The Torc Christmas Field 2012

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The Torc Christmas Field 2012

Postby PatriotBlade » Sat Dec 01, 2012 10:47 pm

Heather rode through the snowy forest. The sun was setting orange, purple, and bright pink ahead of her and her companions. For two years, she and Beryl had been unable to make this journey, but this year, they were determined to make it, and had brought along their new family members to experience it for the first time. The half elf glanced over her shoulder at the two horses that were following her. Beryl and Dori were on one, the Rohirrim brothers on the other. All four children were bundled against the cold.

The snow glittered thickly on the ground and crunched under hoof as the three horses plodded along a faint trail.

"Where are we going, again?" Dori asked.

"Some place very special. that only appears during the weeks leading up to Christmas. We used to always spend Christ mas here, but for the past two years, we couldn't make the trip."

"But how much further?" Borimod, the oldest boy asked.

Heather grinned. "It can only be found after dark, through the month of December."

The little group continued on its way, and just as Heather had said, just as the sky turned into a black, diamond encrusted ceiling, they entered the field.

The children gasped and Heather enjoyed seeing the Christmas Field through fresh eyes.

The wide open field glittered with untouched snow. The colorful tents and booths that ringed the open field were rather like a circus or Gypsy camp, both enchanting to children. And the best part... A giant, brightly decorated and lit evergreen tree rose like a tower as the musicians magically began to appear on the low stage to one side of the tree.

Heather and Beryl sang along with them.

Good King Wenceslas looked out
On the feast of Stephen
When the snow lay round about
Deep and crisp and even
Brightly shone the moon that night
Though the frost was cruel
When a poor man came in sight
Gath'ring winter fuel

"Hither, page, and stand by me
If thou know'st it, telling
Yonder peasant, who is he?
Where and what his dwelling?"
"Sire, he lives a good league hence
Underneath the mountain
Right against the forest fence
By Saint Agnes' fountain."

"Bring me flesh and bring me wine
Bring me pine logs hither
Thou and I will see him dine
When we bear him thither."
Page and monarch forth they went
Forth they went together
Through the rude wind's wild lament
And the bitter weather

"Sire, the night is darker now
And the wind blows stronger
Fails my heart, I know not how,
I can go no longer."
"Mark my footsteps, my good page
Tread thou in them boldly
Thou shalt find the winter's rage
Freeze thy blood less coldly."

In his master's steps he trod
Where the snow lay dinted
Heat was in the very sod
Which the Saint had printed
Therefore, Christian men, be sure
Wealth or rank possessing
Ye who now will bless the poor
Shall yourselves find blessing


When the song ended, Heather gathered the children and their packs. The horses disappeared into crude, but sufficient stable, and the four, awestruck kids followed heather to one of the closed up booths. It was painted green with gold trim, and the sign over the serving window read "Heather's Sweet Treats".

The half-elf tapped on the back door and it opened to her. "Leave your packs here with me and go play in the snow while I get things ready here. But you must stay within the bounds of the field, or you could get lost."

The children exchanged grins, dropped their bags and vanished, laughing, into the night.

Heather picked up the bags and hung them up on the inside of her door before closing it behind herself. Moments later, a thin curl of smoke began to rise from the chimney. A couple hours later, the shutters covering the serving window rose, revealing an array of sweets and cookies, and at least temporarily, hot chocolate, tea, and coffee. If she found her way this year, someone else would offer the hot drinks at a neighboring booth.

Now to wait and hope others chose to join her family in this special place.
Last edited by PatriotBlade on Thu Dec 06, 2012 10:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Torc Christmas Field 2012

Postby jilbo_baggins_revisited » Mon Dec 03, 2012 7:46 am

No sooner had the vast array of colorful autumn leaves dried up and fallen than the first freshly fallen snow lay in blankets of pristine white across the valley. The glistening sheets continued towards far off hills in the distance.

Winter is here. My hooves are cold!

The sun had set, yet again and the journey seemed endless. The flora was hidden beneath fluffy white pillows of frost and snow. This annoyed Mac. He was partial to sun kissed meals, not frozen dinners.

“They don’t make hoof warmers, Mac. You’ll have to pony up and pull up your big horse pants.”

Mac had been whining for miles and there was no more reasoning with him. Shire ponies tended to be a bit spoiled and irrational, although most of them did not talk.

“As for me…I find it delectably festive, indeed.”

The previous day had been completely void of color or scent but new smells began filtering through the crisp night air as the two neared their destination. Jilly’s stomach was rumbling to the delicious cadence of freshly baked bread.

Well, I’m not budging until you build a fire and defrost my dinner.

The small cart being pulled behind Mac suddenly halted with a loud squeak.

“Fine! Just shut up already, you aren’t supposed to know how to speak anyway.”

The small hobbits teeth were chattering of a sudden as she shook the snow off her peacock blue cloak and lowered the hood to reveal the tousled spillage of long scarlet, unruly curls. The thought of a warming fire did not sound like such a bad idea right about now.

Jilly checked that the kegs were still secure. It was her hope that the makeshift steamer and pressing machine would be a big hit in soothing away the cold winter blues from anyone attending the festivities upon the Christmas Field.

After starting a small campfire just off the road she put on a kettle for tea and cleared the snow from a grassy area near the fire for her lippy pony to break his fast. As Mac grumbled something resembling thanks between chomps Jilly proceeded to create her drink menu on a colorful wooden board. She would have hot rum toddies; rich hot cocoa; spiced wine and a thick stout laced with chocolate. There were several kinds of teas from near and far. But she was most looking forward to introducing the latest in hot drinks by way of a new steaming and pressing machine which could strain coffee into a very potent form of itself and make a frothy, white foam of fresh churned cream to dollop on top. It would be a grand addition to Jilly’s java hut as she desperately needed the coin.

This would be her first trip to the Christmas Field and she had no idea what to expect. Chamomile tea was probably a bad choice for she nodded off soon enough which had never been her intention. She fully expected to end her trip this night setting up her tent along with the others.
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Re: The Torc Christmas Field 2012

Postby PatriotBlade » Tue Dec 04, 2012 3:33 pm

Heather surveyed her displays. Herb-ed candy had been a staple since someone first suggested it. Fudge was a recent addition and various hard candies were scattered throughout, along with many different types of cookies, all fresh and hot from the oven. Satisfied with her booth, she wrapped her cloak around herself and set off to check on the kids.

She found them building a snow choir beside the stage. Beryl (8 or 9 years old) and Lunt (about 7) were making the large snow balls while Borimod (the oldest of the foursome at 15 or 16) lifted them onto the large snow base. Dori (14 or 15) was gathering branches for arms and any odds and ends she could find to make clothes and faces.

"Momma!" Beryl was excitedly running toward her, arms and gap-toothed smile wide, and cheeks flushed with the cold. "Look! We made snow angels, even Borimod after he said it was silly."

Heather could barely keep up with her daughter's narrative of the last couple hours.

"And the fairies are back this year! They played with us and one in particular liked Lunt and won't leave his shirt pocket! Then I said we should make a snow person. Dori liked it so much that she suggested we make a whole choir to sing with the musicians. We started building, but the bigger snowballs were too heavy, so Dori talked Borimod into helping us! You gonna come see?"

The half elf was laughing as she assured Beryl that she was coming.

Borimod was pretending that he wasn't having fun, but Heather could see the twinkle in his eyes. "Thanks for helping them, I know it's not what you'd rather be doing."

"There's nothing going on here. What else would I be wanting to do?"

"Hopefully some more interesting things will start happening later."

Dori was putting the final touches to their snow choir when the fairies descended upon them. First they began to sway to the music, then to sing along.

It's Christmas time and time for a carol
Time to sing about the little King
To feel the joy and roll out the barrel
Have ourselves a fling.

We greet a friend or welcome a stranger
Let him sing OR cheer him on his way
TO celebrate the child in the manger
Born on Christmas day

Good cheer for you and for me
With pleasure and glee to share
Oh, we're so happy to be together
On yuletide square

It looks like snow
And falls like snow
Take a moment
Take a look about and say
As snowflakes fall
Merry Christmas to one and all

Sleep well, little children, wherever you are
Tomorrow is Christmas beneath every star
Soon the snowflakes will fall, and tomorrow you’ll see
Every wish, one and all, waiting under the tree

Sleep well, little children, pleasant dreams through the night
Tomorrow is Christmas, all merry and bright
Soon you’ll hear the bells ring, time for dreams to come true
As the world waits, you dream
Merry Christmas to you!


Lunt's silent mouth was frozen in an awed grin as he chuckled deep in his throat. He looked to Heather several times to see what she thought of the magic.

She knelt beside him and drew him into a hug so she could whisper, for his ears alone, "It's the magic of this place. And it only happens around Christmas time. Enjoy it while it lasts."

He nodded emphatically to show he understood.

"Everyone come to the booth and get warmed up. You can come back out and explore some more in a little while."
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Re: The Torc Christmas Field 2012

Postby PatriotBlade » Thu Dec 06, 2012 10:46 pm

"But, Momma, why?"

Heather started counting off the reasons on her fingers. "Because you will have the better of a month to enjoy everything. Because I don't want you sledding after dark. Because you are all chilled to the bone. Shall I continue?"

"No, Momma."

"Good." The half-elf smiled at her crew of shivering architects. "Get some sleep on the cots in the back, and tomorrow after breakfast I will go with you to the sledding hill for a while."

No more complaints were raised as the kids ate toasted ham and cheese sandwiches, with a cookie chaser and drank hot chocolate till they were full and warm, and started nodding off where they sat.

Heather shooed them off to bed; the girls on one cot, the boys on the other, pulled most of her booth's shutters closed, and was about to roll up in a blanket on the floor between them when the Christmas Magic, sensing her need, provided a third cot for her. She drifted off to sleep as the band and snow choir played the last song of the night.

See amid the winter's snow,
Born for us on earth below,
See the tender Lamb appears,
Promised from eternal years.

Hail, thou ever-blessed morn!
Hail, redemption's happy dawn!
Sing through all Jerusalem,
Christ is born in Bethlehem.

Lo, within a manger lies
He who built the starry skies;
He who throned in height sublime
Sits amid the cherubim.

Hail, thou ever-blessed morn!
Hail, redemption's happy dawn!
Sing through all Jerusalem,
Christ is born in Bethlehem.

Say, ye holy shepherds, say
What your joyful news today;
Wherefore have ye left your sheep
On the lonely mountain steep?

Hail, thou ever-blessed morn!
Hail, redemption's happy dawn!
Sing through all Jerusalem,
Christ is born in Bethlehem.

"As we watched at dead of night,
Lo, we saw a wondrous light;
Angels singing peace on earth
Told us of the Savior's birth".

Hail, thou ever-blessed morn!
Hail, redemption's happy dawn!
Sing through all Jerusalem,
Christ is born in Bethlehem.

Sacred infant, all divine,
What a tender love was thine,
Thus to come from highest bliss
Down to such a world as this.

Hail, thou ever-blessed morn!
Hail, redemption's happy dawn!
Sing through all Jerusalem,
Christ is born in Bethlehem.

Teach, O teach us , Holy Child,
By Thy Face so meek and mild,
Teach us to resemble Thee,
In Thy Sweet humility!

Hail, thou ever-blessed morn!
Hail, redemption's happy dawn!
Sing through all Jerusalem,
Christ is born in Bethlehem.
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Re: The Torc Christmas Field 2012

Postby PatriotBlade » Mon Dec 10, 2012 10:54 pm

The morning dawned bright and cool. A few clouds floated through the blue sky, promising more fluffy white stuff.

After a breakfast of warm, gooey, fresh from the oven cinnamon rolls, Heather helped the younger two kids bundle up, while Dori and Borimod bundled themselves in multiple layers of clothes.

"Alright, are we ready?" Heather had also put on a couple extra layers of clothes and was tugging on her gloves. Many eager nods encouraged her to lead the way to the hill at the back edge of the field. A selection of sleds were leaning against trees at the top. "The sleds have to be returned here when you're done," she informed the kids as she selected something that looked like an oddly shaped shield. "I'll press down a couple tracks for you, then leave you to enjoy yourselves."

An hour later, she finally headed back to the booth, smiling, her cheeks and nose flushed from the cold. She changed, started some loves of herb-ed bread and a pot of stew for lunch, then settled in with a steaming cup of tea and a book, to pass the time.

Youthful laughter mingled with band and snow choir, making her smile widen. Life was good.

Here we come a-wassailing
Among the leaves so green,
Here we come a-wand'ring
So fair to be seen.
Love and joy come to you,
And to you your wassail, too,
And God bless you, and send you
A Happy New Year,
And God send you a Happy New Year.

We are not daily beggers
That beg from door to door,
But we are neighbors' children
Whom you have seen before
Love and joy come to you,
And to you your wassail, too,
And God bless you, and send you
A Happy New Year,
And God send you a Happy New Year.

Good master and good mistress,
As you sit beside the fire,
Pray think of us poor children
Who wander in the mire.
Love and joy come to you,
And to you your wassail, too,
And God bless you, and send you
A Happy New Year,
And God send you a Happy New Year

We have a little purse
Made of ratching leather skin;
We want some of your small change
To line it well within.
Love and joy come to you,
And to you your wassail, too,
And God bless you, and send you
A Happy New Year,
And God send you a Happy New Year.

Bring us out a table
And spread it with a cloth;
Bring us out a cheese,
And of your Christmas loaf.
Love and joy come to you,
And to you your wassail, too,
And God bless you, and send you
A Happy New Year,
And God send you a Happy New Year.

God bless the master of this house,
Likewise the mistress too;
And all the little children
That round the table go.
Love and joy come to you,
And to you your wassail, too,
And God bless you, and send you
A Happy New Year,
And God send you a Happy New Year.
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Re: The Torc Christmas Field 2012

Postby Hidden_Ring » Wed Dec 12, 2012 6:47 am

Orion looked down as he entered the clearing, a faint smile on his lips as he watched the sleeping form in the sling. The tiny figure had slept all through the night's ride and was just beginning to stir. Quietly, the tall Elf slid from the broad back of his horse and led him into the stables before pulling away the laden bags. He found a booth that with a large cauldron arranged to warm. The booth even came with a place for the pair to rest. Swiftly, he added the bladders of juices that filled the bulk of his luggage and then the spices. Lastly, a bottle from Imladris was added, giving the brewing wassail an extra warmth that would linger far beyond the warmth of the cup's contents.

Coming back out of the tent, the bundle in the sling was revealed to be a young child now deeply interested in the contents of her milk bladder. Orion had settled into a fur-lined seat and wrapped a woolen blanket of his charge and began to softly sing.


The Holly and the Ivy
When they are both full-grown
Of all the trees that are in the wood
The Holly bears the crown

The rising of the sun
And the running of the deer
The rounding of the shining moon
The weary worn hunter

The holly bears a blossom
White as the lily flower
And ivy bears the blackest buds
To pull him to her power

The holly bears a berry
As red as any blood
And ivy bears the greenest leaves
To wrap him in her hood

The holly bears a prickle
As sharp as any thorn
And ivy bears a clinging vine
To smother him right down

The holly bears a bark
Bitter as any gall
And ivy bears small nectar flowers
To sweeten all his fall

The holly and the ivy
When they are both full-grown
Of all the trees that are in the wood
These two shall wreathe as one
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Re: The Torc Christmas Field 2012

Postby jilbo_baggins_revisited » Wed Dec 12, 2012 9:12 am


Mac wanted to say a number of things, but she never believed him. He wanted to tell her yet again that he was no mere pony. Jilbo Baggins had laughed at him a hundred times or more whenever he tried to convince her of his plight. This naïve little hobbit had obviously never gotten on the wrong side of a wizard before.

He let it go, as he was wont to do. And went back to his grazing.

The unexpected pony supposed he should be grateful for Jilbo’s care since he was obviously unable to care for himself to some extent and it could be worse. At least Mac had not been turned into anything unnatural. He was more excited than he let on because he knew firsthand of the magic of Christmas. It was when the deed was done nearly five winters passed and hopefully it would be his undoing. There were rumors that amazing things could happen at the Christmas Field. Maybe, just maybe he would become himself again.

As he pondered his fate a flickering light began to glow off in the distance. At first Mac thought it was a falling star but he soon realized it’s flight was deliberate. It was moving closer to the makeshift campsite. It appeared to struggle as if losing life from its source of warmth but as it neared the blaze it grew stronger. Once in view he realized the magic of Christmas was beginning.

The mysterious light landed on one of Jilbo’s fiery curls leaving tiny puffs of steam as footfalls in its wake.


“Was she dreaming? Why were there were visions of fairies dancing in her head?”

The steam began to rise causing a warm, tickling sensation at the tip of her nose. Jilbo Baggins sneezed, sending the tiny fairy adrift in the air for several seconds.

~~
After regaining her equilibrium the tiny gossamer winged fairy managed to settle in the folds of the hobbits hood, very close to her ear.

Up! Up! Ye lass of tiny shield
Who wanders close to Christmas Field!
The way is fading with the light,
Ye must get moving fast this night!

The Christmas Tide will come and go
And you’ll be far from friend or foe!
The snow is falling! You’ll be lost!
Buried far beneath the frost!

With that the fairy flew back off into the night blazing a trail towards the now barely discernable snow covered road.

~~

Jilbo screeched as she was suddenly wrested from her dream. Even Mac’s well-practiced ears cringed with the sound.

“Oh my word! Mac, you’ll never believe the dream I had. We were lost and there was a fairy. I think it was warning me. How could you let me sleep like that? What were you thinking? Fool of a pony!”

Mac studied the frantic hobbit as he calmly chewed on the last remnants of available grass. He always allowed Jilbo to get things out of her system out of fear of her keeling over from extreme anxiety, as she was wont to do.

“Never in all my years have I had to deal with a more selfish pony. All you care about is food. Why can’t you just for once think of something other than yourself? Some protector you are!”

Eventually, Jilbo Baggins calmed down. Fortunately for her, Mac knew the way since as she was blathering on and on, he was paying close attention to the trail the fairy left behind.

The two were soon on their way and the hobbit’s sunny disposition returned in song.


"Three ships a’sail are gathering
As Christmas Tide rolls in and in
The sailors sing and deck their bows
Counting down the days and hours.

The bosun’s whistle blows a tune
As white sails billow ‘neath the moon…"


Mac didn't know that song so he interrupted and started one he'd heard long ago using the same tune as hers.

I saw three ships come sailing in

On Christmas Day, on Christmas Day;

I saw three ships come sailing in

On Christmas Day in the morning.
And what was in those ships all three,

On Christmas Day, on Christmas Day?

And what was in those ships all three,

On Christmas Day in the morning?



The Virgin Mary and Christ were there,

On Christmas Day, on Christmas Day;

The Virgin Mary and Christ were there,

On Christmas Day in the morning.


Pray, wither sailed those ships all three,

On Christmas Day, on Christmas Day;

Pray, wither sailed those ships all three,

On Christmas Day in the morning?



O they sailed into Bethlehem,

On Christmas Day, on Christmas Day;

O they sailed into Bethlehem,

On Christmas Day in the morning.


And all the bells on earth shall ring,

On Christmas Day, on Christmas Day;

And all the bells on earth shall ring, 

On Christmas Day in the morning.


And all the Angels in Heaven shall sing,

On Christmas Day, on Christmas Day;

And all the Angels in Heaven shall sing,

On Christmas Day in the morning.


And all the souls on earth shall sing,

On Christmas Day, on Christmas Day;

And all the souls on earth shall sing, 

On Christmas Day in the morning.


Then let us all rejoice again,

On Christmas Day, on Christmas Day;

Then let us all rejoice again, 

On Christmas Day in the morning.


As soon as the pair entered the field they knew all would be well. There truly was Christmas magic in the air. The smells were mesmerizing and the beauty of dazzling lights and decorations awash in color were breathtaking upon the stark contrast of a newly fallen snow. This place truly glistened.

Jilbo even managed to secure a hobbit friendly booth to sell her wares. The tiny ramp and lowered countertop would be a blessing. After having ineptly secured Mac in the stable she began tending to the setting up of her pressing and steaming machine. There were tantalizing smells of spiced cider and baked goods invading her senses but she set her mind to being fully open for business despite the rumbling in her stomach.

Mac wandered out of the stable and began to embark on his own sampling of goods and booths, as if it were the most natural thing for a pony to do.
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Re: The Torc Christmas Field 2012

Postby PatriotBlade » Wed Dec 12, 2012 11:29 pm

A new sound drew Heather's attention from her book. Hooves in the snow. When she looked out, the lights were coming on in another booth.

The kids had come in an hour or so earlier, their fingers and toes numb, and their faces red with the cold, but they were all laughing between the shivers. She had helped them strip off their wet play clothes, put on dry ones, and bundle up in blankets. She then fed them warm soup and bread until they fell asleep in a pile on one of the cots.

The half-elf grabbed a basket and began to quietly put together some goodies. Before she could head out to greet the new comer, another arrived, so she found a second basket.

Finally satisfied, she pulled on her boots and dark green cloak. With a basket on each arm, she stepped out into the cold and used her foot to gently push the door closed behind herself.

She grinned at the song the band was playing.

When I'm feeling blue, when I'm feeling low,
I start to think about the happiest man I know.
Now he doesn't mind the snow, he doesn't mind the rain,
But all December you will hear him at your window pane,
Singing again and again and again and again and again:

Christmas is a coming and the bells begin to ring,
The holly's in the window and the birds begin to sing.
I don't need to worry, and I don't need to fret,
And the more you give at Christmastime the more you get.
God bless you, gentlemen, God bless you!
The more you give at Christmastime the more you get.

Christmas is a coming, the egg's in the nog.
Please give a friendly man a friendly little dog.
If you haven't got a friendly dog, a friendly cat will do,
If you haven't got a friendly cat may God bless you!
God bless you, gentlemen, God bless you!
If you haven't got a friendly cat may God bless you!

Christmas is a coming, the lights are on the tree.
How about a turkey leg for poor old me?
If you haven't got a turkey leg, a turkey wing will do.
If you haven't got a turkey wing may God bless you!
God bless you, gentlemen, God bless you!
If you haven't got a turkey wing may God bless you!

Christmas is a coming, the cider's in the keg.
If I had a mug of cider I wouldn't have to beg.
If you haven't got a mug of cider, half a mug will do.
If you haven't got half a mug, may God bless you!
God bless you, gentlemen, God bless you!
If you haven't got half a mug, may God bless you!

If you haven't got a thing for me, may God bless you!


Fresh, fat flakes of ice were drifting down as she approached the first booth. The smell of wassail made her mouth water. She hadn't found very many people who could make it right.

"Hello! Welcome to the Christmas Field!" She called. A male elf was tenderly feeding a baby from a milk bladder, and when he looked up, Heather gasped. "Orion!"

*~*~*~*

Something woke Beryl and at first, she couldn't remember where she was. She crawled out from under Dori's arm and looked around. She was in her mother's sweets booth at the Christmas field... And a pony was sampling the wares!

She grabbed Heather's shawl and wrapping it around herself, rushed to tug on her boots and go out to shoo it away. "Hey! Get away! Those aren't for you!"
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Re: The Torc Christmas Field 2012

Postby Hidden_Ring » Thu Dec 13, 2012 10:49 pm

Orion looked up as he heard a voice call his name. He smiled pleasantly as he saw Heather rushing out to greet the newcomers. He tugged away the opening of the milk skin from the child in his arms and greeted her warmly, pressing a mug of hot wassail into her hands. Heather, how wonderful it is to see you again. It has been some years hasn't it? And I'm certain you are wondering, this is my daughter Carniel. I also bring greetings from old friends.

The pair started walked along the lane, towards the massive decorated pine that was the TORC tree. They stopped first by Heather's own booth, shooing away a rather round pony that decided sweets were on the menu. Orion let the little girl in his arms try trampling along in the light crunchy snow. Her gait wasn't very steady and often paused with a brief sit before standing and stepping on. Aerin and Elena both sought the Havens, but I do get word of them occasionally. And they wanted me to leave a small token for each of them on the tree. Here he reached into his vest and pulled out a pair of small baubles, each one etched with the missing Bards' names. Carefully, he added them to the branches and stepped back to admire it. Then his own small trinket was added, a small cross made of a wand and athame. The white-blond Elf lifted the girl by his feet and began to sing.

Maiden, Mother, Ancient Crone,
Queen of Heaven on your throne,
Praise we sing thee, love we bring thee,
For all that you have shown.

Oh, Moon of Silver, Sun of Gold,
Gentle Lady, Lord so bold!
Guide us ever, failing never,
Lead us in the ways of old.

Lord of Darkness, Lord of Light,
Gentle brother, King of Might,
Praise we sing thee,Love we bring thee
On this Solstice Night.

Oh, Moon of Silver, Sun of Gold,
Gentle Lady, Lord so bold!
Guide us ever, failing never,
Lead us in the ways of old.


I noticed a few other children running about. Has your brood been increasing, Lady Heather? The impish old grin is back, as the little girl in his arms squirms to get back down to play with the snow.
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Re: The Torc Christmas Field 2012

Postby PatriotBlade » Fri Dec 14, 2012 12:35 am

"Not exactly, Orion." Heather's hands were resting on Beryl's shoulders. "You remember my daughter, Beryl, of course," the little girl offered her hand in greeting, like a grown up. "We've taken up a semi-permanent residence at the Lucky Fortune Inn. Last year, Dori showed up and we took her in, and not long after that, the boys showed up. Dori was malnourished and under educated, plus she'd been abused after becoming an orphan. The boys were both grievously injured. They are all doing better now. The wounds I can't heal for them will take more time, of course, but they are all good kids and I love them."

The healer handed the second goodie basket to her daughter. "Why don't you go get Dori to help you take this the other new comer, hmm?"

"Yes, Momma!" and with that she was gone and so was Heather's cheerful veneer.

"I'm so sorry to hear that about them, Orion." She gave him a brief, friendly embrace before turning to look over all the ornaments and thinking of all the people they represented. "It makes my heart ache to think about how many souls we will never see again in Middle Earth."

After a moment or two of silent reflection, she drew herself back to the now. She crouched and with a smile, offered her hands to Carniel. "Come to me, wee one! Let me see you."

The toddler allowed herself to be swept into the arms of the green eyed lady who smelled good.

*~*~*~*

Dori and Beryl knocked softly at the open display counter when they didn't see anyone.

"Hello?" the smaller girl called.

"Not ready for customers yet!" a frazzled sounding voice yelled from inside.

"We don't want anything except to welcome you." Dori added, as she set the basket on the counter.

"See, Momma thought since you just got here and hadn't got things settled yet, that you could use some warm supper."

Before the vendor could get to the window, the girls called, "Merry Christmas!" and were skipping along the line of booths, singing along to the music that floated across the field.

Here comes Suzy Snowflake
Dressed in a snow-white gown
Tap, tap, tappin' at your windowpane
To tell you she's in town.

Here comes Suzy Snowflake
Soon you will hear her say
Come out ev'ryone and play with me
I haven't long to stay.

If you want to make a snowman
I'll help you make it, one, two, three.
If you want to take a sleigh ride
Whee! The ride's on me.

Here comes Suzy Snowflake
Look at her tumblin' down
Bringing joy to ev'ry girl and boy
Suzy's come to town.

If you want to make a snowman
I'll help you make it, one, two, three
If you want to take a sleigh ride
Whee! The ride's on me.

Here comes Suzy Snowflake
Look at her tumblin' down
Bringing joy to ev'ry girl and boy
Suzy's come to town.
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Re: The Torc Christmas Field 2012

Postby jilbo_baggins_revisited » Fri Dec 14, 2012 7:30 am

Mac was feeling bereft and forlorn after having been shooed away from all the goodies by more than one stranger. He'd hoped that with the girl child they might have offered him a bit of apple before she sent him on his way. He usually had a way with the little ones. He was tempted to speak up but feared it would terrify the lass and certainly would not want Jilbo sent packing due to his error in judgment. It was difficult to remember that he was not the man he once was. His mind screamed human but his appearance spoke otherwise. Mac made his way back to the stable where he belonged and hoped Jilbo was faring better.

A comforting Christmas lullaby came to mind and the pony was content to let it soothe him as he drifted off towards better times.


Oh, come, little children, oh, come, one and all,
To Bethlehem’s stable, in Bethlehem’s stall.
And see with rejoicing this glorious sight,
Our Father in heaven has sent us this night.

Oh, see in the manger, in hallowèd light
A star throws its beam on this holiest sight.
In clean swaddling clothes lies the heavenly Child,
More lovely than angels, this Baby so mild.

Oh, there lies the Christ Child, on hay and on straw;
The shepherds are kneeling before Him with awe.
And Mary and Joseph smile on Him with love,
While angels are singing sweet songs from above.



~~~***~~~

The frantic hobbit was puzzled as to why there were so few people here. She'd spent the morning in a whirlwind setting up shop for what she hoped would be a large crowd come to gather. She was beginning to wonder if she was even in the right place. A few children were kind enough to drop by and leave a welcome basket that had lovely offerings but they had run off before she could even thank them much less greet them. It was a curious predicament, indeed. Now Jilbo wondered if this whole unexpected journey was for naught. She decided to take a stroll which led her to the edge of a clearing and rather than interrupt a private moment she stood well back from the sight greeting her. It was very touching to watch as a handsome couple and their child carefully placed precious baubles on the glorious giant pine and it was at that precise moment Jilbo realized she was intruding here. This was a private moment between strangers she did not know in a place she did not belong. It was not the celebratory gathering she expected. It was full of Christmas spirit but it was not her home and she suddenly missed her tiny abode in the shire very much.

As she made her way quietly back to the booth, small boots crunching in the frozen snow...Jilbo could not resist the sudden urge to make a snow angel. She threw herself down in a heap and flailed her arms legs wildly. A new fallen snowflake landed on the tip of her nose but did not melt immediately. In fact it appeared to be dancing as if her nose was a stage. She crossed her eyes downward to get a better look at the chilly invader and could have sworn she saw glittery lashes blinking at her. Knowing that no two snowflakes were alike the hobbit felt rather special. This unique little flake had chosen her nose to land on of all the snowflakes in the universe. This one would be hers to remember forever. Jilly giggled and rose quickly to her feet, she had a mission and best get moving. As she retraced her footprints the band could be heard echoing off in the distance.

I'll be home for Christmas
You can count on me
Please have snow and mistletoe
And presents on the tree

Christmas Eve will find me
Where the lovelight gleams
I'll be home for Christmas
If only in my dreams

I'll be home for Christmas
You can count on me
Please have snow and mistletoe
And presents on the tree

Christmas Eve will find me
Where the lovelight gleams
I'll be home for Christmas
If only in my dreams


At the stable she found Mac sleeping peacefully. Funny how a pony could look 'almost human' when it was vulnerable.

"I've had an epiphany Mac! We need to get packing." It occurred to Jilbo the true meaning of Christmas. "We made this journey for all the wrong reasons. The true miracle of Christmas is everywhere! Don't you see? In every one of us? And there is no place like home and family...besides, I really miss the shire. We still have time to make it back if we hurry."
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Re: The Torc Christmas Field 2012

Postby PatriotBlade » Fri Dec 14, 2012 12:58 pm

"I'm sorry to intrude, but I'd hate for you to leave so soon because you didn't feel welcomed."

Jilbo looked up at a young man in his mid teens, with Rohirim gold hair, who was tending to three horses nearby.

He dusted his hands on the sides of his breeches, then offered his right one in greeting. "I'm Borimrod. The friend I came with said that the last few years here have been very quiet. Very few people come here any more, yet the magic still comes every year, faithfully, for anyone who would wish to experience it. I can guarantee that Lady Heather would have come shortly to greet you herself, it's just that the man out there is an old friend that she hasn't seen in a long time. He was telling her about some friends who have passed on. I know because I was eavesdropping." He grinned sheepishly.
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Re: The Torc Christmas Field 2012

Postby PatriotBlade » Mon Dec 17, 2012 9:57 pm

Lunt's fairy friend was still hiding inside his jacket collar. It didn't talk the way people did, but he still understood it, and it seemed to read his thoughts or maybe it understood his grunts and gestures. Lady Heather tried, and they had been working out a kind of sign language, but this was different and special.

The boy grabbed a handful of snicker-doodles and left the booth. Borimrod was looking after the horses and he hadn't seen the girls for a while, so he determined to find some fun on his own. He knew he shouldn't go sledding alone, in case he got hurt, snow angels got boring after a while, he was too little to make his own snow person, and snowball fights were no fun alone, so that left exploration. He well remembered Heather's warnings and was careful to stay within the borders of the field, besides, his friend was watching too and warned him when he got too close. So his afternoon was spent in silence, except for the crunch of his boots in the snow.

At one point he noticed the song and liked it because it was talking about him.

Sleigh bells ring, are you listening,
In the lane, snow is glistening
A beautiful sight,
We're happy tonight.
Walking in a winter wonderland.

Gone away is the bluebird,
Here to stay is a new bird
He sings a love song,
As we go along,
Walking in a winter wonderland.

In the meadow we can build a snowman,
Then pretend that he is Parson Brown

He'll say: Are you married?
We'll say: No man,
But you can do the job
When you're in town.

Later on, we'll conspire,
As we dream by the fire
To face unafraid,
The plans that we've made,
Walking in a winter wonderland.

In the meadow we can build a snowman,
And pretend that he's a circus clown
We'll have lots of fun with mister snowman,
Until the other kids knock him down.

When it snows, ain't it thrilling,
Though your nose gets a chilling
We'll frolic and play, the Eskimo way,
Walking in a winter wonderland.
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Re: The Torc Christmas Field 2012

Postby PatriotBlade » Sat Dec 22, 2012 5:31 am

After talking with Orion, Heather hunted down her brood to see they got some supper. She found them all, except Lunt. When the other three admited that they hadn't seen him since the morning, a surge of panic clutched at heather's heart, but she managed to appear calm on the outside for the kids. First, she sent the girls to Orion to ask if he'd seen the boy, while she and Borimrod took a lantern and began to study the snow around the booth until they found his tracks.

"We'll wait for the girls to get back and leave them here in case he returns on his own, then we'll follow his trail. We'll find him, Borimrod."
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Re: The Torc Christmas Field 2012

Postby Hidden_Ring » Sat Dec 22, 2012 9:42 pm

The pair, tall Elf and young toddler, worked their way along the line of stalls, half offering trinkets of some form or another of the holiday. Most of the day was whiled away with such browsing. Orion paid little attention to the stalls themselves, considering where the multitudes of guests were to be. He could recall such gatherings among the folk that one could be hard pressed to greet one and all. Now, this field set for many more was markedly quiet. Even the songs ran still. The little girl looked up and asked, "Si'en ni'?"

Very well, my heart.


Silent night, Solstice Night
All is calm, all is bright
Nature slumbers in forest and glen
Till the Springtime She wakens again
Sleeping spirits grow strong!
Sleeping spirits grow strong!

Silent Night, Solstice Night
Silver moon shine bright
Snowflakes blanket the slumbering earth
Yule fires welcome the Sun's rebirth
Hark, the Light is reborn!
Hark, the Light is reborn!<.p>

Silent Night, Solstice Night
Quiet rest till the Light
Turning every the rolling wheel
Brings the Winter to comfort and heal
Rest your spirit in peace!
Rest your spirit in peace!


His ruminations were interrupted by a squeal and Carniel breaking into a young toddler's run. Looking up to see a pair of youngish girls coming towards him and looking rather frazzled. The smallest one made to crash into legs and grinned, lifting her arms in a universal sign for 'up'. The taller white-blond figure arrived not long after and greeted the girls courteously, his eyes mostly focused on Beryl as she was at least familiar. Good evening, young misses. What errand are you upon that makes you so intent?

"Our brother, Lunt, is missing. We haven't seen him since the morning. Momma is getting really worried for him. He KNOWS he isn't to wander off."

I'm not quite the tracker that some are but I would willingly search to help your mother. If you could take charge of the little one clinging to your legs, I would be grateful. There is a fresh skin of milk for her in my tent, and she will eat nearly anything you provide as far as solid food.

And with that, he ran lightly to Heather's tent, moving as all Elves do over snow with a barest feathering of snow with each footfall. I was told one of your brood is trying to imitate the wandering Bards.
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Re: The Torc Christmas Field 2012

Postby Lithtaur16 » Sun Dec 23, 2012 4:41 pm

Wrapped in a green cloak of Rohan, Lith broke through the treeline with the soft crunch of snow beneath her feet. Anaiu followed a few paces behind, her gray-white coat sparkling with frost. She paused, head lifted high to catch on the wind the scents of people and food and pine, and she whined. Her eyes became anxious and she paced and glanced behind once then broke into a run into the field as a mass of black fur streaked by. The two hounds romped through the clearing, smelling and remembering.
They were home.
The woman followed slowly with a heavy step listening to the caroling of the children and their parents in the clear. Then she called out with a heart that hadn't heard a close friends voice in some time.

O come, O come, Emmanuel
And ransom captive Israel
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appear
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, Thou Rod of Jesse, free
Thine own from Satan's tyranny
From depths of Hell Thy people save
And give them victory o'er the grave
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, Thou Day-Spring, come and cheer
Our spirits by Thine advent here
Disperse the gloomy clouds of night
And death's dark shadows put to flight.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, Thou Key of David, come,
And open wide our heavenly home;
Make safe the way that leads on high,
And close the path to misery.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, O come, Thou Lord of might,
Who to Thy tribes, on Sinai's height,
In ancient times did'st give the Law,
In cloud, and majesty and awe.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.
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Re: The Torc Christmas Field 2012

Postby PatriotBlade » Sun Dec 23, 2012 11:56 pm

With the three girls settled in the warm booth, Heather, Orion, and Borimod set out following Lunt's footprints. They wandered around, as a little boy exploring his world is likely to do, but it was obvious that he was carefully staying within the confines of the field, as the healer had told him.

The snow was starting to fall heavier now. Through the fluttering pieces of ice lace, the large tree and it's twinkling lights gave the half elf an idea. "Borimod, run back and ask Beryl to see if the fairies will help us! The fairies loved Lunt. Maybe they can find him faster than we can."

He nodded and was gone. He returned about the same time as the first pair of fairies arrived, beckoning the big people to follow them. The fairies brought them to a large, hollow log. Heather knelt in the snow to look inside. "Lunt!" She pulled the little boy out of his hiding place and into her lap. She ran her hands up and down each arm and each leg, checked hus puulse and felt his belly under his jacket, then his forehead, then his hands. He was uninjured. He'd gotten tired and had curled up in the log to rest, but had fallen asleep. "He's caught a chill, but I don't think he's hurt."

Orion offered to carry him back and scooped the groggy child into his arms.

Borimod assisted Heather to her feet and they walked together behind the white haired elf. She slipped an arm around the young man's shoulders. "He'll be okay. I promise. Don't beat yourself up, I know you want to. The fact is, we've been lucky he hasn't done more exploring before this and you simply cannot keep your eyes on him at all times, it isn't possible."

When they got back to the booth, they found that the girls had been very industrious. The cots were clean and ready to be slept in, and Dori had started the next round of goodies, as well as the bread to go with the warmed up stew. Beryl had fed Carniel, and the toddler had fallen asleep against the girl's shoulder.

Heather thanked Orion for his help as he gently lay the little boy on one of the cots. "Would you like to stay for some supper?"

The elf politely declined, saying he needed to get his little one to bed. Heather embraced him then he claimed Carniel from Beryl and headed off to his own booth while the healer set to getting her mute charge warm again. When she hard the song the band was playing, she almost laughed.

Chestnuts roasting on an open fire,
Jack Frost nipping at your nose,
Yuletide carols being sung by a choir
And folks dressed up like Eskimos.

Everybody knows a turkey and some mistletoe
Help to make the season bright.
Tiny tots with their eyes all aglow
Will find it hard to sleep tonight.

They know that Santa's on his way -
He's loaded lots of toys and goodies on his sleigh
And ev'ry mother's child is gonna spy
To see if reindeer really know how to fly.

and so I'm offering this simple phrase
To kids from one to ninety-two
Although it's been said many times,
Many ways: "Merry Christmas to you".


By morning all was well and as Heather was making her rounds to greet and trade with the other vendors, she spotted an old friend. "Luthy! I'm so glad you could make it!"
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Re: The Torc Christmas Field 2012

Postby Hidden_Ring » Thu Dec 27, 2012 7:32 am

The search was moving swiftly and Orion was privately glad when Heather thought of asking the faeries for aid. The idea of losing the little one he cared for did nothing to settle his mind. The small sparkling creatures led them on to a hollowed log, just the kind of cozy spot a small child would curl up in to escape the falling flakes. Lunt was indeed there, nestled into a bed of dead, dry leaves. Both Heather and Orion checked the child for any sign of injury or illness. None revealed itself and the half-elf proclaimed her relief.

If you don't object, I'll carry him back. You aren't quite fit to do so at this moment, Lady. With the practice of lifting and moving sleeping infants, Orion found that picking up Lunt was hardly different. First swaddled in the Elven cloak to keep off further chill, the company made it back to the main row of booths as twilight was dying into the dark starless night of a winter snowfall. The girls has been quite conscientious, setting things in order for the successful return with warmed stew and cots heaped with woven fur blankets. His own little one was already sleeping, cradled by Beryl. Lunt was placed into a cot and left to warm with laden blankets and a couple of warmed stones placed near his feet and hands. Heather offered dinner as a way of recompense.

Nay, Lady Heather. I must be taking this little one off your hands and get her properly to bed. But I think perhaps we should have breakfast ready, for I think we might have some extra company. Gently, he collected his child and they left to their own booth, soon warmed by a crackling fire and soft singing.

The morning dawned bright and fine, with the vendors setting out wares and hoping for more guests. The noise of two hounds bounding together and playing caused Orion to look towards the entrance of the field and smiled broadly as Heather exclaimed a greeting.
Welcome Lith. So good you could come join us here. We have a fast to break, and good friends make it better yet.
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Re: The Torc Christmas Field 2012

Postby PatriotBlade » Fri Jan 04, 2013 11:17 am

The days progressed with snow activities, baking, singing, and visiting with the other vendors.

But one morning when the four youngsters woke up, it was obviously different. Large, colorful stockings were hanging from the ends of their cots, filled to overflowing with little gifts, some useful, some fun, most wrapped in colorful paper. One for each of them, with their names embroidered beautifully with tiny, perfect stitches. As they rubbed the sleep from their faces, they noticed That Heather was not in the booth, and that there were four large boxes on the counter. The paper was plain brown, but they were tied with red and green ribbons. Each gift had a name written on top. There was one for each of them.

Borimrod was about to ask what was going on, when Heather arrived. "What have you found?" she asked with a knowing grin.

"Presents!" Beryl was bouncing and laughing. "Can we open them now, Momma?"

"Of course." The half elven healer sat down in her chair and watched as the kids discovered their treasures. Each had coins, fruit, candy, and nuts in their stocking.

In addition, Dori found pretty hair ribbons, a necklace, a small sewing kit, a thin, fancy scarf and a package of lace. In her big box was a new dress, boots and apron.

Lunt's stocking had toy wooden animals and soldiers, a whistle shaped like a bird, and his box also had new clothes and a pair of boots.

Borimrod's stocking had a dagger with a finely carved bone handle in a leather sheath, a small pocket tool kit, and a package with scrap leather and rawhide cord for him to make something for himself. His box had a new pair of pants, a shirt, boots, and a leather satchel.

Beryl's stocking held a small note pad, quill, a necklace that held a small bottle of ink, scarf like Dori's, and colorful hair ribbons. In her box was a dress, apron and boots.

Once the presents had been packed away safe, breakfast was giant, gooey cinnamon rolls.

Borimrod caught Heather away from the others. "You give us too much, I can't repay you."

"Then it wouldn't be a gift. That's what Christmas is about; giving because you want to."

"But you give like that all the time."

"Because I believe that the spirit of giving that some people only seam to have at Christmas, should be shown all year around. It's not a true gift of love if you feel like you have to give it. I give what I can, when I can, and especially at Christmas. But the only gifts from me were the boxes. The fairies fill the stockings so you can never pay back gifts of magic."

A few days later, they were all wearing their new clothes and were packed up to head home. After wishing their friends farewell, Borimrod helped the girls onto their horse, offered Heather a hand as she mounted, then lifted his brother into the saddle before mounting behind him.

There was some sadness as they left, but more was the desire to go home and see to their everyday lives. As they rode away, the melting snow choir sang one last song,

Of all the money that e'er I had
I spent it in good company
And all the harm I've ever done
Alas it was to none but me
And all I've done for want of wit
To mem'ry now I can't recall
So fill to me the parting glass
Good night and joy be to you all

So fill to me the parting glass
And drink a health whate’er befalls
And gently rise and softly call
Good night and joy be to you all

Of all the comrades that e'er I had
They're sorry for my going away
And all the sweethearts that e'er I had
They'd wish me one more day to stay
But since it fell unto my lot
That I should rise and you should not
I gently rise and softly call
Good night and joy be to you all

Fill to me the parting glass
And drink a health whate’er befalls
And gently rise and softly call
Good night and joy be to you all

But since it fell unto my lot
That I should rise and you should not
I gently rise and softly call
Good night and joy be to you all

So fill to me the parting glass
And drink a health whate’er befalls
And gently rise and softly call
Good night and joy be to you all

Good night and joy be to you all.
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