Redemption: The Reckoning

Pull out your pack and head on down to the Prancing Pony for some great Role Playing (try to stay in character)!

Postby Bardhwyn » Sun Jan 01, 2012 4:36 am

Meanwhile, miles south...


Thar huddled close to the fire pit. Deep in the earthen well a bright birch fire danced merrily; the smoke travelled lazily up and into a tunnel dug into the earthen bank opposite where it finally exited, cooled and invisible, through a screen of dried moss. He found everything he needed; kindling, water, food, even a small supply of medicinal herbs he used on a nasty smelling cut. ‘A bolt-hole put up by motherless paps, but a bolt hole nonetheless’ Harlond had called it. Even miscreant Elves weren’t to be trusted, it seemed.

The ‘bolt-hole’ was south of Rivendell, about two or so miles and it nestled in a small valley between two steep ridges that, at the top, were covered with crusty old snow. The Harlond Clan only used this hole occasionally; they had their own hidden way stations but this one had the added benefit of being completely concealed. To hide here was to disappear. The shelter was so well crafted and camouflaged that one had to be standing directly before it to see it and the small, fresh water stream had been diverted and engineered so that it was now soundless yet endlessly filled a large and ample cistern cleverly made to look like a large, hollow truck of a tree; Elvencraft, all.

Thar took another bite of dried meat and chewed wearily. Every muscle, joint and bone in his body ached. He’d been riding, almost nonstop, for weeks retracing what he thought or hoped had been her route and his horse was almost lame from the effort. He’d learned nothing of value in his time on the road, just rumours.

Was she alive? Or dead? And where did he go from here? Thar watched the flames intently, as if the answer was somewhere, there, in the bright orange and yellow tongues of light. But no answer came.

Thar’s head dropped heavily onto his chest but he jerked himself awake before he tumbled over where he sat. Sleep had eluded him until then and with the dawn only a few hours off he’d decided he might as well watch the sun rise. He rubbed his eyes with the heels of his hands and forced himself to his feet. As he turned he saw the Elf, standing behind him, watching silently.

“Eru’s Blood!” Thar hollered, staggering back. “Mablung! You scared the crap out of me!” Thar sank back onto his seat of skins, his hand held at his racing heart. “Elbereth save me! How long have you been standing there, you cack? ”

“Cack? Mind your manners, Edain," Mablung replied. "Long enough to see you’re exhausted,” the Elf added, moving to the fire. He gave the second-born’s fire a quick inspection. “Very good,” he said quietly. “Now, what is it you want?”

Thar bit his tongue, reminding himself that Mablung was a cock, though a helpful one. The Elf had provided information, aid, and shelter and, thanks to his position as the master of all things underground at Imladris, had helped the Clan smuggle goods and people into, out of and past Rivendell for years. Harlond and Mablung had met once, Thar recalled. Who Mablung’s master was, however, Thar did not know and did not want to know.

“No, Mablung. First you tell me why you’ve kept me waiting!? I’ve been here for two days!”

Mablung turned and assessed the bandit, reading his face, his body language; Thar was seriously close to exhaustion, it was true, but the man’s eyes burned with an intensity Mablung not seen before in the bandit’s brown-black eyes. Thar could tip over into an extreme state if he wasn’t careful with his words and if it was one thing Mablung had learned over his very, very long life it was how to be careful with words.

The Elf reached into the breast pocket of his coat and pulled a small silver flask. He uncorked it and extended it to the Edain.

“Drink this, it will,” Mablung considered the rest of his sentence. Were he to say ‘it will calm you’, it would only irritate the man. He came upon the correct phase: “It will restore you.”

He watched as Thar blinked away his mistrust before taking the flask. The Edain drank greedily.

“Miruvor, you know it?” Mablung asked as he sat himself down cross-legged alongside Thar. The Edain managed a grunt in response before he held out the flask but Mablung shook his head, offering the man the cork.

“Keep it, my friend,” he said graciously.

“Thank you,” Thar replied, noticeably more at ease. “Now, answer my question: why the wait?”

Mablung took an in-breath and forced a quick smile. “Your message came at the most inopportune time. There were preparations for a grand feast coupled with a host of ill warriors newly returned to us from the field; in other words there are many of my people running about. I could not easily disappear nor could I send any of my subordinates – obviously,” the Elf bowed his head slightly.

“Illness? Is it contagious?” Thar asked. He looked suspiciously at the flask.

“Fear not; our soldiers were poisoned while in the field…”

“Poisoned?”

“Yes. It appears Carnad’s men poisoned wells and streams as they retreated. Our warriors drank from them, unawares, and were afflicted. They were cured, however…” Mablung watched as Thar’s anger returned.

“Carnad’s men, no,” the Bandit said angrily, “they’re low but they’d never stoop that low. Poisoning? The Black Warriors, that’s their doing…”

“Yes, once again the mysterious men in black…”

“They’re the spawn of Sauron! They’re not human…”

“That may well be true and we shall be vigilant but that is not the reason you’ve contacted me,” Mablung retorted, “Is it?”

“No. There was a clash of arms, by the tunnel…”

“Yes, Harlond was thoroughly thrashed…”

“Carnad was killed, his clan is destroyed…”

“But the real victors were the Sons of Elrond and their warriors, no?”

Thar nodded wearily. “There aren’t many Harlond Clansmen left. The Chief’s holed up in one of his outlying stables waiting for survivors to find him…”

“Why are you out here, alone?” Mablung asked, cutting the man off. Thar’s eyes flashed sharply.

“I’m looking for the Barding,” he replied with a defiant tone, “Harlond’s orders.”

“As I suspected,” Mablung replied. He leaned back and supported himself with his arms outstretched behind him. The firelight threw an eerie yellow light onto his long, snow-white hair.

“She was wounded in the battle,” Thar said, “I set her off on horseback just before you lot attacked…”


“My lot!?” Mablung interjected with a laugh.

Thar ignored him. “About a week ago I heard she’d been knifed in Weathertop. I then heard that was an imposter, that she could still be alive but injured…”

“She is alive,” Mablung said flatly. He suppressed a grin while watching the flood of emotion wash over the first-born. The bandit was visibly relieved – and moved. ‘Curious creatures, these men,’ the Elf thought to himself. “And yes, she’s not in the best shape," he continued, "She’s now a ‘guest’ of their sovereign majesties, the Princes of Imladris. Seems she rode straight into a trap.”

“She rode into a trap?” Thar repeated, surprised by the news. “That doesn’t sound like her…”

“No, but then again, my sources tell me she doesn’t really know who she is – or rather she didn’t know who she was. To make things even more interesting she was carrying a satchel full of Eastern documents when she was taken and two Southerners were following her, one being a Tower Guardsman. It sounds all very complicated but the long and the short of it is, Thar, she is alive but,” Mablung watched as the Edain hung on his every word. He would have to admonish this man in someway for his weakness but now was not the time. “Little good your host of orcs will do in any attempt to free her. ” Mablung had set the bait but was quietly surprised to see the man’s face take on a genuinely puzzled expression.

“My host of orcs? I have no orcs! What are you on about?” Thar asked, sitting forward.

“Three, maybe four days ago my scouts, mine – not the Prince’s – tracked a small host of Harlond orcs marching west. Marching, no, they were positively running. We let them pass unmolested…”

“Well, Harlond didn’t send them and I certainly didn’t authorise any orc marches,’ Thar offered.

“You didn’t?” The Elf asked. A slight wrinkle creased in between his eyebrows. Mablung then leaned forward and brushed the dirt from his hands. “Well, that is concerning.”


Thar jumped to his feet. “How many?”

“About sixteen, maybe twenty.”

Thar began to pace. “West, you say?” Mablung nodded. “Why west? There is nothing west for them. They should be travelling east, to the mountains unless…” Thar came to a halt and turned to the Elf. “Unless they’re tracking her, too! A group of rogue orcs…”

“But why? Out of loyalty?”

“No, no, most of the orcs loyal to her were slain in the fighting; just a few remained alive...” Thar stopped and turned to the elf. “Of course!”

“What?” Mablung asked, irritated that his information was incomplete.

It was Thar’s turn to watch his tongue; if he used the word ‘mithril’ this could go ill for Bardhwyn. “They think she knows where some of Harlond’s treasure is buried,” he lied. “That’s what they’re after; treasure. Not her.”

“Well, as I said, little good will it do them. They’re walking headlong into a confrontation with Elrohir’s own personal guard. They’re doomed.”

“Good,” Thar replied.

“Good? You want your orcs dead?”

“Rogue orcs, yes. Dead as a doornail,” Thar announced as he sat back down. He picked a stick and jabbed angrily at the fire.

“Most likely you’ll get your wish,” Mablung replied, casually adjusting his cloak. “As for your other wish - I cannot help you free her,” he added with a sly tone.

Thar looked up, his eyes now clouded and dark. “Then I’ll do it alone,” he said.

“Then you, too, shall die. Is that what you want? After all you’ve done? You choose to die with an elvish arrow in your chest?” Mablung paused for effect. By the look on the Edain’s face it was working. “She’s to go to Dale,” the Elf said heavily, “There is nothing you can do about it and nothing I dare do about it.”

“Nothing?” Thar asked.

“Nothing.”

Thar sat staring at the flames with his teeth firmly clenched on the knuckle of his index finger. They sat silently for a time, staring into the fire. When Thar was deeply held by the flames Mablung chose his moment.

“You’re still… attached, I see,” the Elf commented dryly.

Thar gave the Elf a quick glance askance.

“I thought you were done,” Mablung added with the same sly tone.

“We’re done,” Thar replied. “Long time now.”

“Liar.”

“That’s not why…” Thar bit back his words, resisting the Elf’s sly baiting. He took to his feet again and resumed pacing. “Harlond’s orders. Oaths were sworn, by she and I…”

“I’ll tell you who is done,” Mablung said, “Harlond.”

“No, you’re wrong,” Thar retorted. “Carnad, yes – he’s been destroyed but not Harlond, not yet. Men are returning to him and he’s promising them vengeance." Thar dragged a hand through his dishevelled hair. "I think even some of the dead would leave the halls of Mandos out of love for that man. Somehow I have to get the Barding and we go back…”

“She played out her hand when she rode into that trap, Thar. Perhaps she wants it this way? Have you considered that?”

Thar stopped pacing once again. “Yes,” he said quietly. “But its unlikely she’ll get to Dale alive.”

“Despite the King of Dale’s edict, yes, that is probably true. You, though, you get captured as a Bandit at Large, Thar, and you would be delivered alive to his most august Barding Majesty to be meted the justice you deserve but she, with that scar and her reputation, well…”

“And she knows that, Mablung, which is why her wanting to be caught…” Thar shook his head, trying to make sense of all he’d learned.

“If I have an opportunity the least I can do is ask her,” Mablung said thoughtfully, “perhaps even arrange for you to speak to her.” The elf suppressed a grin at the interest this suggestion generated in the second-born. The man could be read like a book. “She’ll be held for a day or two at least before arrangements can be made to deliver her to Dale. It will be a cold and hellish trip but I doubt the Princes want to keep her in captivity through to the spring…”

“If you can get me in to see her, why can’t you get her out?” Thar asked. His frustration was, again, written all over his face.

“What do you think shall happen, shall HAVE to happen if a very high profile prisoner just disappears from a cell in Imladris?” Mablung’s eyes were burning now. “Elves would be crawling over every square inch of Rivendell, knocking on walls that will sound just a little too hollow. They’ll be peering into dark places we do not want to see the light of day and asking questions of people we cannot afford to have speak.”

“Thar, you forget! Everything I have put into place, we have put into place- it is much bigger than you, much bigger than her – it is bigger than all of us and I will not allow your attachment to that woman jeopar…”

“ENOUGH!” Thar hollered. His voice echoed of the walls of the small valley, disturbing the quiet of the early morning and Mablung glared. The chances of them being discovered were slim, but not nonexistent. They both fell into silence, listening, but only night noises came to their ears.

“You have to collect yourself on this matter, Thar,” Mablung said through clenched teeth, “or you will get yourself killed and your scarred Barding as well, if you’re not careful.”

Thar crossed his arms over his chest and nodded, angrily.

“We expect Elrohir’s guard in a day or two. I’ll send word when they arrive and again if, and I said IF, I can arrange a meeting. I’ll send more provisions as well.” Mablung got to his feet and casually brushed a bit of dried moss from his cloak. Thar made no move; his arms were firmly crossed and his mouth was pressed into a thin, angry line.

“You mentioned oaths, Thar," Mablung added. "Ask yourself: who decides when an oath is fulfilled? The Oath Giver or the Oath Taker?”

Without another word Mablung left, melting into the early morning darkness. Thar sank back down onto the pile of skins and furs next to the fire and began to feed it, sending the flames higher but still not high enough to break over the top of the deep pit. Designed for concealment, it was. And he would be concealed as well, hidden in this place until news would come, and then what?

“Oaths we have sworn…” he murmured. The flames had nothing to say in reply.
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Postby Frelga » Mon Jan 02, 2012 6:14 pm

Back at the feast...

The Hillman found his glass refilled. The music played a slow tune, but somehow it was difficult to remain in one place.

Radesh glanced at the Scribe. No, there was not enough wine in the world. He sat back, flushed from his dance and from the drink, and turned his attention to the dancing couple. Like a good friend, he was ready to catch the strawhead's boastful grins and return an approving wink.

Garia never looked his way. He and Elmissir glided in such harmony that the Hillman's smile faded. He could not help it - he glanced at the Scribe again, searching for reassurance that this perfect dance could have an equally perfect ending. But she was watching the head table, and Radesh turned to the Southron instead.

Harah shifted uncomfortably in his seat. With every passing minute his anxiety increased and with every new song he felt more disheartened. Also his shin throbbed where Radesh had kicked him. Harah tried not think of the sizeable bruise that was erupting on his leg; it would provide an excuse to visit the lovely Elmissir, however. He turned and glanced over the dance floor, first seeing Garia’s blond head then the brilliant smile of the elf maiden as the two moved around the floor following the intricate patterns of the dance. He was amazed that Garia could remember how to dance! Then again the strawhead was always one surprise after another.

And for once Harah wanted to be the surprise. He’d kept this plans a secret from the tall hillman, wanting to impress him and his new employer, SilverScribe but now that Harah was in the hall surrounded by the glitter and lights and elves who all looked so fine... The Southron caught Radesh looking at him; he laughed nervously.

“They all dance so wonderfully, don’t you think, Radesh?” Harah asked.

"They do," Radesh agreed, holding back a sigh. He wanted quite badly to hope for Garia's lasting happiness, but how could such things be possible? Perhaps the strawhead had been right and Radesh simply needed more practice in expecting good things. A sip of wine made this easier to believe. Radesh grinned at the Southron. "Thinking of joining them, old friend?"

Harah barked a sharp, loud laugh that focused both Guilhendar and SilverScribe’s attention on him. The Southron sunk a little lower in his seat. He looked up sheepishly at Radesh.

“Me? No, no, my friend,” Harah replied with a nervous flutter of his hand. “I don’t know how to dance like this. I...” he trailed off, his attention taken by the comings and goings of elves at the far end of the hall; Harah could see one of the Prince’s speaking with another elf in earnest.

“Where are they, I wonder?” Harah murmured.

Radesh looked around. Their company seemed to be in force. The only ones missing were some of the Elves he had met. They were the denizens of stables, forges and kitchens, and - lowlanders being what they were, mortal or not - good enough to prepare the feast but not to partake in it. He gave up on guessing. "Are you expecting some fair ladies to join you?" he teased.

“Ladies? By the Great Desert Sands!” Harah said with a laugh. “No, no! Ha!” The Southron looked about the room, amused. “What would these high and lofty elvish maids see in a man like me? Ha! No, no, Radesh, I am expecting two elvish friends, Nelyan and Aranwion. They’re to help me with ah...” Harah faltered and he fought down a wave of panic. “I have... I have prepared a surprise but now that I am here, in this room with all these Elves, I...” He shrunk in his seat. “I don’t think I can go ahead with it, Radesh!” he whispered.

“A surprise? What kind of surprise,” Radesh asked.

Harah felt the cool eyes of the Scribe turn in his direction, as well as those of Guilhendar. He then remembered the keen ears of the First Born.

“My, uh, I uh,” Harah stopped and looked from the Scribe to Guilhendar and then to Radesh.

“Go on, Harah,” the Scribe urged. Her voice was both firm but kind.

Harah swallowed hard. “If I tell you, it will no longer be a suprise.” He then buried his face in his hands. “But I don’t think I can go through with it!”

“Well,” Scribbles drawled, still toying with a small, sharp fish knife, “unless you’re planning to make barrels of scorpions appear, or infest the party with clouds of stinging insects, I can’t see what the problem is. What can’t you go through with?”

Harah lifted his head and peered at his employer across the table. He couldn’t help but notice the way she played with her knife; for a moment he felt old fears rising. But Silverscribe wasn’t Number One; she wouldn’t let a knife fly at the slightest provocation, at least he didn’t think so.

“Well, I wanted to...” Harah pointed to the far end of the room. “And then over to there...” He pointed to the opposite end. “But now it looks far too long and...” The Southron groaned and buried his face a second time.

“Harah,” Scribbles said softly, leaning forward. “I am quite certain that whatever you wish to present as a surprise will be a success. As long as you don’t smash any antique glassware . . . “ Here the Scribe paused with a small, wry smile and a meaningful glance toward the dance floor where Garia yet danced with Elmissir. “Otherwise, I am sure your hosts would be delighted if you have something interesting to share with them and their guests.”

"Besides," Radesh put in, "if you do not do it, you will never forgive yourself. And you will never have another chance. Go on, Harah."

“And if I fail, YOU’LL never forgive me,” Harah added, pulling anxiously on Radesh’s fine elvish shirtsleeve until Radesh swatted his hand away. The Southron then looked over at the Scribe. “Antique glassware, you say? How antique? Seventy-five, a hundred years old?” Harah asked, looking wide eyed at the wine glass he’d been drinking from.

Scribbles chuckled. “Antique in Eldar terms means several thousand years, Harah. But do not fear, this glassware is nowhere near that old.”

“But old, this is what you’re saying, yes?” Harah asked cautiously. He gingerly picked up the glass and inspected it, as if it would disintegrate to the touch. “I shall be more careful,” he said looking slightly pale as he replaced his glass. Harah looked at his comrades and swallowed hard. “You’re all being very supportive and I, I uh,” the Southron started to shrink in his seat again but he forced himself upright in his chair, “and I will do it! Yes! I shall! But I will not use any glassware … if I can help it.”

"Elves and their glass," Radesh rumbled under his breath.

One eyebrow climbed high under the Scribe’s fall of hair but her expression remained mild, amused. “Ai, true enough but that is only here in Imladris. Visit Thranduil’s caves and you will find they value far different things.” She sat back, content to watch as the dancers began another round. “You do not dance tonight, Guilhendar?” she asked casually.

Guilhendar sipped at his wine then shook his head. “No, tonight I do not feel like dancing.”

“A pity,” Scribbles continued. “Seems there are several very beautiful young ladies that are hoping you feel otherwise inclined.” She nodded towards a table that stood between theirs and the head table, where four young eldar maids were speaking in hushed whispers, punctuated by longing glances in the tall innkeeper’s direction.

A muscle jumped in Guilhendar’s jaw, but his eyes remained fixed on the dance floor. Then suddenly, he turned a direct gaze at the Scribe. “Far be it from me to be impolite,” he said. “Perhaps a dance or two is exactly what I need.” He rose to his feet and the tableful of young girls went suddenly still. He inclined his head in the Scribe’s direction. “If I don’t return before the musicians signal our duet, I shall meet you next to the harpist.” With that, he turned on his heel and made his way to the table of ladies in question and with a gallant bow, held out his hand to one dark-haired beauty. As they moved onto the dance floor, Scribbles hid a secret smile as the other maids put their heads together and resumed their furious whispering.

Harah looked from the elf maid’s table to Radesh and back to the elf maid’s table. It was clear to the Southron; the furtive glances, the slight blush of their smooth alabaster cheeks. "Radesh, I think those maidens, I think they're talking about you!"

Scribe by Scribbles, Harah by Bardy, and a great fun it was to catch them both online.
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Postby SilverScribe » Mon Jan 02, 2012 6:18 pm

((ooc: aaaand Part II . . . ;) ))


Radesh glanced in the direction of the ladies' table, but only briefly, before they would think him rude. "I hope not," he returned. "I am sure I would not like what they are saying." But he could not keep his eyes away from the Elf-maidens for long, and his lips twitched in a way that was not quite displeased.

“I saw that!” Harah exclaimed. “You smiled, yes!”

“If I am any judge of young, eldar maidens Radesh,” the Scribe put in, “I would venture to guess that what they’re saying is “I wish that mortal would ask one of us to dance.” When the hillman raised an eyebrow of his own, she shrugged. “Being young in Elvendom is not so different from anywhere else when there is music and a dance floor, you know.”

"How young?" Radesh inquired, although he shifted forward and shot another glance at the maidens. This time he caught a radiant grey eye, and turned away, nearly blushing himself. "Not... antique, in Elven terms?"

Scribbles smiled. “No, not antique in Elven terms. Not even old, in elven terms. They are typical young ladies and love to dance. It will do no harm to oblige them, will it?” There was now a mischevious cast to her grin. Harah’s head bobbed in agreement like some strange Dwarvish figurine seen on the back of horse carts.

"If you think so, Scribe," Radesh replied, figuring that Scribe needed him on her hunt and so was not likely to give him advice that would put him into the Elven dungeons. Besides, he just told Harah that if the Southron did not go through with his plan, he would ever regret it. Wise men ought to listen to their own wisdom, right? "Well, I just danced with a bear, this cannot be any more dangerous," he murmured and stood up. Harah patted him cheerfully on his back.

“I shall be cheering you on, my friend!” Harah said with a beaming smile.

The Hillman turned to him, grinning. "No doubt, old friend, and now you have no choice but to go ahead with your own plan. Something to take my mind off the refusal I am about to get." He winked at Harah, and followed Guilhendar's path toward the Elf-maidens.

“Refusal! Pshaw!” Harah said with dismissive wave of his hand. “He’s so, so... what is the word, SilverScribe? When he doesn’t know what he’s got?”

“I think the word you are looking for is ‘modest’,” Scribbles answered.

“Modest, yes, thank you!” Harah said, watching the tall man’s progress. “My bet is on the one on the right, with the long, black hair, yes! Very pretty!”

Scribbles glanced at Radesh’s back as he arrived at the table. “I will wager on the blonde,” she said, while Radesh was still obviously making his introductions. A few moments later, she smiled ruefully at the Southron. “Seems we were both wrong,” she chuckled. Radesh had held out his hand to the delicate looking red-head seated closest to them.

“This is why I don’t gamble,” Harah said in a defeated voice.

On the floor, Radesh was in trouble. Though he was counted a fine dancer at home, unmarried men did not dance with girls there. The Elf smiled at him and seemed to be waiting for something. The Hillman offered her his hand, as Garia had done with Elmissir, and suddenly the lady's other hand was on his shoulder and there was nothing for it but to put HIS spare hand on her... her... around her.

Still they were standing there and Radesh was acutely aware that more eyes were being turned their way. The Elf murmured something encouraging. The Hillman looked over her head - just over her head, she was nearly of his height - at Garia, found no support but did see an example, and took a step. The Elf followed. He took another, and she moved with him again. Radesh made a half-turn, and she swept a graceful circle around him. Emboldened, he stepped forward and narrowly avoided stomping on her trailing skirt.

The Elf-maid giggled and deftly moved out of the way. Between them, they turned his near blunder into the lady twirling under his raised arm and then returning to smile up at him from very, very close. With every step, the Hillman was gaining confidence, and soon the new couple blended into the flurry of the dance.

Scribbles watched with amusement but the comings and goings of the dancers didn’t hold her attention for long. A stir near the head table showed her that Elladan, or “Elrohir” as the rest of the room saw him, had returned.

(( ooc: Harah by Bardy; Radesh by Frelga! ))
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Postby Bardhwyn » Thu Feb 02, 2012 2:13 am

... meanwhile, in the woods...

He heard the maid’s gentle sobbing a quarter of a mile back and, uncharacteristically, Mablung chose to investigate. Perhaps it was nostalgia; the memory of a maiden’s gentle touch and quiet tear or perhaps the mortal Thar’s poorly hidden affections for the Barding woman had effected him; Mablung didn’t know. The sound was enough to stop him, regardless, and he approached quietly, carefully wiping the sheen of sweat from his brow with a silk handerchief. Besides, he was bored with running. He was always running as fast as his fleet elf feet could carry him, out into the dark to do the tasks asked of him; dark tasks that required speed, secrecy, stealth. Perhaps that was it; perhaps Mablung wanted to be seen, just this once. It would appear odd, though would it not? To be seen so near the borders so late at night. Mablung glanced about and noticed, at his feet, clumps of night-blooming preader flowers, the delicate pale yellow and lacy leaves dotting the woodland floor around him. He quickly collected a few handfuls and stepped forward, into a small clearing.

She was sitting on a fallen log next to a small, trickling spring. At her feet dead leaves covered the ground. There was a chill in the air in this small clearing for it was on the edge of the boundaries that define Imladris. The maid was clad in a delicate gown of green, bright like the leaves of spring and about the hem sparkled small white gems as if she’d strayed through a dewy field. Her face was buried in her hands but Mablung knew who it was; the Lady Linwe, fair as she was sad.

Mablung cleared his throat gently, casting a gentle and peaceful thought with the sound, hoping that the lady would not take alarm at his approach. Upon hearing him, Linwe took to her feet and glared into the dark; her Elven eyes finding him quickly despite the dark.

“Who approaches?” Linwe asked in a voice hoarse with crying.

“My lady,” Mablung replied, bowing in the dark. “It is Mablung, Steward of the Cellars. Forgive me for intruding upon your solitude...or are you collecting wild preader flowers, as I am? I am quite partial to praeder tea...” Mablung held the clump of flowers before him, like a peace offering.

“Mablung,” Linwe repeated faintly as she tried to recollect him. “Yes, of course, Amras’ brother.” She resumed her seat upon the log. “No, no I am not collecting herbs for tea, I’m...” Linwe choked back a sob with a delicate hand placed upon her throat.

“You are sorely distressed, my lady. This much is obvious,” Mablung offered quietly. “Pray, may I ask why?”

Mablung watched as the maid shook her head, avoiding his eyes.

“Then assure me, my lady, you are hale? That no ill has befallen you?” Mablung asked carefully. Mablung quietly prayed she was indeed hale and well, for were she not - had some ill befallen her, the remainder of the morning’s wee hours would be consumed with the discovery of the rogue and his quick dispatch.

“I am hale, Mablung,” Linwe managed to say with some difficulty. “Though I am sorely grieved in my heart...” her last words were forced from her with such pain, it sounded as if she were pulling arrow shafts from her wounded chest.

Wordlessly Mablung sat himself upon the same log as the maid, but at a respectful distance, yet close enough to see the sheen of tears upon her cheeks. Linwe said enough for him to understand her plight; the Prince. It was well known that the lady and Prince Elrohir courted but the Prince was often in the field and when home, he was, at times, even more distant. Mablung’s interest in revenge quicky cooled; the rogue, in this case, was untouchable.

“Eru saw fit to gift we First Borns with such ample grace and yet he deemed that our hearts be so fragile,” Mablung said quietly. “We can survive millenia yet be mortally wounded by the glance of a lover that is diverted to quickly or by a word, that, if spoken with even the slightest of awkward intonations, cuts us deeper than any Morgul blade.”

“And if there are many words, too many words spoken, each with their own sharpened edge,” Linwe added tearfully, “Ah! It feels as if I shall bleed and bleed until every drop of life spills out, onto these dead leaves!”

“My lady! Please! Speak not of spending your life’s blood so,” Mablung urged.

“No, no of course not,” Linwe replied, wiping the tears nervously from her face. “Nay, please, pardon me!” Linwe urged, turning towards Mablung. “I am just, just pained so. I.. I... I should go..”

She rose to her feet but Mablung stopped her with a quick but gentle had laid upon her arm. “I hear tell, the Prince, he returned wounded from the field. Could this be a contributor to ‘too many words’?”

“I don’t know,” she replied at whisper. “But he is so changed, Mablung, as if, in the time he was away, he’s somehow become infused with the spirit of his father and as a consequence his own person is now muted and transformed. It was like I was speaking with a stranger, yet not.”

“How odd,” Mablung mused aloud, releasing his stay upon Linwe’s arm.

“I should go,” Linwe announced, rising to her feet. “I should return to the feast. No doubt my absence and the Prince’s presence will cause much talk.”

“Then, my lady, be sure to stop in a your quarters and check on the repose of your son,” Mablung replied, standing as well. “Then in all truth and conviction, when asked as to your absence, you may report your son is free from cold and sleeping well.”

“But he’s not been suffering with a cold,” Linwe commented.

Mablung smiled at the maid’s simple innocence. “Then all the more truth to your words, my lady - that he is free from it.”

Linwe smiled and laughed, thinking Mablung had made a jest. She departed but found her feet did, in fact, take her to her quarters and upon seeing her son, who slept peacefully in his bed, she felt a balm on her heart. As Linwe made her way back to the Hall of Fire and the continuing feast she met a number of guests strolling in the cool night air. When they asked after her absence she was pleased to report her son was free of cold and sleeping very, very well, indeed.
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Postby Bardhwyn » Thu Feb 02, 2012 2:26 am

... and in the Hall of Fire...


The music swirled and the dancers danced and Elrohir watched and smiled from the head table and tried not to see the purple velvet covering his arms. Such a ghastly color; yet a due was owed and he was one to always pay his debts. Elladan chose the green leaving him with purple and, just this once, Elrohir allowed it. Elladan had saved his life just a few short weeks ago, after all.

And those same few, short weeks seemed to change Elladan muchly. ‘Messed about’ was the phrase that came to mind; something he’d oft heard the young mortals say in New Weathertop when describing someone unpredictable: “Watch ‘im, m’lud, his ‘eads been messed about.’” Elrohir watched as his brother returned to the Hall of Fire, stalking the head table like some predator cat.

“Brother!” Elrohir called out as Elladan neared. “There you are!” Elladan gave no reply, not even a friendly glance. Elrohir chose to laugh, rising to his feet as his brother approached. “Your countenance is tempestuous, brother. You remind me of those dreadful stories Father would tell us when we were children just before bed … how did they begin? Oh yes: ‘It was a dark and stormy night!’

Elladan did not reply. Instead he seated himself silently and motioned for wine. Elrohir followed suit, sitting easily and leaning into Elladan, speaking with quiet voice. “Seriously, what’s wrong?”

“I just left Linwe... “ Elladan replied coolly.

Elrohir’s eyes lit up. “Linwe!? Where is she? I’ve been looking for her...”

Elladan held out his goblet to the elf-servant who delicately poured a golden colored wine into the glass. “I have no idea where she’s gone to, nor do I care,” Elladan replied, waiving the elf-servant away.

Elrohir’s eyes darkened. “Steady on, that’s rather harsh.”

“Was it?” Elladan asked. He looked directly into his brother’s eyes. “Good,” Elladan said.

Elrohir saw the cold ice in his brother’s eyes. It was rare for Elladan, who was always so even, so reasonable, to show this side of himself. Elrohir had seen it before, of course, and welcomed that look when they faced an enemy but to see it on this night, and directed towards himself - something was amiss. Elrohir lowered his voice and spoke in Quenyan, thus preventing the nearby Barding Royal Minister of Trade or Roads or Fertilizer from becoming the wiser.

“Pray, tell me brother, what vexeth thee?

A flash of irritation sped across Elladan’s brow but a subtle nod by Elrohir toward’s the second born’s chair was all that was needed. Elladan snorted with mild contempt but obliged, replying in turn.

“What vexation doth weigh upon me, thou asks?” Elladan stopped and waved the elf-servant over, this time relieving him of his decanter of wine. He placed it heavily on the table before him. “How rich thy humour, to feign ignorance. Thy wit, brother, tis droll.”

“My wits have been named worse but mine ignorance tis true,” Elrohir replied, watching as his brother poured himself more wine. Elladan chuckled into his goblet as he took yet another hasty drink.

“Pray, will the Lady Linwe return hence?” Elrohir asked.

“I knoweth not, for I did not ask the Lady. Most abruptly did she take her leave,” Elladan replied, “and I had no cause to pursue her.”

Elrohir’s thoughts turned towards Linwe. Perhaps her son had need of her and she had to tend to him? He scanned the room in hopes of seeing her long, black tresses but she was no where in sight. Lost in thought of her Elrohir found herself murmuring in Westron: “I hope she does, I need to speak with her.”

“Oh? I think you’ve said enough already?” Elladan asked, following suit and speaking in Westron. “What more do you need to say?

“Much.” Elrohir replied, curiously watching Elladan who had finished a second goblet of wine. He then cast a look onto the dance floor and yes, the second born and Elmissir were still dancing, each wearing a smile, each light of heart. Elrhoir shook his head slightly; his brother was now simply wallowing.

“You know,” Elrohir said in a light tone of voice, thinking perhaps to distract his brother from his gloom “I am sure The Scribe is up to something...”

“Her as well?” Elladan asked.

“I put a request to her to sing...”

Elladan gave Elrohir a nonplussed look.

“She agreed! Doesn’t that strike you as odd? Elrohir asked. “She agreed - to one of MY requests...”

“Your enduring persuasiveness with the ladies amazes me, brother,” Elladan replied flatly.

“I didn’t ask her directly! I had Amras deliver the request.”

Elladan turned in his chair and, when facing Elrohir fully, he leaned in and quietly said one word. “Coward.”

Elrohir’s jaw set. Leaning in he spoke in High Quenyan once more, as quietly as Elladan had spoken to him. “Thy utterance, were it voiced by any other, First or Second Born, would warrant death for it doth malign me most grievously. But as thou art my dear brother, allowance I bestoweth upon thee - this once.”

Elladan smirked and sat back, apparently pleased with the reaction he’d caused. Elrohir threw himself back into his chair, taking hold of Elladan’s decanter as he did so. He sloshed the wine sloppily into his own glass.

“And,” Elrhor continued in Westron, “as well you know, brother, any time the Scribe is concerned prudence is always the wisest course.” Elrohir lifted his goblet to his lips and looked at his brother askance. “You are in a snit, aren’t you?” he asked before taking a mouthful of wine.

“And this surprises you?” Elladan asked as he rose to his feet. He pulling the decanter free from Elrohir’s grasp and poured the last bit of the wine into his own glass, drinking it down with a few hasty gulps.

“You’ve been nothing but a bundle of surprises since I woke up,” Elrohir replied.

“Well this should be another; I wish to dance, and not with Linwe.”

Elrohir flinched slightly at the coldness with which Elladan said Linwe’s name. “Seeing as Linwe’s nowhere in sight that seems appropriate....” He then frowned. ‘And besides, I want to dance with her’, Elrohir thought petulantly. Elrohir then followed Elladan’s eyes out onto the dance floor, towards Elmissir and her pet second born. “No, don’t...” Elrohir began to say. The music was lilting slowly into it’s final few bars and the dancers followed.

“What? You object?” Elladan asked derisively.

“Yes.”

Elladan smirked once more. “Well then, I shall take that into consideration,” he replied. Elladan the looked momentarily up at the ceiling, as if thinking, before leveling his gaze at his brother once more. “There, I’ve given your objection consideration and I’ve chosen to disregard it.”

“You’re just setting yourself up for disappointment...” Elrohir replied.

“We all meet with disappointment, brother - no doubt you shall, as well. Perhaps very soon,” Elladan answered.

“What in Morgoth’s blood does that mean?”

“Perhaps the Lady Linwe will enlighten you,” Elladan replied before turning upon his heel. Elrohir watched as Elladan left the dais and walked onto the dance floor directly towards Elmissir and her second born pet.

“Idiot,” Elrohir murmured.
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Postby Bardhwyn » Fri Feb 03, 2012 6:11 am

... and also in the Hall of Fire, an uninvited guest arrives...

Mablung moved from pillar to pillar down along the right hand edge of the Hall of Fire, skirting servants and guests, supremely conscious he was not dressed for the occasion - not in the slightest. It wasn’t long before he spotted his brother, Amras, pacing like some toy on a stunted track, back and forth, back and forth, all a short distance from the entrance to the kitchens.

Mablung regarded Amras who, being smaller in stature and with more refined facial features, clearly took after their mother. Amras was as high strung an individual as their mother, as well. Unlike their mother however, whose tresses were as black as Haradrim jet, Amras’ and Mablung’s hair was thick and pale - Amras’ being a shade blonder than Mablung’s own - a gift from their father who sadly died late in the Second Age; a victim of a duel though their mother hotly denied it. It was the husband of their father’s mistress who had won the duel; their mother never accepted the truth of it all. Amras never forgave her for going to the Undying Lands shortly after; there were very close.

“A very long time ago...” Mablung murmured aloud. He moved behind the last pillar and approached Amras wearing as pleasant a smile as he could muster.

“Good evening, brother. I trust all has gone well,” Mablung said with a brief sketch of a bow.

“Mablung!” Amras cried. “By the Gods! What are you doing here?”

“I was just passing and the music was so pleasant, I was drawn thither.”

“Well, you’re not dressed! Quickly, come over here,” Amras hissed, grabbing Mablung by the arm. Once pulled out of the Prince’s line of sight Amras released his brother’s arm and relaxed - but only slightly.

“I am surprised,” Amras said, “You don’t usually go in for this sort of thing.”

“On the contrary, brother, I’ve always enjoyed feasts and banquets,” Mablung said airily, looking out onto the dance floor, “My responsibilities always seem to preclude me.”

“Every invitation I send you, you refuse.”

“Exactly my point, brother,” Mablung replied. “I’m busy.”

“Well, here you are and it’s good to see you out in the fresh air. You’re too long down in those cellars. What’s that you have there?” Amras asked, pointing at Mablung’s hand. “Praeder flowers?”

“Yes, I was picking them to make tea,” Mablung lied.

“You? Drinking preader flower tea?”

“It’s very calming. You should try some,” Mablung said wryly, “And often.”

Amras ignored the jibe and he regarded his brother with narrowed eyes. “Truly now, why are you here?”

Mablung folded his arms and turned once again to peruse the hall. “Oh, well, one hears things, you know, when feasts like this come ‘round. Kicks up the ‘social dust and dirt’, as they say. Who will be seen with whom? What will she or he dare to wear? How badly will the few token Edain behave? Will Glorifindel make an ass of himself, yet again? And, of course, what show will your darling boys put on for them all...”

“Please, Mablung, respect!” Amras hissed. The secretary was momentarily distracted as several large platters of cheese, breads and hard crackers began to file out of the kitchen doorway, all headed for long tables set up on far end of the hall. With an eagle’s eye, Amras watched them, and when he was satisfied his directions had been followed completely he returned his attention to Mablung.

“Their Royal Highnesses are both wounded, I’d have you know. Each one of them is bandaged up like some Arnorian mummy! Each step painful, I’m sure of it ! And look,” Amras motioned towards the dais where it appeared the Princes were engaged in some sloppy drinking contest while trying to mask a heated argument. “There they are, attending to their duties and...” Amras stopped, clearly worried by something he, himself, had said. He stood with one hand on his hip, the other cupped over his forehead with his eyes pressed shut.

“Mother would stand like that when she was vexed,” Mablung said quietly. “What’s bothering you?”

“If sent for Taradѐath,” Amras said in a worried tone. “He was here, seated on table twelve but now he’s gone just when I need him!”

“Are you unwell?”

“Yes! I mean no!” Amras clasped his hands in frustration. “I’m ‘vexed’ as you say because I am worried about the Princes!”

“Both of them?”

“Have you not heard a word I’ve just said, Mabs?”

Mablung suppressed a smile. “I heard you say they’re injured, bandaged, possibly in pain and doing their duty. But what you did not say is why you think the Healer is required.”

“It’s just they’re acting so peculiarly,” Amras said in hoarse whisper. “Prince Elladan strictly forbade the Beorning from changing form when in the company of our bretheren and look there, there he goes... dancing! As a BEAR,” Amras pointed and Mablung turned just in time to see a large bear expertly pirouette out of view.

“When I asked the Prince if he’d like him removed he said ‘bollocks! and the Beorning was not to be touched,’’ Amras added.

“Which Prince?” Mablung asked.

“Prince Elladan!” Amras hissed, pointing to the dais. “Unstop your ears! Now, Prince Elrohir! I’m told Prince Elrohir has just spurned the Lady Linwë’s affections,” Amras said with look of horror.

“He never? Prince Elrohir? And I heard they were so well suited to one another,” Mablung said, hoping he sounded as shocked as Amras looked horrified.

“Yes, exactly! And look, Prince Elrohir is leaving the high table once more,” Amras said with sadness. “He’s left Prince Elladan stranded up there for most of the night.”

Mablung shifted to his left slightly to catch a better glimpse of the high table and, with his usual aplomb, he quickly distinguished between the two Princes; a task that was always imminently easy for him. Mablung marveled at how most were incapable of telling them apart, though when asked he, himself, found it difficult to explicitly describe the difference; he just knew. Surely, he wasn’t the only one who could tell these two apart? He saw Elladan standing - he was looking rather theatrically at the ceiling, in fact - while Elrohir sat with a look of suppressed anger on his face.

“Prince Elrohir is leaving the table, you say?” Mablung asked thoughtfully.

“Why yes, Elrohir - look, he’s standing there, in the green. Elladan is seated, in the purple,” Amras replied.

Momentarily confused, Mablung looked from Amras to the dais and back to Amras again. “Ah, I see now,” Mablung said with a grin, finally understanding the situation. “I see very clearly, but you, my brother,” Mablung dropped a steadying hand on his brother’s shoulder, “I fear you cannot see at all.Or anyone else for that matter.”

“There you go, speaking in enigmas again! You drove Mother mad doing that and you’ll drive me mad... “

“Amras! You wanted me?” a voice cut in, sounding a bit breathless.

Amras turned and cried a sigh of relief at the sight of the Healer. “Taradѐath!”

“I came immediately,” the Healer said. He gave a curt nod to Mablung. “Steward,” Taradѐath said curtly.

“Healer,” Mablung replied coolly

“What brings you out of your hole?” Taradѐath asked, his disdain clear in his voice. “There are no dice games here.”

“Dice game?” Amras asked. “What’s a dice game?”

“It’s a game of chance the Edain are fond of, it seems. Mablung, here, has introduced it to the lower ranks of our warriors, much to their loss,” Taradѐath answered.

Mablung schooled his face, careful not to betray a single emotion. “If you don’t like the game, don’t play. For your information I came to congratulate my dear brother for yet another successful feast. I have done so, so if you will excuse me I’ll take my leave.” Mablung turned but stopped at hearing Taradѐath’s next words.

“I’d count the number of wine bottles on hand, Amras, you may be missing a few.”

Mablung turned back, forcing the bunch of preader flowers into his brother’s hands and ignoring the shame that colored his brother’s cheeks. “There, now it is clear I leave here empty handed. Good night, brother.”

Mablung left at a brisk walk, cursing the healer under his breath. He was careful not to look back - or around for that matter - yet one pair of eyes caught his; those of the Peredhel, SilverScribe. Her look was piercing, almost knowing - but of what? What could she possibly know? She was an outsider, a ghost. Rumour was she was bound on a quest of revenge, one she’d not likely survive. Perhaps Mablung should pass the message along that the Scribe’s one time comrade at arms was secure in Elvish custody; that the Elves of Imladris had succeeded where she clearly could not. Mablung dismissed the notion, however - the Scribe had her quest and the Barding woman’s path was a clear one all the way to Dale.

‘And never the twain shall meet,” Mablung murmured aloud.

He was speaking to himself a little too often, he noted as he melted into the dark.
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Postby Rodia » Wed Feb 22, 2012 11:11 am

The tune the Elvish musicians played was not one that Garia knew, but it shared a few notes with a hunting song he had always found amusing. Lo, ahead, my friend, my friend, the hare runs ahead… the hare, the doe, the fox, the barefoot girl.

Elmissir looked up at him as if she knew where his thoughts were straying; her eyes seemed to take a different hue every time she did so. Garia smiled, so very pleased not to have tread on her toes once that evening- he had been worried about it. Years had come and gone since he'd seen a proper ballroom, let alone asked a lady for a dance. And what would have practice done, when there was no matching Elves in the graceful way they slid across the floor?

If Elmissir saw any mistake in his steps, she never once let it show. She held on lightly, her fingers woven into his; he played at tickling the inside of her palm. She batted her lashes, and the eyes were different, again, now sharing a secret.

The familiar notes rang in the tune again. Catch the girl, catch the hare, on my friend and then we share, the hare is yours, the girl is mine…

There was a time to be lost in the music and a time to be lost in Garia’s smile, and a time to take a passing interest in the other dancers that whirled past them. Elmissir flitted between all three states effortlessly, nodding at Radesh as the handsome hillman sailed past, while her eyes purposefully slid past Guilhendar without so much as a flicker of recognition. So far, the evening was going well.

The music eased, the tempo slowed and the Elven musicians played the final bars of the dance tune. Around them the dancers bowed and curtseyed; many changing partners with more bows, more curtseys, some leaving the floor altogether but Elmissir and Garia kept their places, each holding the other’s hand; Garia lifted Elmissir’s hand to his lips and brushed them lightly. The sound of a throat being cleared immediately to his left made his head snap round.

“May *I* have this next dance? Or will your balance fail you if you release Mistress Elmissir’s hand?"

Curse those soft paws. The Elf had crept up on them so silently, Garia could not help but cast a glance down to see whether he had gone barefoot. He looked up again to meet the smirk, no less filthy for finding itself on an Elvish face.

"Why, the beauty of my lady Elmissir does make me want to fall to my knees and thank the skies for her presence, yes," he returned with a most pleasant smile. "But I can only suspect the reason for your unsteadiness, my lord. If you need help getting back to your seat, and your wine, I'd be glad to assist you, " he added.

“Garia, that is a very kind offer I’m sure,” Elmissir put in hurriedly, knowing all too well the inevitable feather ruffling and chest-puffing that was likely to follow if these two very typical males had their way. “However, it would be discourteous of me to refuse one of our most generous hosts at least one dance.” She stressed the word ‘one’ as she looked directly at the elf lord, before turning back to Garia with a smile. “And we are neither of us lacking in courtesy, yes? Of that I am certain.” The glance she gave Garia was slightly pleading, begging him to not cause a scene. There were far too many eyes and ears about now that without the distraction of the music, were all too ready to focus on the obvious triangle they made.


OOC: Elvish sweetness provided by Scribbles, Elvish pain-in-the-arsery provided by Bardy.
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Postby SilverScribe » Wed Feb 22, 2012 8:26 pm

“At least one of you possesses courtesy,” Elladan said taking Elimissir’s closest hand, “this much is clear.” He turned to lead her onto the dancefloor without giving the Edain a second glance. As they walked he studied her out of the corner of his eye; Elmissir kept her eyes down and her features still yet there was a slight trace of blush on her cheeks. She seemed so very distant.

“The feast has been a tremendous success, my lady. Both my brother and I thank you for all your efforts”, Elladan said quietly. “ I don’t think I’ve ever seen Amras so calm.” As if on cue Amras could be seen scuttling off, bearing a handful of wildflowers and hotly berating an elf-servant.

“I am pleased to have been a help, my lord,” Elmissir answered as they came to a stop and waited for the musicians to begin the next dance. “I fear however, that there may be a few minor repairs required to the wall in at least one pantry.” At the prince’s raised eyebrows, she continued with a small smile. “It was the forks m’lord, there were so very many of them and I am afraid I lost my temper. It was either throw the forks at the wall or at Amras, and I really didn’t want to fill . . . um . . . such a patient instructor with little punture marks.” Still uncertain of which Twin stood next to her, she refrained from calling Amras the elf-lord’s secretary and making any mention of whether his master would have agreed or not. She relaxed somewhat when the elf prince laughed softly as the music for the next dance began and he took her hand.

“I’ve nearly thrown things at him myself; ancient, sharp pointed objects that would skewer him like a capon, cut through him like butter,” Elladan replied truthfully, though he never had said as much before. His dear mother did comment once to him, long ago, she thought his tongue loosened when he was piqued. “Mother detested him,” he added, miss-stepping slightly. Now that he was on the floor, Elladan regretted it; he wasn’t at all interested in dancing, or small talk. It took every ounce of restraint not to pull the elfmaid from the floor and demand an explanation.

But no. That simply could not occur, not at this affair and Elmissir, she was clearly her own mistress; she was sufficiently aloof, sufficiently detatched and Elladan, it seemed, was put aside. He felt his jaw stiffen and his color rise; put aside for the favor of a Second Born, no more robust than a paper doll.

“So, tell me, Mistress Elmissir,” Elladan asked, missing yet another step. He took the maiden’s hand disinterestedly. “What *do* you see in that Edain? There are a great many of us who would like to know.”

When the elf prince nearly trod on her toes at least twice, Elmissir had to stop herself from tsking in annoyance. What was wrong? Neither of the twins were poor dancers but whichever one this was, he was obviously distracted. Suspicious, she glanced up at his face, but there was no answer there.

“A great many you say?” she asked instead. “Then I would venture to say, my lord, that there are a great many of you with too much time on your hands in which to be concerned with the private business of a mere herbalist.”

“Concern is the correct word, for a great deal of concern is aroused when one of own persues such dalliances, Mistress Elmissir,” Elladan replied. “They rarely work and most assuredly end in pain.” He lifted his hand, preparing for a complicated move where the ladies spun and traversed around their partners. As Elmissir passed, he added: “The Scribe is a perfect example; do you wish for such offspring? Maligned and never fully accepted?”

The series of complex turns allowed Elmissir to gather her thoughts. Offspring?! How dare he!! Her first inclination was to tell the elf prince to mind his own bloody business, she didn’t try to tell him who to court or how to run his regiments or order things at Imladris or . . . or . . . well a dozen other things, but she realized that snapping at him would only give that “great many” busybodies even more grist for their mills. She could hear it all now, how her association with Garia had “ruined” her, turned her into a “mortal harpy” or a “sharp-tongued commoner”. And then there was the comment about the Scribe . . . while she couldn’t argue that the Scribe was indeed peredhel she wasn’t the only one . . . now was she?

When they were once more moving gracefully in wide, lazy circles Elmissir answered. “Offspring, my lord? Isn’t that a little too personal an assumption to make? I certainly think so. And come to think of it, is not your own father peredhel? Would you call his relationship with your mother a “dalliance” my lord? I hardly think you would. And was the partnership not successful? If it was not, then you and your brother could not be considered successes either, if logic serves.”

At this point the music was winding down. Finding themselves at the edge of the floor for the closing notes, Elmissir curtseyed deeply as required. “Thank you for the dance my Lord,” she said as she rose and then, pitching her voice for his ears only, she gave him her last thoughts as she passed by him.

"Furthermore, I will thank you and all your “great many” to keep your dirty little minds firmly fixed on your own business and out of mine. Good evening . . . my lord.”

With a polite nod of her head, she continued on her way and left dance floor, heading for one of the arched doorways that led out into the many gardens that surrounded every building in Imladris. Suddenly, she had a great need for two things, a breath of fresh air and most of all, a few minutes of solitude.


OOC: Princely participation provided by Bardy. ;)
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Postby Rodia » Sat Feb 25, 2012 3:22 pm

Garia kept the smile plastered on his face all the way back to the table, but as the notes of the next song rang out and Elmissir began to glide across the floor with the Elflord, he ground his teeth and muttered.

"Are you going to lose your balance if you let her go, nyah, nyah," he mimicked as he sat back down. "Well I haven't got a pike shoved up my arse to keep me nice and steady, do I," he grumbled, not caring too much who heard. Most everyone was dancing- stars, even the Hillman- and only Harah and Scribe remained within earshot. "Ooh, la," he went on in a squeaking, mocking voice, seeing the Elf's lips move as he danced. "I'm so much prettier and daintier than the mortal, and I'll be alive for ever and ever so you have all of eternity to get used to wiping my snotty nose. Hmph," Garia picked up a glass of wine- his, he thought, but all that mattered was that it was full. He raised it to Elmissir as she sailed past, but she never even looked his way.

His heart sank, and bile rose against the thieving Elf. "And what, at least one of us possesses courtesy, is that what he said, really! He tries to get at me and slaps the lady in the face instead, lord Fancy. I should have said, if you did not expect courtesy from Elmissir, then you…eh," he gave up and gulped down the wine.

"Cutting in like he owns the place," he grumbled into the cup.

“But Garia, he does own the place,” Harah said.

"Well, then, he should act more like a host and less like a spoiled child," Garia declared haughtily. Over his wine glass, he watched Elmissir and her new partner like a hawk. One dance, she had said, and he would not have her suffer any longer than that.

“In my experience, spoiled children mumble into their cups and blame others for their unhappiness,” the Scribe put in drily. She ignored the venomous glare that Garia levelled her way and waved a hand in the general direction of the dance floor. “All you have to do, Master Garia, is suffer a dance or two to one of your hosts, and then go re-claim the lady’s hand and attention.” Now she leaned forward and returned the brigand’s intense glare with one of her own. “And the more impeccable your manners, the better man you will appear, no?”

“She’s right, Garia,” Harah added quietly. “We have a saying in Harad; manners are the plaster that hold up the walls society’s house and rudeness the rot that pulls down the roof. What would you like, eh? Four snug walls or the roof heavy on your head? An Elven Lord’s roof, no yet?” The Southron nervously cleared his throat, surprised with himself at speaking so forthrightly to the Gondorian. He thought he caught a fleeting look of approval from SilverScribe but he wasn’t quite sure; she was so intimidating to look at most the time - never mind read.

Garia let Harah finish, but with every word the Southron said, the look on his face grew more confused and irritated. "Wouldn't it be nice, Harah," Garia finally said, "if people could understand what you were babbling about? Just for one day. I'm sure you dream of it. Ha!" He rose, as the music dipped, but the Elflord must have made some secret signal to the strummers and harpists, for they started up again almost at once. Elmissir sailed away on the dance floor.

"Two songs, then," Garia declared, sitting back down. "I'll be generous. Though it is a pity to see Elmissir suffer."

“She looks happy enough to me,” Harah said innocently. “Though the Prince there, which one is it?” he asked. “Well, who ever it is, he looks very tense,” Harah added. “He doesn’t dance at all well, either.”

"What do you know about dancing?" Garia grumbled, but he watched the pair closely. Harah was right. His rival was following the steps, but more clumsily than could be expected of an elf. And he certainly wasn't smiling.

“I know when it ends,” Harah said feebly, pointing in the direction of Elmissir and the elf prince.

"Where is she going?" Garia gasped, seeing Elmissir abandon her partner and leave without so much as a look his way. He leapt to his feet, praying he could cross the dance floor before a new song began…


OOC: Do I even need to say it?
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Postby SilverScribe » Sun Feb 26, 2012 1:23 pm

.

Guilhendar led his partner around the dance floor with the effortless grace of long practice; unaware of the many admiring female glances that often followed the tall, handsome Innkeeper. Every once in a while, his sister and the boorish Garia would sail by, but Elmissir had eyes for no one and nothing except her brash young mortal partner. Gulhendar was careful however, not to watch them and instead pay courteous attention to the young lady that followed his lead quietly but competently. He learned her name, Elenna and that she was in Imladris to help her cousin Taronwe with his work and in return, receive some training in languages. She was not overly talkative, for which Guilhendar was grateful; he despised ladies that felt they had to fill every single moment with meaningless chatter or small talk. This quality, along with the fact that she was exceptionally light on her feet, made her a most delightful partner and Guilhendar found himself keeping her on the floor for more than a single dance. At the closing notes of the fourth one however, she graciously asked for a break and Guilhendar escorted her back to her table with real regret.

He passed his sister and one of the Twins as he did so and was secretly pleased that one of their hosts had managed to pry her away from the blonde Edain. He took the opportunity to return to his own table by the longest, most circuitous route possible, stopping to talk here and there with several acquaintances. As the music wound down yet again, he glanced at the dance floor just in time to see Elmissir curtsey to Elrohir . . . or was that Elladan . . . and then immediately walk out of the hall. Curious, he slipped out a different exit and caught up with her as she stopped next to a bed of night-blooming flowers.

"Elmissir?" he asked. "Is aught amiss?"

She turned to him with both cheeks aflame, but shook her head. "No, nothing. I just . . . I just needed some air. It's getting abominably hot in there."

"You mean the room is getting hot, or only certain people are getting overheated?" he asked with a grin.

She didn't smile back. Embarrassed that his jest had fallen flat, he cleared his throat. "Yes, alright. Poor taste in jokes and all that aside, are you sure nothing is wrong? "

Elmissir sighed. "Everything is wrong, Guil," she answered. "We have to stand by while others risk their lives and we can't even tell them why. We have to put duty before everything else, and for what? So I can have some smug, insufferable Prince pry into my private affairs? As if he has the right! Pfffttt. That's how much I care what My Lord High Muckey Muck Lord of Imladris thinks!" she said, snapping her fingers. "I shall 'associate' with whom I please, when I please and for as many dances as I please!"

Guilhendar wisely knew when he was in over his head. His sister was normally a quiet, calm person but when her back was up, woe to the man who crossed her. He held up both hands, palms out, in a gesture of surrender.

"Of course you can," he said in as non-commital voice as possible. It would not do to seem patronizing, or things could turn seriously un-pretty. "And speaking of whom you please to associate with, I would be willing to bet that by now, Master Garia is wondering where you've disappeared to and undoubtably will wreak unimaginable havoc and ruin in his gallant concern for your welfare."

Elmissir studied him seriously for long moments, then burst out laughing. "Oh Guil," she chuckled, "you do have a way with words. Come on, you're probably right and I would hate to be responsible for the destruction of Lord Elladan's long awaited party."

They turned to make their way back towards the sounds of music and merriment when a figure appeared a short way down the path, coming in their direction and moving fast. Guilhendar looked at his sister with a wide grin and waggled his eyebrows in a "I told you so" sort of way. Elmissir laughed again and then stuck her tongue out at him, just as Garia arrived. Guildhendar greeted him with a smile. "Ah, Master Garia, what perfect timing. I shall leave Elmissir to your most capable protection." Without waiting for a reply, he nodded to them both and disappeared down the path.

At Garia's questioning look, Elmisisr merely smiled sweetly and assured him that everything was fine, she had just felt a bit overwarm and had decided to take a return route via the fresh air out in the gardens. Guilhendar had simply followed her to make sure she hadn't taken ill or anything untoward.

****

Guilhendar returned to the Hall and sank down onto his chair next to the Scribe. At her silently raised eyebrow, shook his head ever so slightly. They would talk later, he had no doubts of that.


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Re: Redemption: The Reckoning

Postby Cock-Robin » Wed Jan 16, 2013 9:34 pm

The music was going on, but there was a growing sense within Boartooth that something was wrong. Something didn't smell right. He smelled anger and hostility where he hadn't smelled it before. His ears perked up as he heard whispers in Elvish about him. And the senses of a Beorning in bear's form were that of a bear, and very acute. Of course, he understood Elvish, as he had spent many times in the halls of Tharanduil in Mirkwood. It was the voice of Elladan ordering the Beorning's capture and imprisonment. He realized the impropriety of the occasion, he had transformed due to no fault of his own, it was not deliberate, but it had been done. He knew he had worn out his welcome with Elladan. He looked about as the music continued playing. It was now or never. He looked to Scribbles,winked and nodded to the outside, the exit from Imladris, then looked about for Elrohir. He saw him and recognized him under the different cloak. A fine masquerade. He knew he had earned friendship with the son of Elrond and it was hard-won. He shared a bond with the Elf-Lord. The elf was talking with his brother. And it was because of his long relationship with Elrohir that he was probably the only one not taken in by the ruse of each brother posing as the other.

Something was up. And he needed to leave at once, or he would never leave. Imladris was no longer a haven to him. He looked over to Elrohir, his eyes giving a plea for help, then whirled with the music, and suddenly broke free, running as only a bear could, the charge of a bear that none dared resist. None would dare get in the way of the charge,or risk getting trampled. Many rushed to get out of the way of the bear.

He sped like an arrow from a bow out of the Hall of Fire and out into the night. He roared outside, ending in a high whine, that the horse Thunder and the falcon Lightning heard, Both broke loose. He would need their help as well as the help of Elrohir to escape Imladris, then he would wait for his companions on the road. He also hoped that Elrohir got the message and would meet him outside of Imladris.

The falcon cried from above, seeing the forces which were even now making their march to the Hall, even as Boartooth vanished into the night. He was ready to dive and harry them, hindering them in their mission, even as Thunder, true to his name, thundered out of the stable and out on the road to meet his companion, that he knew would be there.

The horse and the bird did harry the troops that were heading for the Hall of Fire, providing the distraction that Boartooth would need to escape from Imladris. Thunder headed them off, rearing and whinnying loudly, his eyes flaming like a mad thing, racing around them like the wind.

Lightning dived at them, screeching like something from the nether world, which gave him the nickname the Elves had given them of demon bird.

If any had ever seen or heard a bear in the woods, one would know they were almost impossible to see and hear until the bear was almost on top of one, and Boarooth was racing in the direction of the exit from Imladris as if the very Nazgul of old were after him. Silent and swift, and the black bear was almost invisible in the night.

All was in motion for Boartooth's escape from Imladris, and it was up now to Elrohir to do his part.

There was a hubbub about the Beorning's abrupt exit among the elves there and many guests. It would be the topic of conversation for days to come.
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I love french toast, too!





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