me about. From that Inn you ran? Or was it some adventure?”

Raising a brow at that vague description, Pio scanned the room in the general direction of Angara’s nod. Just the person I wanted to see!
She smiled, nodding her head at the fellow. Raising her arm, she waved at him, half filled mug still grasped in her hand.

“Envinyater! Join us!! I’ll stand you a cup of whatever your thirst desires!"
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Old 04-08-2020, 12:43 PM   #47
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Lalaith is a guest at the Prancing Pony.Lalaith is a guest at the Prancing Pony.
Lalaith had been happily exchanging Werewolf anecdotes with Pitch and cooing over pictures of Boro's gorgeous sister-son - babies were, like parties, one of her Favorite Things. A clanging noise distracted her. Well, of all the...Saucie!!

And who is that gliding in stealthily behind him..."Aha! Mith...dear thing!!" Remembering her friend would not appreciate a great song and dance, she reined in her urge to halloo across the crowded room. Instead she deftly grabbed another glass of bubbles from a passing tray, and made her way through the crowd, being careful to not tread on any toes or dragons' tails.
"Hello darling, isn't this fun? Here, have this - I've hardly spilt a drop. And do you know, I think I've spotted Lhuna!"
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Old 04-08-2020, 02:07 PM   #48
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Mithalwen is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Mithalwen is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Mithalwen is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Mithalwen is lost in the dark paths of Moria.
Mithalwen smiled. . It was always a joy to see Lalaith and she could say much the same of a glass of fizz. “It is a wonder to see so many again, and you are right about Lhuna”. Mithalwen smiled again recalling how Nilp had adopted her and so Lhuna by logical necessity was also one of her brood. “I have had word from Her brother lately, but I don’t think he is here yet. And Lhuna seems deep in conversation just now, but there is young Galadriel” , again Mithalwen’s sometimes frosty heart filled with maternal warmth and guilt, my cub! It was long since she had seen her and letters had been left unsent. She was worse than Butterbur she thought.
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Old 04-08-2020, 11:01 PM   #49
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Envinyatar has just left Hobbiton.
1420!

“M’lady! Well met!!” Envinyatar nodded at the barkeep who’d noted his arrival. “Whatever she’s having, I’ll take one, too.” He took a step back in order to take a more full look at his friend, lingering a bit on the scaled companion who rode her shoulder. The Wyrm returned his gaze in a most measuring way.

A nudge at his elbow alerted him to the arrival of his drink, a tall mug, filled to overflowing with a stout – dark and topped with a creamy head. Lifting it to his mouth, he first drew in an appreciative whiff of its aroma. And then a long pull on it and he could feel the wondrous liquid slide from mouth to belly.

With a satisfied sigh, Envinyatar set the mug on the bar top. “Now, let’s catch up, shall we?” He looked down at his dusty boots and well-worn leather pants. ‘For my part, as you can see, I’ve been out traipsing – back country, mostly. Just seeing what’s going on.”

“And you?” he prompted, looking her up and down. “You look a bit dusty, yourself.” He nodded at her companion, giving the Wyrm a quick wink and smile. “And who is this lovely creature?”
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Old 04-09-2020, 12:41 AM   #50
Arry
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Arry has just left Hobbiton.
Arry buffed the toe-tops of his boots against the back of his breeches. Left, first; right, following. The napped texture of the cloth brushed off what dirt and dust there was while the motley of brown colors of the breeches themselves helped to hide any evidence of them. He pulled at the hem of his shirt, evening out the blousing beneath his wide leather belt. His vest, at least looked fairly presentable – a soft honey-brown with its lacing all neatly done up. Catching sight of the wash bowl as he entered the big hall, he quickly laved his hands – singing a low tune to himself as he squished and squashed and rubbed the soapy lather over, around, and between his fingers.

He eyed the towel, but thought instead he would run his wet fingers through his thick straight hair, battening it down a bit. It was cut short, just touching the tops of his ears. And as his mother always sighed as she attempted to comb it into place, “Stars above, boy, that old cow musta licked your head every which way when you were a babe!”

Aside from a small rucksack he carried slung on one shoulder, Arry’s only other bit of gear was his small guitar. “Lily”, he said was its name. It fit snugly along his back, held in place by a woven strap that ran across his chest from shoulder to hip.

He hoped the Elf had decided to come. It had been a long time since last he'd seen her. He had many new songs he thought she'd like. Mayhap she would sing some with him.

And there was the recent news of an old friend to both of them. Sad news… quite unexpected.
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Old 04-09-2020, 07:40 PM   #51
Rumil
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Rumil has been trapped in the Barrow!
Eye Ye! Utuvienyes!!

Rumil was pottering,

definitely pottering, though he liked to think of it as sauntering. Pottering about he remembered a long forgotten path, a bit dusty and weed strewn, that led up the hill. "I shall potter up here", he thought, "one so rarely has time for serious pottering except when besieged after all".

Up the path led, to a country of swirling mists and ominous dark standing stones on hills of verdant green. "Hmmm, haven't been up here in a long while, I wonder if the old barrow is still haunted by the Wights of Old?". Rumil began to decidedly saunter.

The old black and green barrow opened at his muttered incantation, "well I'm sort of surprised I remembered that one, but maybe not so surprised, it was a special place after all". Deeper into the hallway strange sounds emanated, perhaps a clatter of pans - surely not, chittering - possibly squirrels or penguins, and the unmistakable scent of bananas. The way to the ballroom was freshly swept, Rumil followed the trail to the great doors, flung them open and stopped in amazement.

The ballroom wasn't empty

Far from it, first and foremost, Esty as delightful, serene and welcoming as ever. "Hail and Well Met" quoth Rumil. "My word, I haven't seen this place in so many years, I'm really very glad to meet you all again".

Lommie fantastic, Legate the riddler in chief! Thenamir Inzil cool, mark I'll never forget your stories, Lal! Mith mighty amongst the Downers,Pitch, G55, littlemanpoet wow, Morth, pio, Boro

Squatter we are not worthy!

and

no

actual

way

Saucie really? Awesome! Not all those who wander are lost!

Old Friends, we have trudged dark ways of which we will not lightly speak and scampered up joyous paths when laughter fell like rain.

Hail and Well Met indeed,

Well, I'm back
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Old 04-09-2020, 09:27 PM   #52
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“And who is this lovely creature?”

Angara gave the man a toothy smile, practically purring as she took in his wink and smile. “Pleased to meet you, Man!” she said, nodding her head at him. She turned her head back to eye Pio, saying, sotto voce, “You could take this as a lesson, Elf!”

Pio nodded and bobbed a small curtsy. “Here,” she said, perching the Wyrm on Envinyatar’s shoulder. “I’ll just get us another round while you two get to know each other.”

Leaving the two new friends to get better acquainted, Pio meandered slowly to the far end of the bar. Nodding to all the familiar faces as she passed. It was a nice, low-key party. Less exciting than the last one she’d attended – but that was good. She found in these last few wandering years that she enjoyed a slower pace of life. What needed to be done was of course accomplished – but in a more relaxed manner.

From somewhere to her left she heard a familiar voice hail her by name. “Miz Pio! Miz Pio!!” A wide smile lit up her face as she turned in the direction of the caller.
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Old 04-10-2020, 12:02 AM   #53
Arry
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She was a sight for sore eyes. Still beautiful in her own way. And after all this time, the years had left no marks of their passage on her face. His own face, he knew, looked older. No more the boyish visage of the very young man when first he’d passed through the Shire those many years ago. She’d been Innkeeper then at The Dragon, taking care of the many visitors that at that time passed down the East Road.

He wondered that she had remembered him and more that she smiled at him now as if no time had passed since last they’d met.

A small voice niggled at the back of his mind. “Stars and stones, man! Pull yourself together. Quit gawping! That’s your old friend, you ninny!” He rubbed his sweaty palms against the rough cloth of his breeches.

“It’s me, Miz Pio,” he managed to stammer out. “It’s Arry.”
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Old 04-10-2020, 03:52 PM   #54
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“Of, course you are, my dear Arry!” Pio laughed and reached out one hand to cradle her friend’s chin. Turning his head one way and the other. “Who else would you be?!”

Bending down a bit, she hugged him. As her arms encircled his shoulders, her hands bumped up against the instrument held close against his back. “Aah!” she cried in delight, clapping her hands as she stepped back. “We’ll have music!” Her eyes glimmered in the lights hung about the great hall.

‘I remember the old songs we sang. They always lifted my spirits. As did your playing, Arry, and that fine voice of yours.”

She steered him back to where her other companions were engaged in what appeared to be quite amusing conversation. “I have some new songs, too, I’ve learned in places traveled to of late. But what about you? What have you been doing? New songs? And what news do you bring of old friends?”
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Old 04-10-2020, 11:58 PM   #55
Arry
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Arry tugged on the Elf’s sleeve after only a few steps. “Wait, Miz Pio,” he said slowing his steps. ‘Let’s sit over there for just a bit,” he went on, pointing to a small empty table in the corner. He pulled out a chair for her when they had arrived. He freed himself from his rucksack, hanging it by its straps from the nearest back-post of his chair. His guitar he leaned up against table’s top where it butted against the wall. Arry sat himself down with a sigh.

A passing server, in the meantime, was waved over by Pio, and two small, thick glass tumblers of Dwarven whiskey placed on the table. Arry nodded slightly as he raised his glass and downed it in a single gulp. The Elf sipped at hers, quietly waiting for what he had to say.

Instead, Arry picked up his guitar and began the accustomed routine of putting it in tune. This familiar habit calmed his mind and as he strummed a series of sweet, clear chords, he found the words to tell her the news he’d brought of their friend. Straightforward, plain words.

“It’s Jack, Miz Pio,” he began, playing a short refrain from an old song they both knew. “Jack Pryne.” He smiled, remembering other times when the music had carried them all along. “The old minstrel. You remember. We sang together – him and me and you. That old clapboard shamble of a tavern, down by that harbor… What was its name?” Arry heard the scrape of the Elf’s chair legs as she scooted closer to him. He looked up, into her questioning face.

“He’s passed, Miz Pio. Old Jack. He’s gone on.”
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If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world – J.R.R. Tolkien

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Old 04-12-2020, 06:52 AM   #56
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So many reams of paper had surrounded Kath for the past few weeks that another piece, beautifully addressed though it was, had quite escaped her notice. But finally all the other sheets had been bundled together and sent off into the desperately grateful hands of parents across the land, ready to be opened and met with cries of: “But that’s not how they did it in my day!” and “What do they mean by ‘bus stop method?’” followed by copious amounts of weeping and a few hefty splashes of gin.

A party, the letter said. A chance for old friends to gather and reminisce and enjoy each other’s company in a way that Kath could barely remember. If any silver lining could come from this strange new world everyone was living in, well, this was certainly one example. It was such a special occasion, Kath even dug out some appropriately themed attire (last worn, to the delight of the small charges she taught, for Shakespeare Week) before setting off with all haste.

Despite that, she was inevitably late to the celebrations, and by more than just Day 1 this time. And yet, as she carefully manoeuvred around the myriad of obstacles by the door and stood washing her hands (singing Happy Birthday under her breath), she felt glad of her late arrival as it meant that she had time to adjust to seeing so many people from such a happy time all those years ago. Tears sprang to her eyes for a moment as a warm feeling of ‘home’ passed over her.

An instant later they were gone as she was welcomed with good cheer, handed a drink and pulled straight into conversation. It was as if she had never been away.
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Old 04-12-2020, 05:48 PM   #57
Envinyatar
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As the Wyrm regaled him with stories of old adventures she’d been on with Pio, Envinyatar found himself laughing and nodding his head. Angara had a quick wit and a sharp tongue in her opinions of how things might have gone better if only those involved had taken her counsel. What a battle that must have been! The self-confident Elf . . . impulsive, obstinate, even . . . standing toe to claw with the vociferous, tail thumping Old Wyrm.

His own wanderings these past years had been less colorful than those of his old friend and this new one. He had no home base. Just whatever dirt his old boots touched – wherever he laid his head down at night. Big towns, not too much. He tended to make a wide berth around those. Small little towns, yes, and no towns at all, too. Just little farms, wide spaced from one another. Long dusty roads intermingled with the much welcomed, cool, shadowed treks beneath the trees of some great, quiet forest.

These past few years he’d felt a vague insinuation in some old places he’d passed through of some deeper shadow that wriggled just out of his perception even as his attention was drawn toward it. He was thankful the brief encounters had been few. But they had set an alarm in him. And he’d kept a look-out these past few years for any hint of occurrence.

There had been no indication at all of any darkness, of any lingering shade, as he’d traveled the last miles to these Downs. And if this party here were any indication, the Downs continued to be an inviting place of light and good-natured fellowship. It was a welcoming feeling that put him at his ease.

His woolgathering was cut short as he felt Angara’s talons tight on his shoulder. “What’s this!?” she hissed, her eyes on the little scene unfolding in the corner of the room. “The Elf looks troubled. And sad.”

Envinyatar glanced toward the corner, narrowing his eyes. “And she’s crying,” he murmured. With quick steps, he and his perched companion moved toward their friend.
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‘Many are the strange chances of the world,’ said Mithrandir, ‘and help oft shall come from the hands of the weak when the Wise falter.’
– Gandalf in: The Silmarillion, 'Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age'

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Old 04-14-2020, 06:43 PM   #58
littlemanpoet
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littlemanpoet is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.littlemanpoet is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.
Elempi stared at the dark haired woman who had sat beside him. He seemed to recognize her from the Downs, one special corner of them. He searched his mind. He thought of a big, lumbering, blonde and bearded Eorling smith, a tongue tied and bashful man. Harreld. Such fond memories, writing for Harreld. He remembered now.

"Lhuna!" He whispered. "It's you! It's great to see you here! You wrote for Ginna! That was fun."

Elempi stopped being quiet, completely taken up in fond memories of hijinks and hilarity that the two of them had co-written.
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Old 04-14-2020, 11:24 PM   #59
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Pio leaned back in her chair, shaking her head slowly. No words came. Tears pooled into memories behind clouded eyes. “That can’t be true,” she murmured. “We were to meet at the Windrose Inn – just a few weeks from today.” She shook her head again. “He had a new song to try out… and I wanted to sing some of our old ones again.” With her forefinger she traced the raised grain along the table’s top, losing the line of it as it faded into smoothness.

The sound of her small companion’s wings preceded the weight of the Wyrm’s body as she landed, her talons gripping tightly on the Elf’s shoulder. “Who’s troubling you? Shall I break them?” She fixed a wary eye on Arry. “Just bend them a bit, perhaps.”
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Old 04-15-2020, 11:40 PM   #60
Arry
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“Now wait a minute!” Arry protested, leaning back in his chair. He looked Angara directly in the eye. “Nobody’s been troubling Miz Pio. Not me at least.” He shook his head. “We’re both troubled. We’ve lost a good friend. That’s what makes her sad.” He cradled his guitar against him. “Makes me sad.” He plucked a tune. Chords and single notes blended quietly together.

“Remember this one, Miz Pio?” He strummed a few bars, setting the rhythm of the song. “That one he said was about Mount Gumry. You sang it with him at the Seven Bells.” He watched as she tapped out the tempo with her fingers.

And then in a voice pitched soft and low she began to sing the familiar words of that old song.
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Old 04-16-2020, 11:39 PM   #61
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As the song came to a close, Envinyatar smiled and clapped his hands. “That’s old Jack Pryne!” He laughed at first, glad to hear the old balladeer’s song. “But wait,” he went on, his brow furrowing in disbelief and sadness. “Surely you can’t mean that he’s left us?” He pulled up a chair and sat facing Arry and Pio. “Envinyatar,” he said, nodding at the other man as he sat down. “Pleased to meet a friend of Pio,” he went on, extending his arm. Arry returned the greeting, grasping the other man’s offered hand.

“I traveled with him a couple of times,” Envinyatar continued. “What an easy guy to be with on those long dusty roads between little towns here and there.” He nodded his head and smiled at the memories. “Sometimes we’d stay in some farmer’s cow shed. Jack’d pay for our supper with songs and stories that’d set the farmer roaring with laughter. For my part, I split and stacked firewood for the farmer’s good-wife.” Envinyatar rubbed the back of his neck, and chuckled. “Jack always said I carried that firewood far better than I ever carried a tune! He did like my stories, though, of the places I’d been and the people I met. Later on down the road for us, I’d find he’d taken those very same stories and made them into songs.” A quiet pause in conversation ensued as the companions savored the picture their thoughts had painted for them.

“Say, how ‘bout I get us another round of drinks?” Envinyatar offered, breaking the pleasant silence. “And I know just the ones. Four Handsome Johnnys – one each for us and one for our old friend.” He heard the rasping sound of the Wyrm clearing her throat. “Make that five,” he corrected.

“And just what is this ‘Handsome Johnny’?” the Wyrm inquired, raising her brows.

Envinyatar laughed as he recalled Jack’s favored libation. “Why it’s gingered ale and a clear spirit from the far eastern country – vodka, I think it’s called. Goes down real smooth. Got a kick to it, though, if you drink too many.” He waved over a passing server and placed the table’s order.

As they waited for the return of their drinks, he tapped the guitar as it rested on Arry’s leg. “Let’s hear another of Jack’s tunes.” He pursed his lips, thinking. “How about that one about this goofy old world? That's a good one!”

Humming, just a bit off key, the beginning of the tune, he recalled the opening words of the song.
Up in the morning
Work like a dog
Is better than sitting
Like a bump on a log
...
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Old 04-17-2020, 03:13 AM   #62
Estelyn Telcontar
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Estelyn Telcontar has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!Estelyn Telcontar has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!Estelyn Telcontar has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!Estelyn Telcontar has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!Estelyn Telcontar has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!Estelyn Telcontar has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!Estelyn Telcontar has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!Estelyn Telcontar has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!Estelyn Telcontar has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!Estelyn Telcontar has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!
Estelyn smiled as she looked around the ballroom. The refreshments were definitely popular, songs were being sung and stories told, reminiscences being shared - she had high hopes of hosting the party for another two weeks, until the jubilation of 20 years could be celebrated. She mused on the possibilities for a special commemoration of that special event...
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Old 04-19-2020, 01:09 AM   #63
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Arry nodded as Estelyn glanced his way, and dipped the guitar he was playing in her direction. He turned back toward Envinyatar and sang along on the last verse. The older fellow’s fellow voice had grown stronger as the song went on and he seemed to have gained the trick to keeping on tune.

Not that it mattered. Old Jack wouldn’t really have cared. The fact that there was camaraderie, and pleasure in the music, and drinks to fuel the merrymaking would have been enough for him.

One of them ordered another round of drinks, local brew this time. Mugs were raised and clinked. And more songs sung. Pio was enticed once again to join in. This was an old song that she'd sung many times. One which always brought laughter to both the singers and the listeners

Arry’s eyes lit up with delight to see her enjoy the singing of it once again.
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Old 04-20-2020, 02:07 PM   #64
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"Hrrrm hoom..."

Deep in his dusty home in New Luthany, Formendacil stirred. Who was to say what he was now, who had once been a cantankerous Númenórean of Arnor, but Barrow-downers are not obliged to self-identify themselves with but one of Middle-earth's races and the slow passage of time had rendered him far more Entish than aught else, at least so far as his virtual life went.

"I smell something in the air," he muttered to himself. It was dust, most likely, for a thick layer covered his haunt. He spent most of his days in the Other Land now, where he had reached his Hobbit majority (though had not come into any inheritance). That was a dour realm of late, and perhaps the dourness drove him back to the dusty lands he'd once known.

Even the invitation to celebrate the Downs's impending anniversary was covered over with further layers of postal detritus. It was weeks old.

"A wizard is never late..." he heard himself say aloud, in a creaking timbre of a voice. He frowned: that was a sign of age indeed, if he were unthinkingly quoting The Movies.

"...nor is he early," he admitted with a deep, ponderous sigh. Selecting his heaviest staff, he started away.
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Old 04-23-2020, 06:39 PM   #65
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he party was already starting when Lady Great finally opened her mail to see her invite, but this was not unusual for the lady because she was always fashionably late. She called to her sweetheart Baranduin to her side and they quickly put together a basket of tea, cakes, and their special pipeweed to take. You can't go to a party emptyhanded! she said aloud as she slipped into her coat. She couldn't go anywhere without her tea, and she knew her friends would love to share it anyway.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The Ladies Great entered the ballroom (and remembered to wash their hands). I have so many memories here. Lady Great said with tears in her eyes. There were her old friends. She felt the joy of seeing all of their faces in that familiar place. I'll be right over, I just need to find some wine. said the lady to Oddwen and Ka as she thought about the order in which she was going to greet everyone. How lovely was it to visit her old stomping grounds again. This looks like the beginning of our best party yet she thought.
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Old 04-30-2020, 11:30 AM   #66
Estelyn Telcontar
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Estelyn Telcontar has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!Estelyn Telcontar has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!Estelyn Telcontar has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!Estelyn Telcontar has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!Estelyn Telcontar has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!Estelyn Telcontar has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!Estelyn Telcontar has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!Estelyn Telcontar has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!Estelyn Telcontar has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!Estelyn Telcontar has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!
Party activity had slowed down in the course of time, as it does when friends feel free to come and go, or to sit in companionable silence and recollection. But now a special announcement was made by Estelyn:

"My dear Elves and Dwarves, Hobbits and Humans, Wizards, and Orcs, and Wraiths of all Peoples. May 1 is the Barrow-Downs' 20th birthday - it is 20 years old tomorrow!"

"Hurray! Hurray! Many Happy Returns!" the guests shouted, and they hammered joyously on the tables. Esty was doing splendidly. This was the sort of stuff they liked: short and obvious.

"I hope you are all enjoying yourselves as much as I am." Noises of trumpets and horns, pipes and flutes, and other musical instruments. In one corner of the ballroom some of the members, supposing Mod Estelyn to have finished (since she had plainly said all that was necessary) now got up an impromptu orchestra, and began a merry dance-tune.

But Esty had not finished. Seizing a horn from a youngster nearby, she blew three loud hoots. The noise subsided.

"I have called you together for a Purpose. Indeed for Three Purposes! First of all, to tell you that I am immensely fond of you all, and that twenty years is too short a time to live among such excellent and admirable wraiths. Secondly, to celebrate the Downs' birthday. Thirdly and finally, to this effect I wish for you to share your favourite poetry with us for the occasion. Whether you quote from the books we all love, or recite your own serious or humorous poems, or share a translation in another language, of the Ring poem, for example - your contributions are welcome! Those who know the use of special techniques to record their own voices reading a poem are welcome to post the links here, so we can hear you speak. And of course toasts to the Barrow Wight are in order, and any conversation is allowed as you please. I look forward to a wonderful celebration with all of you!

And though in the past, numerous members have announced that they were going, leaving now, I am staying!"
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Old 05-01-2020, 02:17 AM   #67
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"Twenty years?"

Huinesoron stirred from his corner, stepping out into the room.

"Twenty years... and here's me around for barely two. It suddenly feels like a very heavy history is hanging over me..."

He stopped, shaking his head, and smiled. "But if anything is hanging from these rafters, it's bunting. This is a festive occasion! And while I may not be the best in crowds (though put me in a riddling game and I will dive in wholeheartedly), I will join you all in raising a glass to the Downs and the Wight - and in sharing a little poetry."

Huinesoron shuffled through his pockets, studiously ignoring the amused looks he was getting, and after a few moments produced a scrap of paper. "I wrote this some years ago," he explained (or failed to explain). "I was practicing Sindarin at the time, and I... so it's a translation of the last four lines of Sam's song in the Tower. You know, 'Above all shadows rides the sun' and so forth?" He coughed, glanced down at the paper, then straightened his back and looked up.

Anor dhosta or-dhuaithoth
Ah elenath hilar
Ú-bêdithan "i galad veth
"Ah in elin 'wannar..."


hS
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Old 05-01-2020, 03:18 AM   #68
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Estelyn Telcontar has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!Estelyn Telcontar has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!Estelyn Telcontar has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!Estelyn Telcontar has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!Estelyn Telcontar has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!Estelyn Telcontar has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!Estelyn Telcontar has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!Estelyn Telcontar has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!Estelyn Telcontar has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!Estelyn Telcontar has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!
The day had arrived, and with it the first poem; Estelyn smiled, rather wistfully - it was not only an appropriate tribute to the Professor's created language/s, it was a timely reminder that "...in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach." These difficult times, too, would pass. She cleared her throat, which had become rather husky over those thoughts, and climbed onto one of the tables to make an announcement:

"As we begin our celebrations, let us take a moment for the ritual of our times. I ask you to take the soap into your wet hands, face west, and recite with me:

Three Rings for the Elven-kings under the sky,
Seven for the Dwarf-lords in their halls of stone,
Nine for Mortal Men doomed to die,
One for the Dark Lord on his dark throne
In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie.
One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them,
One Ring to bring them all, and in the darkness bind them,
In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie.
"

The hall rang with the sound of many voices united as one, then a sound as if of many waterfalls, as hands were rinsed, then the reverent silence of drying them. Estelyn thought she had heard some voices speaking in other languages and hoped that the speakers would recite their poems individually so that all could hear them.

Since she was already on the table, she decided to propose the first toast of the birthday party: "Please raise your glasses, preferably filled with something you like, and toast the one person without whom our lives would have been much less interesting: The Professor!"
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Old 05-01-2020, 07:01 AM   #69
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After yet another toast, the Dark Elf was feeling rather amused, or bemused as the case may be, for the Old Winyards was surprisingly potent, even for one of the Moriquendi. Elves do not get intoxicated as a rule, although Morthoron did recall a certain Silvan steward of Thranduil who was relieved of his duties for being dead drunk. "Sacked for too much sack," he chuckled to himself.

In any case, the Dark Elf was certainly more amenable to interaction with the odd admixture of personas proliferating in the hall; and given Lady Estelyn's request that all and sundry of the assemblage should share some token of esteem for some brief anniversary being celebrated herein (short, in terms of Elves, of course), Morthoron rose from the comforts of his fine leather Edwardian club chair. He politely cleared his throat to gain attention, cleared it again when some of the more roisterous imbibers in the back failed to yield the floor, and then began in a sonorous tone:

"Choices. We all have to make them at one time or another, of course, but some are more momentous than others. Take for instance, the sons of Eärendil the Mariner, who by the Grace of the Valar were given the irrevocable choice of which kindred they would remain, Elda or Adan. This then is The Soliloquoy of Elrond Peredhil...

An Elf or not an Elf...that is the question.
Whether 'tis nobler to be mortal and suffer
The twinges and hair loss of Mankind's fortune,
Or to take up Elfdom and limitless potential,
And by inference become immortal. An Elf -- to sleep no more --
Because Elves rarely sleep given their high metabolism.
But there is heartburn: a thousand years of eating lembas
Does not aid in my digestion. 'Tis not a bowel movement
One would wish on an enemy. And sheep -- sheep that yearn to dream --
Ai! I've lost count. For in that count of sheep no dreams may come
While snugly mortals coil 'neath comforters and nap without pause,
There's only insomnia that makes calamity of so long a life."


The Dark Elf, half-smirking, formally bowed and returned to his seat.
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Old 05-01-2020, 11:33 AM   #70
Kath
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Having quietened down long enough to listen to the Dark Elf's humorous take on the life of Elrond after Esty's rousing toast, Kath was keen to get everyone joining in again. This called for something with a bit of a chorus that didn't take much time to learn. And so, she cast her mind back to The Hobbit, that wonderful book that had started her journey into Middle Earth, and found something that suited her aim.

"Alright, fellow 'Downers," she called out over the general merriment, "let's hear your best 'Ya Hey'!"

Fifteen birds in five fir trees,
their feathers were fanned in a fiery breeze!
what funny little birds, they had no wings!
Oh what shall we do with the funny little things?
Roast 'em alive, or stew them in a pot;
fry them, boil them and eat them hot?

Burn, burn tree and fern!
Shrivel and scorch! A fizzling torch
To light the night for our delight,
Ya hey!

Bake and toast 'em, fry and roast ’em!
till beards blaze, and eyes glaze;
till hair smells and skins crack,
fat melts, and bones black
in cinders lie
beneath the sky!
So dwarves shall die,
and light the night for our delight,
Ya hey!
Ya-harri-hey!
Ya hoy!
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Old 05-01-2020, 02:46 PM   #71
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Leaf

When the applause and the merriment after the last poem (or actually, sing-along) quieted down, the Wights began to look at each other expectantly. When nobody seemed eager to take the spotlight, Lommy and Legate got up from their seats.

"We have heard quite a few poems thus far - both by the Professor," Lommy raised her half-empty glass once again, "and by some of the creative spirits among us. We may not have a poem of our own," she added, "but there is a little creativity in there, too."

"As one Elven traveler once said," Legate continued, "it is fair to hear words of your own language from the lips of other wanderers in the world. But we would do something different this time: let you hear words of other languages from the lips of your fellow 'Downers. It is a piece of poetry you all know."

And with these words, they started reciting; first Lommy, then Legate, and taking turns after each stanza:

Kun kevät saa pyökin lehtimään ja virtaa mahla sen,
kun virralla valo kimmeltää, ja tuuli on luoteinen,
kun askel on kevyt, ja hengitys; sää vuorilla viileää;
palaa luokseni, palaa luokseni, sano: kaunis on maani tää!

Když jarem raší zahrada a roste obilí,
když květy jako lesklý sníh nám sady obílí,
když zem a vzduch se rozvoní deštěm se sluncem,
já zůstanu, já nepůjdu, vždyť já mám krásnou zem!

Kun kesä jo valtaa maailman ja viheriöi joka puu,
kun lehväkatoksi puhjeten uni oksien toteutuu,
kun metsän saleihin vehreisiin tuuli lännestä puhaltaa,
palaa luokseni, palaa luokseni, sano: maata ei parempaa!

Když slunce hřeje, jablka a hrušky vypéká,
když sláma zlátne, bělá klas a žeň už nečeká,
když kane med a zraje plod a hnědne ořeší,
já na slunci tu zůstanu, má zem je nejlepší!
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Old 05-01-2020, 02:46 PM   #72
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Kun talvi jo saapuu tappava, puut metsän maahan lyö
kun auringottoman päivän taas yö musta tähdetön syö;
kun kuoleman tuuli idästä tuo sateen viiltävän,
minä sinua etsin ja kutsun ja taas sinun luoksesi kiirehdän!

Když zima píseň umoří a padne černá tma,
zlomí se větev neplodná a skončí práce má,
vyhlížet budu, čekat budu, až mi přijdeš vstříc,
pak nelítostným deštěm spolu odejdeme pryč.

Me yhdessä matkaan lähdemme, tie länteen vie yhä vain,
a daleko snad najdem zem, kde srdce spočinou.


As the audience applauded politely, Lommy and Legate bowed, holding hands and laughing, with a slightly self-conscious flush on both their faces. After all, there was no getting around the fact that the poem they had just recited was a little too cheesy for either of their tastes.

"That is how it goes," Lommy said. "A fair song, if a tad melodramatic. In real life, differences between the forests of the north and the rolling hills and farmlands of the south aren't such a big deal."

"Easy for you to say, when we live in your forest land," Legate teased her good-naturedly.

"Well, *anyway*," Lommy said. "Now that I'm talking, I propose a toast. For all the wonderful people we've all met through this site - and no, I'm not just talking about Legate - imagine how much poorer all our lives would be without them. Cheers! Or, kippis!"

"Na zdraví!" said Legate, and clinked glasses with her.

Lommy smiled at him, then raised her glass and turned to the wights that were gathered around. She made sure to make eye contact with all her friends present, both those she kept in touch with regularly and those she only saw occasionally on the 'Downs or while browsing the book of faces. How lovely it was that they were all there!
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Old 05-01-2020, 04:29 PM   #73
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Mithadan and his companions applauded. "Lovely tunes!" he said with enthusiasm. "Beautiful! What did you think?" He turned to a dubious looking creature, seated to his left.

"Not bad," answer Gravlox. "Very pretty indeed! but I rather liked that other one. Reminded me of my youth,

"Bake and toast 'em, fry and roast ’em!
till beards blaze, and eyes glaze;
till hair smells and skins crack,
fat melts, and bones black

"That's a bit more my style."

"It would be, my Uruk friend," retorted a figure dressed in a white, silk suit with a black tie. His hair was immaculately coiffed and his shoes shone from having been buffed until every scuff had been eliminated. He held a pad of yellow, lined paper in his hand and was scribbling frantically with his Mont Blanc pen. "You're an Orc, and can appreciate a nice bit of thievery. Straight out of The Hobbit, I believe. Let's see, copyright violation, treble damages, attorney's fees..."

Gravlox scowled and bared his yellowed fangs. "Can't you lighten up for once, Sueim?" he responded. "Enjoy yourself! Have a drink and a bit to eat!" The Orc drew a dagger and stabbed a cockroach that was sauntering by. It disappeared into his maw with a crunch. "Juicy!" he exclaimed.

"Well, if I recall, you can neither write poetry nor sing," Sueim replied. His cellantir rang, but he ignored it. He leaned forward toward the Uruk and emphasized his words with a flourish of his hands.

"I've never heard you sing," snarled Gravlox. "Your 'predecessor' maybe, but not you."

Sueim grinned. It was a truly horrifying sight. Loyers should not be allowed to smile. "He could entertain, couldn't he? Maybe, I should let my hair down and get into the swing of things. Even if it means letting Grrralph take over for a moment..."

Sueim stood, and gestured as he recited a quotation from Mr. Justice Brandeis. Abruptly, he was surrounded with a cloud of grey smoke that quickly changed into the darkest black. Then, with a flash, a new figure appeared where Sueim had been standing.

"Oh no," moaned Mithadan. "Call the insurance company..."

In Sueim's place stood an imposing, shrouded figure, 2.4 meters tall wearing hooded robes over full body armour consisting of chainmail (steel, black), a breast plate (steel, black), vambraces (steel, black), leather gloves (black) with steel studs (black), chain hose (black) and thigh high boots (red). A nearby group of Hobbits dropped their tankards and fled, screaming. Grrralph raised himself up to his full height and emitted a long drawn out wail which rose and fell like the cry of some dark and lonely creature. Then, to everyone's horror, he began to move back and forth. At first, he merely tapped his boots, but then he began to sway and, suddenly, caught up in the moment, he drew his pale blade and began spinning around with his arms outstretched. His thigh-high red boots struck sparks from the floor as he shifted into a dance.

The crowd scattered and took refuge under tables or pressed up against the walls to evade the spinning wrai… er, person. Then, he began to sing.

Daggers and maces,
and bows at ten paces.
Longswords and spears,
that lay foes on biers.
Arrows on strings,
and cold golden rings,
these are a few of my
favorite things!

Liver and spleen,
and kidneys between.
Muscle and tendon,
and blades with to rend them.
Lungs, hearts and hamstrings,
and eyeballs a-bouncing,
these are a few of my
favorite things!


Nonplussed, Mithadan watched as Grrralph swept about the room. "'Enjoy yourself'" he said to Gravlox. "Good thing he didn't have a drink! Why didn't you double dog dare him?"

Gravlox watched as the tip of Grrralph's sword separated a guest's waistcoat into two neat pieces, amazingly without drawing blood. "You've got to admit," the Uruk responded with a toothy grin. "He's got style."
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Old 05-01-2020, 05:34 PM   #74
piosenniel
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“What a wordsmith the Old Fellow was! And a true inspiration for those who have come after…” The rest of Pio’s acclaim was cut off as a long drawn out wail which rose and fell like the cry of some dark and lonely creature cut a discordant swathe through the room. Brows raised, she eyed the fellow as he spun and sang. “Have mercy!” she swore aloud. “Not bad . . . not bad . . . as far as lyrics go, I’ll give him that.” She watched as the fellow, now done with song, began to express himself with his sword. Drawing a knife from each boot top, she placed them close at hand on the table.

Pio raised her half-empty mug in the direction of the whirling singer, a friendly gesture. And one to say she was keeping her eye on him.

Taking a small sip, she raised it once again, high in the air. “And here’s to Himself, The Barrow-Wight, for making such a delightful place for us misbegotten wanderers to tarry awhile in…” She drained the last of her drink and set the mug upside down on the table.

“Arry, you know this one, I think.” She hummed low, a few bars of an old story-song. Arry strummed a mix of chords, fitting them to the rhythm of her singing. Pio nodded her head and winked a smile at him. “And you, ‘Vin,’ she went on, thumping her fingers lightly on the table’s wooden top in a soft, measured rhythm, motioning him to follow along. “Keep the beat for me . . . if you will.”

Pio listened as her two friends wove a light melody.

“Now this is a long-ago song from times when magics were carried on the winds.” She smiled a little to herself. “It brings fond memories of times of my own…”

I know a window in a western tower
That opens on celestial seas,
And wind that has been blowing round the stars
Comes to nestle in its tossing draperies.
It is a white tower builded in the Twilight Isles,
Where Evening sits for ever in the shade;
It glimmers like a spike of lonely pearl
That mirrors beams forlorn and lights that fade;
And sea goes washing round the dark rock whereit stands,
And fairy boats go by to gloaming lands
All piled and twinkling in the gloom
With hoarded sparks of orient fire
That divers won in waters of the unknown Sun -
And, maybe, 'tis a throbbing silver lyre,
Or voices of grey sailors echo up
A float among the shadows of the world
In oarless shallop and with canvas furled;
For often seems there ring of feet and song,
Or the twilit twinkle of a trembling gong.

O! happy mariners upon a journey long
To those great portals on the Western shores
Where far away constellate fountains leap,
And dashed against Night's dragon-headed doors
In foam of stars fall sparkling in the deep.
While I alone look out behind the Moon.
From in my white and windy tower,
Ye bide no moment and await no hour,
But chanting snatches of a mystic tune
Go through the shadows and the dangerous seas
Past sunless lands to fairy leas
Where stars upon the jacinth wall of space
Do tangle burst and interlace.
Ye follow Earendel through the West,
The shining mariner, to Islands blest;
While only from beyond that sombre rim
A wind returns to stir these crystal panes
And murmur magically of golden rains
That fall for ever in those spaces dim.


The last echoes of voice, and strum, and wooded beats fell away into the Great Hall’s environs.

“Well, done my friends!!” Pio nodded her head, smiling widely at her two companions. “Now, what do you say for another round of the ‘Downs finest? That was a rather longish song-poem – and my throat is parched!!!”

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

“Tha Eadigan Saelidan: The Happy Mariners”
----- from the Old Fellow: J. R. R. Tolkien - The Book of Lost Tales Part Two
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Old 05-01-2020, 10:22 PM   #75
Galadriel55
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Galadriel watched through her Mirror as the Day of the Downs approached. Poetry and song! How else to celebrate Twenty Years of Tolkien and friendship? Galadriel dug around on the shelves, looking for a ruffled scroll with some very old writing. One of her first writings, in fact. The handwriting is simply embarrassing, the punctuation is atrocious, and the content?! She shuddered. A less thought-out fan fiction couldn't have existed. But no matter. It's the sentiment that counts. Right?


This tale takes root in ancient times
When Sun and Moon were young.
Wise Elves thought they had tales to tell
But their tales have just begun.
In those times joy was mixed with grief
And hope was in despair.
In such a place, in such a time
Stood Gondolin the Fair.

In that white city, proud and tall,
A blacksmith, proud and skilled,
Wrought three bright Elven blades of steel:
Those blades were wrought to kill.
Two kingly swords, like brothers, but
One older than the other,
And one sharp knife - a deadly knife,
He was the youngest brother.

And these three blades enchanted were,
A blessing was bestowed:
When orcs or other foes were near
They with blue fire glowed.
And special hatred for all foes
Was sown in them at start;
More deadly they have proved to orcs
Than axe or club or dart.

On silent night, when darkness ruled,
The thralls of Morgoth crept.
O'er high passes the entered in
When guards, unwary, slept.
They took the city by surprise,
Great treachery befell.
The few survivors who escaped
Now had their tale to tell.

The blades were buried under stone
And under ruins deep,
Until the waters of the sea
Between the mountains seeped.
They stormed and ravaged in the halls
By enemy laid bare.
Since then no man has trod the soil
Of Gondolin the Fair.

But not for water, not for loss
Were these blades shaped by Elves.
Their fate was greater than the fish
And salt sea-water wells.
The Lord of Waters did not wish
For skill to go to waste.
Upon the crests of his great waves
He brought the blades in haste

To shore, where they would one day be
By wary traveler found
Whose errand lead him to the Sea,
Who came by journey bound.
And men have come, and found the blades,
Though secret it remained
If this man just and honest was
Or with foul thieving stained.

The blades hid from searching eye,
They passed from hands to hands
Until by merry company found
With trolls in northern lands.
A sagely wizard took the first,
A Dwarven King - another,
A little hobbit with them came
And took the youngest brother.

Many were the battles fought,
Countless the foes slain;
Many orcs, alas, found out
That these blades were their bane.
When peace had settled on the land
And weapons put away
The middle brother on a tomb
Beneath the Mountain lay,

The eldest and the youngest blades
Have left the Hither Shore
And with their keepers they remain
In golden Valinor.
And through the Ages, from all years,
The blades enchanted hold
The tales and stories of the past
And memories of old.
...The grief and glory of the past
...And memories of old.
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Old 05-01-2020, 11:48 PM   #76
Brinniel
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Brinn stepped through her door into the deep depths of The Barrow-Downs. It had been many years since she had explored this realm and yet it felt like coming home. In her last visit, it had been so quiet - but that was no longer the case. The rooms were teeming with life (so to speak), visited both old and new friends alike. The mood was joyful and full of song. One could almost forget that we have been living through such dark times these past weeks.

Twenty years The Barrow-Downs has existed - in the world of the interweb, that is no small feat! So much has changed in that time; after all, Brinn had only been a young lass when she had joined the ranks of the dead and now she was all grown up. And yet little has seemedto change here. The black walls and glowing green and gold remained the same. It was all so familiar that it almost felt like Brinn had stepped into a portal through time.

Not another moment to waste! Brinn made her way through and joined in on the celebrations. While some Downers were dressed festively, she opted for comfort and wore her special shirt to commemorate the occasion instead. As the others made the rounds reciting poetry and songs, Brinn felt a tad embarrassed that she had come ill-prepared. "I have not prepared anything original for a long time, nor have I done much research," she thought. "But then again, what better time to share words from the Great Professor himself - a poem we all know well."



The Road goes ever on and on
Down from the door where it began.
Now far ahead the Road has gone,
And I must follow, if I can,
Pursuing it with weary feet,
Until it joins some larger way,
Where many paths and errands meet.
And whither then? I cannot say.
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Old 05-02-2020, 12:14 AM   #77
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Envinyatar poured half his mug into a bowl and offered it to the dragon. In turn, Angara dipped her snout gracefully into the dark, foamy liquid and sipped up a generous measure of the ale. Her tongue flicked out as she finished and swiped the faint line of foam delicately from round her lips. He watched her, fascinated by the agility of her long tongue. And catching a glimpse of her sharp teeth, wondered if she ever cut the soft-looking skin on the under side of that tongue as it withdrew back into her mouth.

“Ahh, the things one does not know about dragons,” he thought. “And best not ask about, either.” Angara, he had noted, could be quite sharp in her reaction and quick to be vexed. Envinyatar chuckled softly to himself. “But then she doesn’t know me, either.”

As if she had caught the drift of his meandering thoughts, Angara turned her head toward him and narrowed her gaze. Before she could say a word, Envinyatar turned his full attention on her and gave her his own toothy grin.

“You know,” he began, wagging his finger at her. “I think I have a song, poem really, you just might like. I heard it from a fellow some time ago who’d just passed through the Withered Heath.” He shook his head, as the dragon cocked her head at him. “Yes, that very valley where old Smaug once dwelt.”

Envinyatar nodded at the recollection of the rough, old fellow who’d shared his camp fire one cold, dark, windy night. “Now he sang it fine, but no, I’m really not the singing sort. For the life of me, I cannot carry a tune.” He rubbed the back of his neck. “But, I’ve a good memory and do love the flow of the rhythm of well placed words.” “It’s like a stream running over and ‘round and even under things,” he went on, “carrying those different water sounds, blending them in a such a way as to be pleasant to the ear and spirit.”

Pulling his chair closer to where Angara perched on the table’s top, Envinyatar began reciting in a low, cadenced rhythm.

The wind was on the withered heath,
but in the forest stirred no leaf:
there shadows lay by night and day,
and dark things silent crept beneath.

The wind came down from mountains cold,
and like a tide it roared and rolled;
the branches groaned, the forest moaned,
and leaves were laid upon the mould.

The wind went on from West to East;
all movement in the forest ceased,
but shrill and harsh across the marsh
its whistling voices were released.

The grasses hissed, their tassels bent,
the reeds were rattling—on it went
o'er shaken pool under heavens cool
where racing clouds were torn and rent.

It passed the lonely Mountain bare
and swept above the dragon's lair:
there black and dark lay boulders stark
and flying smoke was in the air.

It left the world and took its flight
over the wide seas of the night.
The moon set sail upon the gale,
and stars were fanned to leaping light.




“Hmmm,” Envinyatar murmured as the last words faded from hearing, the desolate image dissolving, too. “Still brings a shiver to my spine,” he said quietly.

He shook off the chill as he raised his mug up high, above his head.

“And here’s to The Barrow-Wight – the author of this night’s celebration. May his life be long, his glass never empty, and his patience deep for us passing strangers in his realm!”
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Old 05-02-2020, 10:06 AM   #78
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Lindo, who had climbed back into the rocking chair with the quilt, remained quiet for a while longer, except for the occasional sniffle. But ere long, he clambered down out of the rocker and went softly to Galadriel. It took her a moment to notice him. “Hello?” She said.

He bowed. “Lady, I am a minstrel myself. And I was born under the walls of Gondolin.”

Her eyebrows raised. “A halfling?”

“Indeed,” he replied, his eyes sad and quiet. “The blacksmith you sing of was a bold and fierce fighter, and he fell, so it is said among us, by the fountain defending the king. But the blades passed from our knowledge. Indeed we knew little but hunger in Ladros, until Ancalimon came. But no matter,” he said. “I only wanted to thank you for your song. I felt that I was standing by the King’s fountain in happier days.”

She stared at the slender grey-haired hobbit and the tear that yet to fall. “You, a halfling, were born in Gondolin...?” she whispered, her eyes narrowing.

He bowed again, deeper this time. “An honor that perhaps I did not deserve. But if you would like to hear the tale,” he nodded at the black and white dragon and the grey Haired Dunadan watching Gravloc, “He knows the whole tale, of which I played small part. Ask him.”

Lindo bowed yet a third time, and then returned to the quiet corner, the rocker, and the quilt.
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Old 05-02-2020, 06:16 PM   #79
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“So be it!” cried Arry, foam spilling down the side of his mug as he clinked it against Envinyatar’s raised cup. “May the Old Wight walk unseen among us for as long as he pleases!” But under his breath he murmured a low entreaty to whatever bright spirits might be gathered round about. “And may he never lay eyes on the likes of me.” His left hand crept to the small leather pouch that hung round his neck by a thin braided string and grasped it tightly.

His old Gran had made the pouch and added to it a few charms to keep him safe when far from home – a tiny twig from the Hawthorne tree outside her cottage; a sage leaf, a bit of rosemary from her garden; and a wee pinch of dirt from the very path as went to and from her door. Small comforts to quiet a case of the shudders and goose-bumps.

‘Thanks, Gran,” he whispered to himself.

Arry tucked his leather pouch inside his shirt and took a long pull at his ale. “Say, Pio,” he said, setting his drink on the table. “I just remembered an old song I learned to play in the Shire.” He picked up his guitar and strummed a few chords. “I think you know it, too. There’s a tipsy cat. And a dog, and a cow, too! And those dishes – they ran away with the spoon!!” He laughed, his fingers nimbly picking out the tune as he smiled at her.

“Reminds me of the time we worked together at the Green Dragon.” His foot tapped out the beat. “Come on, join in!”

There is an inn, a merry old inn
Beneath an old grey hill,
And there they brew a beer so brown
That the Man in the Moon himself came down
One night to drink his fill.
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Old 05-03-2020, 09:02 AM   #80
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Estelyn Telcontar has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!Estelyn Telcontar has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!Estelyn Telcontar has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!Estelyn Telcontar has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!Estelyn Telcontar has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!Estelyn Telcontar has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!Estelyn Telcontar has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!Estelyn Telcontar has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!Estelyn Telcontar has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!Estelyn Telcontar has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!
Far away, in a remote area of Elvenhome in Muddled-Mirth, the strains of a mournful song echoed:

Wake up, MeriSusie, wake up,
Wake up, MeriSusie, wake up,
Our story's sound asleep, wake up, MeriSusie, and weep,
The RPG's over, it's twenty-twenty, and we're in caverns deep.
Wake up, MeriSusie
Wake up, MeriSusie, well...

Whatta we gonna tell Estelyn,
Whatta we gonna tell Mith'dan,
Whatta we gonna tell our readers when they say "Where and when"?
Wake up, MeriSusie.

I told your creator that you'd write Quest Three,
Well Susie baby, too ambitious were we,
Wake up, MeriSusie
Wake up, MeriSusie, we gotta go on.

Wake up, MeriSusie, wake up,
Wake up, MeriSusie, wake up,
The RPG wasn't so hot, it didn't have much of a plot,
We fell asleep, our loose ends lost, our reputation's shot.
Wake up, MeriSusie,
Wake up, MeriSusie, we gotta go on.


And lo, the lay was heard, and two perfect, shell-like ears twitched, then a shapely head was raised, long golden tresses trailed behind with only as much tousledness as to be extremely attractive, and a shapely body rose from its long forgotten resting place. "The voice of my beloved has called me!" Merisuwyniel (for indeed it was she, being immortal) exclaimed. "But where is he?" In the back of her memory she realised that she had not finished the last quest upon which she had embarked, but this new quest was irresistable. She chose her most becoming raiment (to be described later) and embarked upon the search for Gravlox.
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