Eastward Lies Peril

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

Postby Frelga » Thu Aug 02, 2007 12:52 pm

"Poems will indeed have to wait Dust, but I shall look into this matter as well. It is not the first time we have troubles at a festival and I don't want them to turn out to be the same kind we had last time I was here." She shuddered at the memory of that terrible ghost from Numenor who had fought the berserker spirit of Erinhue's sword.


Dacil stared at the Elf woman who was doing a decent job of glaring right back. "You?" he asked. "Why you, m'lady? They've got to have some law around here, eh? They could..." The iris-blue eyes narrowed and the soldier hastily looked away. Looked down, in fact, taking a note of the conspicuous sword at the hip and the un-conspicuous strap that secured the knife sheath inside the boot. Eru help him, not one of those again!

Every girl child, Elf or mortal, was told at an early age that she was sweet and delicate, defenseless. Most women seemed to believe that in spite of all evidence. Some, however, discovered that they had been lied to, and a few of them set out to prove the truth to the unsuspecting world. In his young days, Dacil ran into one or two of such females in the fighting ring, and he came to dread these encounters. Like every boy child, he had been told at an early age that girls were sweet and delicate, to be protected. That was a grave disadvantage, as the women fighters had no such illusions about him. But even a concussion did not quite manage to clear his head of this notion.

The Elf-bard lifted an eyebrow, like a sword coming up to guard. Dacil capitulated. what was the harm, after all? The miscreant was surely long gone."As you wish, m'lady," he said quickly, even though she didn't say a word. "So what happened the last time you were here? More robberies?"
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Postby Cute_and_CuddlyRaccoons » Tue Aug 07, 2007 12:34 pm

Louie’s eyes gleamed.

“oooooOOOooo,” he murmured breathlessly. “Shineys!”

Dripoe squinted. “Whatsa madder with them? They aren’t colored.”

“Yea,” Karz agreed. “They’re…..like…clear or sumthin.”

“Shineys!” Louie reached out a picked one up. He held it up to the light, mesmerized.

“It IS kinda shiney,” Dripoe conceded.

“But what is it? I never saw a j00l like that before,” Karz said.

The exchange was interrupted by Mugsy’s sudden squawk, “What’s that?”

The two men spun to face the door. Mugsy took the moment to flap down and grab the largest shiney in his beak, and then flew up to the rafters.
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Postby Bardhwyn » Tue Aug 07, 2007 2:16 pm

In the cobalt blue food tent…

Cyrion, who was lying quite comfortably in his seashell boat, watched the purple and pink rushes that sprouted up in the vermillion river wave lazily in the wind. The river bank was littered with broken paint bottles and the sky was a pale shade of green. He thought it strange, for he remembered the sky being blue, but quickly dismissed the query just a flock of pigs flew over head. One was playing a hammered dulcimer, a slip jig and the pig showed talent…


Such were the delirious musing of the still unconscious Cyrion. Eliran dabbed the young man’s swollen head with a damp cloth and smiled apologetically to the various patrons who strolled into the tent. The word had gone out a healer was needed so all she could do was dab and wait.


Meanwhile upstairs at the Pot…

Calmacil ascended the stairs carefully, carrying an overfull tray of food supplied to him by Goody Hazel just as he was about to exit in search of Cyrion. The inn keep’s wife had an incredible skill of ignoring whatever anyone had to say that was contrary to her will and so Calmacil found himself going back to the sickbed of the mysterious Elfess, but only after assurances that they were actively seeking out the young Viscount. Calmacil wondered if Cyr had managed to get himself ‘very indisposed’ and if so, it would be hours before he’ll bother emerging, with the disheveled young lady in tow.

Calmacil stopped at the Elfess' door, balanced the tray on one hand and pulled up on wooden latch with the other, pulling the door open. He stepped forward, so that the tray entered the room but nothing more having stopped to shift the balance of the tray to both hands.

“My but you’re a tall Hobbit…” a voice said.

Calmacil walked in, his face betraying his surprise. Propped up, sitting in the bed, he saw the mystery Elf fully conscious.

“Oh, forgive me, I…” she said.

“You’re awake! They didn’t tell me you were awake,” Calmacil exclaimed, “and no, I’m not a tall Hobbit, I am a man,” he continued with a grin. “Calmacil, Earl of Tarnos to be exact.” He deposited the tray on a small side table, spilling only a bit of the thick soup, and stepped towards the Elf with his hand outstretched. “I am very pleased to see you well, Mistress…?”
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Postby Rodia » Tue Aug 14, 2007 1:33 pm

"Robberies?"

The word squeaked, and Dust cleared his throat, blushing slightly. Like Dacil, he also wondered what the Elfess had meant. He found it upsetting to learn that even such a festival was not safe from ruffians, and that unpleasant incidents were as much routine as songs. Songs, which, for that matter, he had not yet had a chance to hear. There was music coming from somewhere, and Dust would have followed it more gladly than the soldier.

Alas, the lady's decision had made it impossible to retreat from the errand. Dust could not understand why she would choose to accompany them, but he did not dare protest. A sword hung at her belt, which he noticed now for the first time. His mind rifled through heard tales and ballads, and the image of a woman warrior appeared, unusual and in that, very sensual.

The man from Dale seemed equally surprised to see her stand, ready to follow. Dust could not catch his eye. He felt lost and inadequate; the muscled soldier would tower over anyone, but as she came up beside, the Elfess, too, seemed to look down on the young bard. Dust straightened as best he could to make up for it.

Captain Dacil noticed and approved the lad's vertical aspiration. Somehow, he came to look at the scraggly bard as a raw recruit, not a very promising one but who still earned some training by his earnest attempts. Had he stopped to think about it, Dacil would have been surprised that he was thinking about the sniffly kid at all. But the brave Captain did not have a habit of stopping to think about his thoughts.

"Could happen," he said, meaning robberies. "Really shouldn't be digging, the local Guards will get jealous. Want to run along and tell them?"

Dust flushed, for no reason. "I'm not...I don't know where..." he began, then suddenly felt insulted by the man's tone. "They won't be happy if you just let him get away, either!" he exclaimed.

"Not my job." Dacil shrugged. And not his care to keep happy local guards or shirrifs or militia or whatever they called themselves in this soft-grass land. He only decided to take a look because he was bored. And because he really disliked people who hit strangers from behind. Especially when the strangers were painters, which was a sort of an artist and presumably as fragile as the bards. When he found the perpetrator, Dacil planned to explain some of the finer points of hitting strangers from the front, repeatedly. "I'm just being a good citizen," he added with a grin.

"I thought you said you were a soldier? A captain?" Dust furrowed his brow.

"Was. In Dale. I retired." Dacil considered and qualified, "For now."

"Dale..." Dust set aside daydreams, and looked the man square in the eye. "Dale is not a land of savages, I've heard, and it seems to me that its good citizen would offer his help where it was needed, be it in Dale or abroad. Especially if that good citizen was once a captain." Dust's voice trembled slightly as he ended the speech, and he was not sure if it was outrage or shock at his own boldness. The soldier grew before his eyes.

Dacil blinked, then frowned. "Yes. And?"

Dust swallowed, hard. "And...I think we should...uh...help." The last word was barely audible.

The Captain nodded at the lad. "Well done," he said, adding a heavy pat on the back. "Let's go, then."

Dacil's gesture nearly threw Dust off his feet, but he gripped the edge of the table. He grunted in agreement, the breath knocked out of him. The soldier and Elf were already on their way; the youth scrambled to catch up to them.

As they approached the stables, they prudently slowed their pace. Sounds came from inside; scraps of conversation, and what sounded like squeaks and scuffles...

(OOC:Dacil written by Frelga)
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Postby IrisBrandybuck » Tue Aug 21, 2007 6:30 am

A young hobbit lass pushed the door to the inn open, blinking in the sudden dimness. There was hardly a soul in the main room, one or two sitting in the shadows. It was cooler in here, and very quiet compared to the festival outside. Screwing up her courage, she stepped across the threshold.

“Close the door, lass, you’ll let the cool air out.”

She jumped slightly, looking around quickly as she obeyed the command. Behind the bar stood a human woman, wiping at a stubborn spot. “Good girl. Now, how can I help you?”

“I…” her throat was suddenly dry and she swallowed compulsively.

“Well, lass, I haven’t got all day.”

“Excuse me…I…I’m looking for a job, if it pleases you?”

The woman looked her over, “Well, it’s been a while since I’ve hired a hobbit. Let me guess…Took? Or Brandybuck?”

“Brandybuck. That is, my name is Iris.”

“Ah, I’m not surprised. We get one of you every so often, coming around, looking for something a bit different than the Shire. Iris, is it? All right then, with the festival I can use an extra hand or two.” The woman turned away, motioning for Iris to follow her down a little hallway alongside the stairwell. “There here’s our room, mine and my husband's. This here is for the two other cooks. The little one here, under the stair, is yours. It’s not much, but it’s away from the rest of the crowd, there’s a chest for your things and a nice pallet. You need anything, you just ask.”

Iris peered in surprised at how nice the little spot was. Small indeed it was, but still with a stand and washbasin and a bit of mirror. For a human it would have been cramped, for her it was comfortable.

“You take a few minutes, get yourself adjusted. We keep this here ready for the occasional Shire help. When you’re ready, come out and I’ll get you started.”

A few minutes later the woman was giving the lass instructions on how to strip the beds in each room. She was given a skeleton key and told that if she had any questions to be sure to ask.

“No shame in questions girl, no matter how silly you might think it is. How can you know if you don’t ask?”

Iris found herself with a laundry basket in hand, climbing the stairs to the guest rooms.

“Oh, drat,” she thought, “I forgot to ask…well, I will when I get downstairs.”
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Postby Bardhwyn » Tue Aug 21, 2007 8:40 am

Goodwife Hazel, the innkeep's wife - as adept as any of Elessar's generals, quickly calculated the benefits and costs of yet another hired hand and smiled. Hobbits were always good value for money.

"Darem!? Where are you?!" she hollared. The Innkeep stuck his head through the doorway of the larder, finding his wife standing expectantly behind the bar.

"Yes, Preciousness and Light, you called me?"

"I've hired a hobbit-lass, a Brandybuck..." Goody Hazel announced.

"A hobbit - another one?" Darem asked.

"Yes, another one. They're good value for money," she said.

Darem nodded, unconvinced, and proceeded to withdraw back into the larder when he remembered his promise to the nice young Lord upstairs.

"Sweetness, any luck finding that nice Earl's brother?" He asked. Hazel looked nonplussed. "The young man, upstairs, he's lost his brother." Darem added.

"What's that got to do with me?" Hazel asked, her eyes growing stormy.

"Ah, well, don't you recall, we promised to send one of the hobbits out lookin' for 'im."

"WE did nothing of the sort. You did perhaps..." Hazel growled. Darem stood quietly for a moment, deep in reflection and then shrugged with a look of lost resignation on his face. Hazel spun on her heel, her face twisted with anger and proceeded to bellow up the stairs:

"IRIS!!! GET DOWN HERE RIGHT QUICK! WE NEED YOU TO LOOK FOR ...." Hazel stopped and turned. "Who are we lookin' for, Darem?" she asked.

"The Viscount of Cristal... 'his Lordship'"

"WE NEED YOU TO LOOK ... " Hazel stopped yelling. Iris was already down and standing in front of her. "We're needing to find His Lordship. What does he look like, Darem?"

"I have no idea..."

Hazel's scowl deepened. "And we have no idea what he looks like..."

"I imagine he looks like the young Earl upstairs," Darem offered.

"He looks like the Earl upstairs." Hazel said. Iris glanced from the Innkeep back to his wife, as if to speak.

"Well, what're you waitin' for?" Hazel cried, "Get back upstairs, get a gander at the Earl and go look for his brother! Go on, off with ya!" Goody Hazel then stormed off, in the direction of the cellars and her favorite barrel of beer. Darem retreated to the larder.
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Postby rwhen » Wed Aug 22, 2007 7:24 am

Mugsy's head shot up and he flew to land on Karz' shoulder...

"Someone coming, someone coming!!"

In a flight of panic, Karz ran out of the back of the stable and as luck would have it, there was a horse tied up with a full saddle bag on his back.

Not wasting time, Karz leapt on while Mugsy clung to his shirt and galloped out of the area.

*****************

It took some time, but Mugsy led Karz back to a nicely populated wharf and trade area. He sold the horse and booked passage on a nice working sloop, he didn't care about the eventual destination, he just wanted to get away from all the physical damage and find a quiet life.

*****************

He did!!
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Postby Tookish_Traveler » Thu Aug 23, 2007 12:49 pm

Dripoe watched in amazement as Karz and the bird ran off with the large shiny stone. He turned to scoop up the rest of them from the floor, only to discover that Louie had already grabbed most of them. The raccoon high-tailed it for the door as Dripoe lunged for him, missing the critter by a yard. Louie scramble out the window as Dripoe grumbled and stood up, brushing the straw from his clothes. He placed the few shinys in his deepest pocket. Then he heard it! A noise at the door. Someone was coming!

Dripoe dived for the same window and crashed to the hard ground below. Crawling away on his hands and knees, he slid into a ravine full of thistles and brambles. He cursed under his breath as he fought his way painfully to the other side. After resting a bit, he got up and limped along until he found a mule eating grass by the roadside. Dripoe spent the next half hour trying to corner the mule for a ride. Finally he grabbed the old rope bridle and jumped aboard. The mule shook its head. Dripoe turned it southward and goaded it along. Soon he was headed ‘home’……
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Postby earendil81 » Thu Aug 30, 2007 7:42 am

Frelga wrote:"As you wish, m'lady," he said quickly, even though she didn't say a word. "So what happened the last time you were here? More robberies?"

"robberies" Dust repeated...
But the question did not really await the real answer that she would not give anyway because it would frighten the child, as brave as he wanted to appear. He wanted to do good and it was fair enough that she did not tell tales of dark shadows that made her even feel like she was a frighten little girl left with only nightmares and bad memories. Recalling this encounter even in broad daylight and in a cheery atmosphere would not do with anyone.

The retired - or so he said - soldier and Dust seemed to be getting into an argument as to what to really do. Seemed that Dacil was not too eager to get mixed up into any kind of business... She let them finish their little "chat" rolling her eyes slightly before they finally left.

Dacil had found Cyrion at the stables so there they went; from afar she could hear a conversation going on although the voices sounded curious.
"Doesn't it seem too easy?

When was the last time we got j00ls this easy? Or coins. Or rum?"
"Umm...never."

"That's what I'm sayin', -
a name she couldn't catch. Something's gotta be wrong. Maybe it's a trap."

"Trap? I hates traps! Nasty things they are!!!"

"I'm not sayin' you lay the trap, rodent. Someone may be tryin' to trap us, or anybody."

"Who are you calling a rodent?"

"Why don't you dump the bag and see?" Karz said. "It won't hurt to dump it and see. Maybe it's just a bunch of bright shiny j00ls."

"Dump the bag! Dump the bag!"


And a bag fell; she could hear it clearly as they now were less than 20 feet away from the stables and they slowed their pace. For some reason the discussion was not that of people who had just knocked out a young man. Obviously Dacil had not seen anyone as he found Cyrion... These were not the people they were looking for but still robbers were not welcome here.

She turned to Dacil and marked a 3 with her hand. Maybe more, but she could not quite place something. One did not seem human... a parroting beast or... something.

Suddenly something "exploded", well more likely a branch one of them walked on but which sounded like a blast in her ears, and panick spread in the stables.
'Someone coming, someone coming!'

Windows seemed to crash, doors were opened without care and when they entered the stables all was empty but for the bag that had been dumped and emptied of its content. She knelt down looking at the jewels whose owner was yet to be found, hearing Dacil walk in to check some of the boxes; the habit of the warrior.
"These robbers have gone. Now the others they could be anywhere I guess. Where did you find Lord Cyrion?"
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Postby Bardhwyn » Fri Aug 31, 2007 2:46 am

...
Last edited by Bardhwyn on Sat Sep 01, 2007 3:27 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Niall » Sat Sep 01, 2007 3:26 am

Niall watched the entire show from his well concealed position in the stable’s loft. He had followed the two Southrons; waiting for the right moment to put himself in their way as M'lady asked but the opportunity to just observe was too good to pass up. Only once did bird get close to him but the creature was too focused on the activity below to notice him.

They certainly were thieves; focused, selfish and thorough. Not one corner of those bags went un-inspected. Niall surprised himself by feeling sorry for the poor idiot sod that was stupid enough to leave his saddled horse and a packed bag containing a full purse unattended in a stable.

Maybe it was a trap? Niall felt the skin on the back of his neck crawl. Was this her ladyship’s doing? Niall allowed the chilling notion he wasn’t as valuable to her as she’d claimed. It would be tidy, very tidy to get rid of all three of us and retrieve the article for her self…

Then the bird raised the alarm.

The two Southrons departed, rather spectacularly, one bursting through the back stable door on the saddled horse, the other hurling himself through the window.

Niall, his instincts alive, acted as well, descending to the stable floor with the help of a rope and pulley. He ran from the stable, out the open rear door and cut around in the opposite direction to one of the Southrons. He was met with a paddock fence which he vaulted over and crouching low he did his best to hide next to a trough and under a window. He strained to hear what said…

He heard one set of heavy footsteps; a large man. A female voice: "These robbers have gone. Now the others they could be anywhere I guess. Where did you find Lord Cyrion?"

‘Cyrion, that is the younger one’s name,’ Niall thought to himself, ‘not in the stables, luv, unless he was dragged here.’ It then occurred to Niall – they were also looking for the package. What did she say: ‘Now the others they could be anywhere….

‘So, it was a trap and we have competition,’ Niall reflected. Precious seconds were passing and he could see the commotion in the barn had finally drawn out a few interested people – one being the innkeep for he wore an apron and one rather hefty, well dressed merchant waddling out of the Pot still carrying a tankard.

Niall backtracked, leaped out of the paddock and crouching low ran through the brush and young forest that rung the stable. In the distance he could see the Lebennese men’s horses still tethered, their possessions still scattered.

‘Perfect.’ Niall said with a smile. At full sprint he ran towards the stable, the front doors still open, cutting off the innkeep and the waddling merchant. He arrived inside the stable and counted three people.

“THIEVES!!” Niall cried out to the two men approaching while pointing at the trio. He then dashed up to the remains of the bag on the floor, knelt down by them and with a deft, imperceptible flick of the wrist – combined with a simultaneous distraction with his other hand - he deposited his own purse among the other items.

The elf woman stepped forward, smiling politely and started to speak.

“You can’t get away now,” Niall announced, cutting her off “or you’ll have the entire festival after you…”

“What’s going on here…” Darem the Innkeep asked, entering the stable blowing hard and red faced. Behind him the merchant was closing fast muttering about his bag.

“These people are thieves! They've ransacked the stable and the horses that are tethered on the other side of the clearing and that’s mine,” Niall announced, pointing to his purse on the floor, “it was stolen from me and these people and two others who have just escaped are responsible.”
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Postby Bardhwyn » Sat Sep 01, 2007 3:32 am

Meanwhile, upstairs in the Chamberpot...

“I am very pleased to see you well, Mistress…?”

Calmacil extended his hand to the elf but saw it was wet with soup. He quickly wiped it dry on his leather breeches and extended it again. "Ah, sorry - please, your name?"

"My - Oh! Right! My name! I - I mean, my name is Nainienen, my mother named me Carnelome but the name I chose for myself is Nainienen. My full name is Elehteliel Carnelome Elrame Nainienen but that is a quite a mouthful to say all at once and you probably wouldn't want to try unless you were a herald or some-such -" she was babbling. She knew it and couldn't stop. It was a nervous habit that her brother had always teased her about mercilessly and she was certainly nervous now. She had recognized the man as the one who had stood up first at the table near the dining tent and realized that he must have seen her faint in the middle of the pathway and carried her up here to the inn. And here she was, still sitting on the bed, babbling like a brook, while he held his hand outstretched in greeting! If she was to save any last remaining shred of her dignity she was going to have to do it now, before she talked the man's ears right off his head.

With difficulty Nainienen managed to reign in her tongue. With all the elven grace she could muster she stood and stepped away from the bed, surreptitiously flicking her skirt to settle the scarves back into place. Placing her hand in his she gave the Earl a curtsy and a bow of her head.

"My apologies for letting my tongue run off without me. My name is Elehteliel Carnelome Elrame Nainienen, but you may call me Nainienen. I am very new to this area and I thank you for your gracious help in my time of need. I am sure you must have other business to attend to so I shall take my leave if you wish and continue on my way to Rivendell."

Calmacil nodded his head to the elf's polite curtsy. "My, but you've recovered remarkably quickly. Then again, you are First Born. I have brought up some food, here," he gestured towards the tray, "that is, if you're hungry." The elf smiled and stepped forward, only to falter, tripping over her own feet it seemed. Calmacil lurched towards her and steadied her upright. "Perhaps you're not fully recovered, Nainienen?" he asked carefully.

"No, thank you I'm fine." So much for dignity. "My brother always teased me about my lack of coordination, said it was the gift of the Maiar to keep me from being over confident. He certainly seems to have been right," she said, giving his hand a thank you squeeze. "It would probably be best if I sat down before I managed to fall face first in the soup, which smells much too good to be wasted in such a way."

Cal suppressed a grin. Nainienen was unlike any elf he had met in Minas Tirith and for that he was pleased. He quickly pulled the small, rush seated chair over from the far wall where it sat next to the wash stand and, deftly stepping over one of the two mattresses on the floor. He noticed Nainienen looking at them, quizzically. "The mattresses," Cal said, "one for me and my brother Cyr." Cal explained, placing the chair in front of the small side table and tray. "The Innkeep's wife has put me in charge of you and well..." he motioned at the mattresses, "we didn't know how serious you were or how long it would take for you to recuperate." He helped Nainienan into her seat, as any gentleman would. "I also suspect the inn is full. I doubt we're the only ones she's bunked together," he added with a wry smile. Calmacil's curiosity finally got the better of him. "Forgive me for prying, I need to know - what happened to you? Why did you faint?" He then blushed slightly but it couldn't be helped. "Are you expecting?" he asked quietly.

.
Nainienen wonderfully written by elfetawen
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Postby Frelga » Sat Sep 01, 2007 4:18 pm

The waddling merchant wasted no time. He toddled past Darwen, past the very brave young man who exposed the fiends to the contents of his bag that lay on the barn floor.

"Oh my heavens, they've got into my purse, all my earnings!" The fat man cried. "Thank the Gods you arrived when you did, young man or they'd have made off with my wife's jewels!" The merchant got down onto the floor with a groan and started to pick up his various coins and precious stones that lay on the floor. Behind the Inn Keep, who still stood, open mouthed at the barn door, a small crowd of curious onlookers gathered and the word 'thieves' began to swirl around.

The soldier stood up to his full height, somehow managing to occupy even more space than his body actually needed. His hand went to the pommel of his sword, which was as long and broad as could be expected. It was thus completely impractical in the cramped space of the stables, but merchants and innkeepers were not to blame for missing that.

The elfess now stepped forward. The resolute gleam in her eyes alarmed Dacil more than the entire crowd of suspicious onlookers. "Please, m'lady, I'll take care of this. I handled this sort of thing for King Brand all the time." The Bard-woman nodded her curt agreement and Dacil proceeded.

"Stay calm, everyone." Dacil didn't raise his voice, but somehow it filled all the space not immediately occupied by its owner. Horses shifted in the stalls; a few with a more adventuresome background raised their heads expectantly. "Young man, you will please not call anyone a thief. Not me, and especially not the lady. Now. I am Dacil, lately Captain of Guards to King Brand of Dale, and these here are two Bards as you, sir," this to the innkeeper, "ought to ruddy well know. And you, young man - please name yourself and state your business."

The crowd's buzzing quietened as Dacil spoke, and Dust was suddenly very glad to have met the man. Instinctively, he edged behind the soldier, trying to keep out of sight of the mob. Even as he moved, he sent glare after glare at the stranger who had spat the accusation. He looked more like a rogue than anyone; Dust wanted to point that out. He wanted to berate the man and expose him as a liar; to ridicule him and shame him for slandering a lady's name.

While the youth struggled to compose a clever and concise retort, Dacil made do with a few straightforward words. Dust abandoned his composition at once to nod enthusiastically. He glanced at the lady elfess; it was hard to tell exactly how much the events perturbed her, but Dust was certain she suffered. Fresh outrage rose within him, and he stepped out from his hiding place, straightening up to show he had nothing to feel ashamed of.

"He's not a Bard," The Inn Keep said feebly, pointing to Dust, The young man seemed to lose the height he had gained just a moment ago. "I mean, he might be a bard, Darwen added, "but I don't think he's been inducted into Master Erinhue's toupe. Nope, I don't know him at all but she's a Bard, Mistress Eari if I recall rightly." The elfess gracefully nodded at this but those in the crowd who didn't know of her grumbled and a few voices spoke of ropes and secure rooms.

Niall studied the trio intently in the few minutes he had. They were an unlikely group but to him competition none the less. He couldn't have paid the Inn Keep to be more accommodating and once the man dug the hole a bit deeper, Niall smiled slightly and turned to the crowd. "To answer the former and now, no longer employed, Captain of the Dale Guards," Niall turned to Dacil, "have I got that right? My name is Niall," he bowed to the Inn Keep, "I am a Beorning and I, like most of the people here, have traveled long and hard to come and hear the Bards recite. That," Niall pointed to his purse, "is all the money I have in Middle Earth which was lifted from me in the crowds. I can tell you exactly how much is inside; three gold pieces, seven pieces of silver and fourteen pieces of copper. Upon counting it, there lies my proof."

"And this, all this," the Merchant added, pointing to the scattered belongs on the ground, "belonged to me. Ah, you rogues, I was only inside for ten minutes!" He curled a pudgy fist at Dust and shook it. "What is this Kingdom coming to? Eh?!" the merchant cried.

This comment from the merchant created quite a stir through the crowd, who had now seeped into the barn and created a semi-circle around the scene. Dacil, his hand still on his pommel, called over them to be quiet, yet again - to which they complied. He had a sword, after all. A young woman approached Niall and handed him his purse, smiling sweetly. "It's just like he says, exactly to the last copper."

"You are the Inn Keep," Niall asked Darwen who nodded and was now brandishing his wooden spoon as if a weapon. "Sir, are there any representatives of the King here, today?"

"What you mean those Ranger types?" The Inn Keep answered, "Ah, no, no but I can't half think of a dozen Bards who, if they were here, could see this through." The Inn Keep imagined that SilverScribe being able to solve this all in a moment or two but not without a ruckus. The Inn Keep's eyes then lit up. "But there is a peer of the realm here today, an Earl he is, Lord Calmacil! We'll get him down here, shall we?"

Niall steeled his face, disbelieving his good fortune. Yes, you fat man, deliver to me the very person I am looking for. He then cleared his throat and took on a disapproving look. "A noble? Surely, we can resolve this? We are not witless just because none here have a title before their name?" This comment also set the crowd to mumbling.

The Northman's last statement was not strictly true, but Dacil was in no mood to correct him. "That much is sense, at least," he put in, in his clipped officer's tone. "Now, those of you who are not witless, please clear out of the barn. It's a crime scene and you are scaring the horses." He strode toward the surviving door, herding out the gawkers and trailing Dust, who might be a bard but not a Bard, whatever that meant. After a step or two, he turned to the Beorning. "Which horse is yours, sir?" The young man opened his mouth, but something about the way his eyes darted around the stable prompted the soldier to raise his hand and reword the question. "Do you have a horse stabled here, sir?"

The Beorning didn't. He did have more than a few words to say, but again Dacil cut him off. "Just the facts, sir. Just the facts, please," he suggested, holding up his hand. It was decorated with King Brand's signet ring. Once the sign of the Captain's authority, the massive chunk of silver had served to defend him from a werewolf in the battle of Dol Guldur. It worked on mortals, too, with the emphasis on 'massive' rather than 'silver.'

The hand, the ring, and the muscular man got attention. The crowd was out of the doors now, standing in a loose circle with Dacil towering in the center like a wheel hub. "You, Master Innkeep - are the two victims staying here at the Inn?" The merchant was. The Beorning, it seemed, was a newcomer. Just like the Captain himself, Niall lost no time in pointing out.

"HOLD ON," Niall cried out, "you, Dacil, YOU are under suspicion here, therefore YOU are the last person to start asking questions. If anything," Niall looked the man straight in the eye, "you should disarm yourself immediately. If you're guilty you won't want to and if you're innocent, then you have nothing to fear, do you?"

"I am under suspicion, am I?" Dacil raised an eyebrow but did not move otherwise. "Sir, I understand you are upset, but you have no call to throw words like that around. Whoever took your purse is long gone now. See how that door is hanging off it's hinges? That's called a clue, sir. So, to continue. When did you notice that your purse was gone?" And all the while the names Calmacil and Cyrion rolled around in the back of his mind, ringing faint bells.

"I am upset, you're right." Niall replied. In a spurt of inspiration, Niall ran his hand through his hair and paced in a circle, looking the part of the 'abused victim'. As he paced he cast his eye around the crowd and clearly this Dacil was commanding more respect than immediate suspicion. "And you can see, can't you, how it looks? You three here, in this stable, two others fleeing, our possessions scattered about and you, there with that sword...'

"Yes, sir, I understand," Dacil replied patiently, clinking the ring against the pommel of that sword. "Those two, you got a good look at them? They've caused more mischief here than just a stolen purse. Which, matter of fact, was the reason we three came down to the stables." It was while Dust was nodding enthusiastically at this that the two names Dacil was musing over dropped in their proper slot in his memory. He turned to the innkeeper. "Lord Calmacil, you just said? Earl of Tarnos Calmacil?"

"Yes, that's right," Darwen replied, his spoon still aloft. "Sounds as if you know him," he added with some relief, seeing as Dacil had the sword.

"Heard of him down South." The soldier ran a hand through his short-cropped hair. You better go fetch him, then. His brother was attacked."

OOC: Niall is by Bardy and Dust was nodded in by Ro. And it was great fun.
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Postby Niall » Sun Sep 02, 2007 1:20 pm

"You better go fetch him, then. His brother was attacked."

At the sound of these words, Niall breathed an outward sigh of relief. His clever trick of goading someone into insisting Calmacil be called had failed dismally and he was silently wracking his brains as to his next move. Dacil had noticed Niall's response, however, and looked at him.

"That's simply awful!" Niall quickly added while forcing another sigh and looking markedly disgusted."Attacked, you say?" He had, of course, watched it happen, happily so, for it spared him having knock the young man out. Niall shook his head disapprovingly. "I guess I got off lightly, then, with just a lifted purse." Niall turned to the short bard who trailed in Dacil's wake and who also seemed happy to nod to everything. "As the man said, what is this kingdom coming to, eh?"

Dust shot the man a dark look. "It's coming to no good, if honest folk must stand to be accused of theft by random vagabonds." He saw the stranger's eyes widen, and he recoiled just a little, realizing belatedly that he had spoken out loud. Dust looked away, and doubled his efforts to keep close to Dacil. Niall's face resumed its usual, cool composure.

"Don't let a man's dusty clothes shape your judgment of him, young master...sorry, I don't know your name." Niall prompted.

Dust swallowed hard. "It's not your clothes, sir, it's your words. You could be wearing velvet and gold, and your conduct towards an Elven Lady would still seem as foul," he replied. Now that Dacil had ceased his shouting, the young man finally found space for his words. They were only scraps of the monologues he had conducted silently as the first accusations flew, but he put as much emphasis on them as he could.

Niall smirked at the young man's hectic bravado, so gloriously supported by Dacil's large frame. He then looked to the elf woman. "Ma'am," Niall said politely with a slight nod and noticed then the intense look in her eye. There was a lot more going on underneath than she was showing, he concluded.

Niall decided to move away from her gaze, thinking also the distance would help calm him else he was sure to break the young, nameless man's nose. An act that would be self defeating at best. The Inn Keep, Darwen, was hustling towards the inn and Niall chose to prop himself against the paddock fencing, to wait for the appearance of the Earl of Tarnos.

Brave Dust written by Rodia
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Postby earendil81 » Fri Sep 07, 2007 5:51 pm

She stepped back at Dacil's request but she still glowered at the crowd and this man who dared insinuate that she was a robber. She crossed her arms and listened; she could not help but think that Dacil was making a poor case for the three of them but did not intervene. She knew what a crowd could become like when afraid unnecessarily and calming them was obviously what the former Captain was trying to do although the newcomer seemed to be doing a better job at exciting them over and over again. Even as he asked the innkeeper to 'testify' for their status he was so aggressive that Darem was ill at ease to answer the truth. She nodded when he acknowledged her but she knew that she had been away too long for many to remember and the brooch proving her status as Master Bard would do no good since the man - Niall was his name - would not wait to say that she may well have stolen it. Neither would the radiated star of the Dunedain, even though they were asking for Rangers. Even the arms of Gondor concealed under her cloak seemed not enough to prove her legitimacy at this point. And this frustrated her more than the rest; not to be able to claim her allegiance. Yet she did not let anything show on her face; she had shown too much obviously, since Dacil had asked her to take care and it would not do to be defensive or offensive for that matter.

"And you can see, can't you, how it looks? You three here, in this stable, two others fleeing, our possessions scattered about and you, there with that sword...'
She raised an eyebrow at the mention of the men even she had not seen but only heard. Oh well, maybe she had a bad image of a man who would accuse her. But she could understand that he was upset; being robbed at a festival of everything you have would be annoying her as well... not to the point of accusing anybody but still.

Finally Dacil asked Darem to go and fetch Lord Calmacil; apparently her new friend's brother. She indeed had long been away from the court and its ways for she did not know that there was a new Earl of Tarnos although she had heard the name mentioned before and with great praise. A noble and just man who was respected by everyone under his jurisdiction.
As Darem left to fetch the representative of the King she turned to Dacil, a wry smile on her face."I never thought I would have to prove that elves can be trusted."

The soldier shrugged - his bulging shoulders looked like two balloons bobbing up and down. "This is a wild land, m'lady. They don't get to see many Elves, I suppose. Still, I'd have thought a Beorning would know better." He fixed the Northerner with a heavy look. "Surprised he hasn't heard of me, for that matter. We had a job and a half clearing their woods of goblins and wargs."

"I can understand the surprise," Eari replied, "it is curiously interesting how some mortals can have so little a memory despite the fact that they don't live that long. I guess that a year in a mortal life is akin to a few centuries among my kin. You say there were wargs and goblins... surely that was during the cleansing after his fall. Or has there been some agitation in the North again?"

"No, m'lady, it's all been quiet for a while," Dacil said regretfully. "Haven't seen a warg's whisker in years - that is, a few Elf-minutes to you. Even the spiders are all but gone."

Dust winced at that; he had heard a thing or two about the spiders in the North. Wargs, he could not even imagine. There had been news of a wolf prowling around the village once, but the howls and scratches turned out to be a childish prank. Dust could rely only on his imagination to illustrate Dacil's words. It frightened him more than he had anticipated.

It was quite a bit easier to sigh for the lady Eari, whose pain at the accusation was clear. Dust shot a very quick and angry look at the ill-tongued ruffian, leaning against the paddock with as little respect in his posture as in his words. But the young man found himself at sudden loss when he approached the Elfess to apologise; she had left him little choice in salutations.

"My...er....May I offer my apologies on behalf of the one who owes them to you," he said "I regret it of my kindred that they are often rough and let no thought couple with their speech. Better that my tongue should wither than I should ever speak to a Firstborn with such disrespect."

Dacil gave the bard-but-not-a-Bard a long sideways look. Some of the Elves he'd met... well, he could tell a few stories. Still, it was just as well to let the crowd of spectators dwell on the exalted company they were in. So he added his glare to back up the lad's.

Eari looked kindly at Dust; he was a good lad, and he had his heart upon his sleeve in a way. He had probably already or would certainly suffer of it someday. Yet it was reassuring to see that some people remained innocent in their own way.
"You will learn that people accusing randomly often have some things to hide in their heart. The apologies should not be yours to make but I thank you for your words.
Never forgetting those who have passed into the West :rose:

Sharing a story with Rholarowyn: Once There Were Words

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It's funny how some distance
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And the fears that once controlled me
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It's time to see what I can do
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No right, no wrong, no rules for me
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Postby elfetawen » Mon Sep 10, 2007 12:49 pm

"Are you expecting?"

At those words the spoon that Nainienen had just lifted from her bowl clattered back down. Miraculously no soup was splattered out of the bowl but there was a mildly impressive fountain that nearly sloshed over the rim. She wouldn't have noticed even if the soup had soaked her however, her amber eyes were wide open and staring straight at Calmacil. For a moment all she could do was stare in shock at the Earl. Suddenly she giggled. She couldn't help it. He looked so earnest and embarrassed and serious all at once.

Calmacil couldn't help but smile, convinced by her response he'd guessed correctly. "I understand perfectly, I do. I remember when my stepmother was with child - she had a terrible time..."

Nainienen realized what he must have inferred from her laughter and her smile grew. "No, no. I am sorry for laughing, I did not mean - well, I did not mean that. I was laughing at the thought of myself being with child. I am only 98 years of age and the only elven men I know are all related to me through blood. No the reason I fainted..." the memory sobered her mood and the smile faded from her face. She stared at her hands, folded together in her lap. "The man you were with at the table, the one dressed as a man of Harad, he...reminded me of another man of that land, a man who took by force what my family would have gladly given for free to one who asked."

For the second time that day her memories turned dark and she fought to keep them from overwhelming her. This time though she wasn't faced with another of Southern visage so similar to that of the men who had slaughtered her family. She drew upon the strength of her elven heritage and looked up at the Earl.

"It was just after the Great War and the armies of the lands that had allied with Sauron were returning to thier lands. I do not know if the men that attacked my family were scouts or deserters but it really does not matter now. My mother was unarmed when they killed her, my father and brother each took a man with them into death. I had been fetching water from the river and I returned too late to help them. All I could do was slay the last man as he tried to steal the food we had managed to gather for ourselves. We would have given it to them if they had only asked. We could always find more for ourselves, we knew where to look, when to hunt. The savanah held few secrets from us and yielded her bounty freely to those who knew her. If only they had asked."

Calmacil sank down and sat on the edge of the bed, his face now sober. "Nainienen, I am so terribly sorry. I know that pain, I lost my sister recently... in Harad. Forgive me..."

"There is nothing to forgive. You had nothing to do with it and there is no way for you to go back in time to undo what has happened." The smile she gave him was faint, but still a smile.

"No, no, I mean 'forgive me for thinking you were... you know..." Calmacil waved his hand in the air, "...ah, expecting." His face burned with embarrassment.

"Oh, that! Better to think of life's joys than its sorrows. I promise, if the day comes that I find someone to share my life with and I concieve, if you are still alive, I will make sure you are the first to know!" She laughed and her laughter sounded of bells and running water.

Cal felt his mood lighten in spite of himself. 'Life's joys'? He hadn't considered them for quite some time. Enlivened and honored at the Elf's consideration, he stood to his feet and gave her a low and stately bow: "Elehteliel Carnelome Elrame Nainienen, were you to honor me with such news, I would be most humbled and very, very appreciative and, if I am alive, I will personally attend his name giving, even if bent with age."

(OOC: Calmacil written by Bardhwyn)
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