Palantir of Elostirion

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

Postby Tavarila » Tue Jul 02, 2002 4:23 pm

It was a sunny day in Dol Amroth, the city beautiful and shimmering. yet Tav just kept on looking through the window at the bay, oblivious to his surroundings. His golden hair swept by his face and he absentmindedly pushed it back, his concentration still on the distant West. He longed for it because he was mostly elven, even more so than normal in Saya House. In fact, he was more human from his bond with Larindyl than by his lineage. That small human part of him, along with the larger part devoted utterly to hus lady, made him finally turn away from the window and instead upon the face of his sleeping Larindyl.<BR> In the following days, the longing became stronger and harder to resist. The focus was slightly changed however. He saw glimses of a smooth stone which had the shores of the distant West reflected in its depths. He could see the bright radiance of Valinor itself, and it pulled on his heart. He resolved to find out what this stone was and where it could be found.<BR><BR> He slowly walked over to the bed where Larindyl lay slumbering. He gently stroked her cheek until she wakened. He bent down and whispered gently <i>I am sorry milady, but I must needs depart on a noble quest to find an enigmatic stone which hast troubled mine thoughts for many a day. I must go to the library at Minas Tirith to identify what I saw and where it may perchance be found. Will you join me?</i>
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Postby larindyl » Wed Jul 03, 2002 1:40 am

Larindyl was woken gently by a small stroke on her cheek. Slowly and sleepily she opened her eyes and saw Tav standing over her. She heard him whisper "I am sorry milady, but I must needs depart on a noble quest to find an enigmatic stone which hast troubled mine thoughts for many a day. I must go to the library at Minas Tirith to identify what I saw and where it may perchance be found. Will you join me?" <BR><BR>She sat up suddenly - and the cloak of sleep fell abruptly from her. "Tav," she protested, "couldn't this wait until I was awake?" Her heart softened. "Tav of course I will come with you - but could you explain yourself please? Where are we going and what are we doing? And why?" She got up and pulled a cloak around her, and went to look at the window. "So your heart calls you west, does it? Mine also, but for a different reason." And they both knew what it was - for it had been 17 years since Andrahil had sailed out of the shining harbours of Dol Amroth, and Larindyl watched the horizon every morning for the sight of her father's ship. And she was half elven too - or so she thought, she had never known her mother, yet the stories told by her nurse spoke of an elf woman, met by her father on a long voyage. She had been the treasure brought back on that voyage, and had lived in Dol Amroth ever since.<BR><BR>And as the two of them stared out of the window, both longing for the west and the experiences it would surely hold for them, they held each other tight, for they had each other, and both were unafraid.<BR><BR>"Come," said Larindyl at last, "Let us make preparations to depart."
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Postby lalatiel » Thu Jul 04, 2002 11:34 am

((I'm just writing this because the thread is kind of... not being posted to, though the OOC seems to be doing well <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-rolleyes.gif"border=0> I'll edit this if it's not what you have in mind))<BR><BR> Anar sighed and breathed in the cool air, bearing on the breeze the tangy scent of the sea. Her auburn hair fluttered around her shoulders, and she looked back behind her. Houses stood, strong and white, behind her, and she could pinpoint the one that belonged to her dear friends, Tav and Larindyl. It was early, but Anar thought they'd be awake, and departed form her seawall to pay them a visit. Her boots clicked smarly on the wide paving-stones of beautiful Dol Amroth, and her cloak flared out behind her. All of her garments were white, or blue. Her cloak was a shade of blue like to the sky, and fastened at her throat with a silver brooch in the shape of a sailboat, it's sails billowing in the wind. Her clinging tunic was white, and her fitted trousers were the same shade of blue as her cloak. Her boots where of some white leather, and rose only to her ankles. <BR> She had reached Tav and Larindyl's door, and rapped the knocker against the door. Tav answered looking flustered, and Anar saw that they seemed to be packing their posessions.<BR> <i>Where are you going?</i> she cried. <i>You're leaving? Leaving Dol Amroth? Where?</i> And with that, the young woman broke down into tears. She had known Tav since... well, forever. He had been her brother's best friend, and had comforted her when her brother was killed. She had been at their wedding, and Larindyl was like a mother to her, although she was not much older than her. If they left, Anar's existence would be devoid of colour.
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Postby larindyl » Thu Jul 04, 2002 12:48 pm

Larindyl was in the middle of packing a small trunk to take with her - she knew she couldn't carry much, and she also knew that as a lady on the journey she was likely to be a liability, a vulnerable extra, almost a hindrance. Therefore she tried hard to pack as little as possible - she knew Tav wanted her with him, and she knew that he would never admit this to her, so she tried hard to be accomodating.<BR><BR>She heard a knock on the door and presently went to see who it was. 'Anar!' she cried, and embraced the newcomer. 'What brings you here?<BR>Then she noticed that silent tears were running down her cheeks. 'Why, Anar, whats the matter?' On hearing the reason, she suddenly came up with a plan.<BR>'Anar,' she said, 'Why not come with us? It will be nice to have some female company, you could be my companion. It is something serious to think about, you must make sure this is what you want to do. Does your heart call you west as well?' She stared into Anar's upturned face, waiting for her reply.
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Postby lalatiel » Thu Jul 04, 2002 1:21 pm

Anar's mouth fell open.<BR><i>Go- with you?</i> she asked. <i>So you are going west...</i> There was really no reason to stay... her brother had been killed five years before, her mother and her father were long gone. Larindyl and Tav were all she had left.<BR> <i>I... I will.</i> said Anar, with a tone of surprise at her decision. <i>I will go west with you. Thank you! Oh, thank you, Larindyl!</i> She hugged Larindyl and laughed. <i>When do you- when do we leave?</i> There was not much for Anar to bring with her... a few oddments, changes of clothes and the like... and her mother's jewel. It was an ice-white, shining jewel, suspended on a silver pendant, that Anar was told had come from the Lands Beyond the West. It had been giving to her grandmother's mother by a dying elf, and she had been told to pass it from generation to generation, and whoever bore the stone, no harm would come to them. And no harm had come to Anar yet... she was the sole survivor of her family.
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Postby Ashlei » Sun Jul 07, 2002 6:37 pm

<i>In Lydda, a small town a few miles from Dol Amroth, Ashlei was bored. She was always bored. Nothing exciting ever happened to her. There were enough younger children in her family to do all the work around the house twice daily. She had a few hours of chores each morning, and then nothing to do for the rest of the day. Her younger siblings amused themselves by playing with sticks they had tied together with pieces of grass. They pretended they played with cloth dolls.<BR><BR>Today, Ashlei had wandered into the forest near her house, ambling slowly through the woods until she found a small stream. She came here most days now, her feet led her to a large stone perched at the edge of the river where she could sit and dangle her feet in the running water. She stared at her reflection in the water. Her forest-green tunic was patched in several places, and fraying at the edges from years of wear. The rest of her clothes were in similar disrepair. Everything she owned was. Except for her boots and weapons. They were the only really valuable things she owned. The leather boots that were her prized possession had been custom-made for her feet five years before, when her family had actually had money. She had taken special care of them through the years, they were currently tucked away in a box back at her house. Her weapons had been a gift to her from her grandfather four years previously. They were left from his days as a soldier when he was younger. He had maintained them in pristine condition until the day he died. The sword, bow, and quiver full of arrows still hung on the wall where they had been when the sickness took him. The whole family had clustered around his bed that night, knowing he was too sick to fight off the disease. They had all expected that the weapons would be left to his son, her father, for he alone knew how to use them. The whole family had been shocked when Ashlei’s grandfather had given them to her. So shocked in fact, that her father had refused to teach her how to use them. So they hung there, unused, and, despite a layer of dust, still in fine condition.<BR><BR>Rather like her life, Ashlei reflected. Her potential hung on the wall, unused, slowly being covered with dust. Though she was not pretty, she was far from ugly, yet somehow all the local boys sensed that she was not willing to settle down and be a housewife for anyone. So they avoided her, or at the very least were careful never to show any romantic interest. So here she was, well past her twentieth birthday, childless, unmarried, and bored. She rose from her seat on the rock and slowly trudged back towards her home.</i>
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Postby Liadan » Sun Jul 07, 2002 7:17 pm

Eladrielia gazed out to the shining turquoise sea that lay before her. She breathed in deeply as the breeze caught her long brown curly hair moving it gently behind her shoulders. Her bright emerald green eyes reflecting the sunset while melting it's beauty with sadness, she thought silently to herself from the highest tower set on Dol Amroth when she herself could take sail West. For the sea flowed through her veins and her very heart beat to the sound of the crashing waves. She could feel the rush of the tides flow through the egde of her fingertips as she reached out to call to the sea.<BR><BR>"I call upon the waters edge <BR>For I am the Lady of the Sea,<BR>Traped here in a sand castle,<BR>And await the tides when I am free.<BR>Ore the sea to the Land,<BR>Whither lies in Valinor,<BR>I must venture out to sea,<BR>'Ere the land in which I was bore."<BR><BR>The Lady tore her eyes away from the most beautiful of wonders she gazed upon each day. The very heart that thurst inside her chest broke, for her soul longed to go, yet she herself was held aback. She licked her lips to subdue the unquenable thirst in which haunted her mouth each time the taste of the savory salt misted against her tongue. She turned her head away with such pain, one salted tear ran vastly down her pink cheek. She turned her heart from the sea, from Valinor, for her time to sail was not today.
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Postby larindyl » Sat Jul 13, 2002 2:40 am

Larindyl smiled at Anar. 'Of course you can come,' she said, 'For we each of us have a reason to go west...' a shadow passed over her face as she thought of her father, 'besides, I think anyone who wants to should come. Here we are, we have searched the western horizon all our lives and have been nursed in the sea's cradle. I do not doubt that we will find many others in this city who wish to join us. With Tav's permission I shall Issue a Proclamation, to say that all whose hearts truly call them west, as mine has ever done, is welcome to join our company with a loyal heart and a true mind.' Again she smiled at her friend. 'Go and gather your belongings,' she said, 'for i feel that the time to depart approaches.'
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Postby Ashlei » Tue Jul 16, 2002 10:53 am

<i>Ashlei’s house slowly came into view as she followed an overgrown trail through the trees. The house sat a little distance from the main village. It looked hastily built, though in reality it was quite sturdy. Ashlei’s father spent several days each fall filling in the holes in the walls. Ashlei shook her head as she remembered. It was backbreaking work, and, to her mind, completely pointless, as the holes reopened over the year. Far less work to simply build a new house. Yet, for some reason, her father never did.<BR><BR>As she neared the house, she heard raised voices drifting through the open back door. She slowed, and crept up to the door, standing slightly to the side so she could hear the speakers without being seen. She noted that only two voices were speaking. One was her mother, and the other voice belonged to Sara, Ashlei’s younger sister. Sara was apparently asking for a favor, for the first words Ashlei could discern was her mother’s, </i>“No, of course not! You’re only sixteen!”<BR><BR>“But, Mother, Rodan got to go last year!” <i>was Sara’s petulant response. Rodan was their 18-year-old brother.</i><BR><BR><i>Their mother was unfazed.</i> “He was seventeen the first time he went to one of those dances. You aren’t. You’re not going.”<BR><BR><i>Oh, Ashlei thought, Sara wanted to go to a dance. Ashlei knew what dances Sara was talking about. They were held once a week in someone or another’s house. All the single guys and girls went to flirt and show off how much grain alcohol they could hold. Ashlei had been to several when she was younger, at the urging of her few friends, but had always left early, sickened by the loud music, wild dancing, and the village’s version of ‘fun’ that always left them with pounding headaches the next morning. To her the whole thing was as pointless as her father doggedly patching the holes in their house.<BR><BR>Ashlei’s ears pricked up at what her sister said next.</i> “You’re just used to Ashlei. She never really wanted to go. Why do I have to suffer, just because my older sister’s a freak!?”<BR><BR><i>At this Ashlei had to interfere. She stepped around the corner into plain sight and cleared her throat. Sara, who had been facing away from the door, turned and gasped. Ashlei quickly filled the sudden silence.</i> “So, I’m a freak, am I?”<BR><BR><i>Sara turned defiant,</i> “Well, you’re certainly not normal. You’re twenty and no guy has ever expressed even the slightest interest in you. You’re just wasting your life away!”<BR><BR><i>Ashlei’s lips twitched,</i> “Well, we certainly have a very different view of what’s important. But you’re right about one thing,” <i>She looked around the room.</i> “I am wasting my life away in this village. So, I’m going to change that.” <i>She paused.</i> “I’m leaving.”<BR><BR><i>Her mother gasped,</i> “Ashlei, no…”<BR><BR><i>Ashlei cut her off.</i> “I’m bored. This life holds no excitement for me. I want to do something, see something other than just this village sometime in my life.”<BR><BR><i>Sara seemed shocked too,</i> “But where will you go?”<BR><BR>“I’ll probably head towards Dol Amroth.” <i>Ashlei shrugged,</i> “But it doesn’t really matter, as long as I’m not here.” <i>She swept the room with a derisive glance, and then stepped over to her sleeping area, grabbed a backpack used for holding things to be mended, emptied it out, and started packing several changes of clothing, all of the same forest green material. Her mother and sister watched silently as she donned a brown cloak, put on her prized leather boots, and put on the backpack.<BR><BR>When she walked over to the wall where her grandfather’s weapons hung, her mother finally gathered the courage to speak.</i> “You’re leaving now?”<BR><BR><i>Ashlei didn’t look at her mother.</i> “I might as well. I don’t belong here, I’m glad I finally realized that.” <i>With some trepidation, she reached up, dusted off the sword, and then buckled it around her waist. It thumped strangely at her side. The bow and quiver went over her shoulder as she remembered seeing her grandfather demonstrate. She went over to the cupboard, and added a large loaf of bread and a few apples to the clothes in her backpack.<BR><BR>She started for the door, and then turned, saying,</i> “I almost forgot.” <i>She reached underneath her pillow and pulled out a worn dagger. Ignoring her mother’s look of surprise, she calmly slid it into her right boot.</i> “I’ve been practicing with this. I’ve got a pretty good aim when throwing it now, and I’ll find someone who can teach me how to use the rest, so I’ll be safe.” <i>She walked over to her mother.</i> “I’ll be okay, mother, don’t worry.” <i>Her mother nodded, tears slipping down her cheeks, unable to speak. With a firm nod to Sara, Ashlei walked out the back door of her home for twenty years and strode into the forest.<BR><BR>She reached the stream fairly quickly and hesitated. This marked the edge of familiar territory. Was she sure about this? Yes, she decided, she was, and without another backwards glance, she splashed across the stream and headed out into the unknown.</i><BR><BR>---------------------------------------------------------------------<BR><BR><i>Dol Amroth was huge! Ashlei had never left Lydda before, her father had journeyed to the city once or twice a year, but had never been willing to take his daughter along. Ashlei had enjoyed the small treats he had brought back for her and her sisters, while happily imagining what the city must look like and dreaming of visiting it someday. Her dreams, however, had done nothing to prepare her for the reality of the city. The high wall surrounding it towered above her as she joined the stream of people entering through the front gate. She had luckily located the main road leading to the city after only a short journey through the forest. When the sky began to grow dark she had camped by the side of the road, thoroughly enjoying the lack of rowdy younger siblings. She had risen with the birds, and continued her trek for a little over an hour before she rounded a bend in the road and saw her first glimpse of Dol Amroth. It was nestled up close to a large body of water, that extended farther than Ashlei could see. She did not stop to gawk at the sea, however, for she was too entranced by the size of the city. It seemed inconceivable that such a large wall could exist! It glimmered brightly in the morning sun, split in the landward side by a large gate, which people continually flowed out of.<BR><BR>Ashlei passed by the watchful guards at the gates, and into the city itself. She stared around wide-eyed, attempting to absorb all the new sensations at once. The city was bustling with people. Already she had seen more than lived in her entire village! Salesmen set up booths all along the main thoroughfare, hawking their wares to those entering the city. Children dodged through the crowds, playing games with balls, sticks, and several dogs who sniffed along the ground looking for a chance scrap of food. As Ashlei gazed at the crowd around her, she realized that several of the people who jostled against her had pointed ears. They were elves! She had never seen an elf before!<BR><BR>In the midst of her amazement, a discordant image wormed it’s way into Ashlei’s head. Fear. These people all seemed afraid. She had seen more people leaving the city than entering. And those leaving were not out for walks to enjoy the countryside. There were many women with children tagging along. All of the families hauled along bundles of belongings and looked frightened. Even inside the city there were looks of fear everywhere. The streetside vendors, though they appeared unaffected by the fear, did not sell baubles and jewelry. Instead, they sold bags, cooking supplies, maps, and other items that would be useful on a long journey.<BR><BR>Ashlei was confused. She had not heard rumors of a threat. Her village was isolated enough to rarely get news, but if something was wrong wouldn’t people be fleeing</i> to <i>the city instead of away from it? Ashlei was so deep in thought, trying to make sense of what she was seeing, that she stopped watching where she was going, and ran smack into someone. She took a step back, intending to apologize, when the man she had bumped stuck out a hand, and shoved her backwards. Ashlei landed hard on her back in the street and instinctively reached for the dagger in her right boot, drawing it out swiftly, and bringing it up defensively in front of her face.<BR><BR>Her attention was arrested from scanning for the next blow by the sound of laughter. She looked upward at the man who had shoved her. He was obviously a soldier, by the uniform he wore, held a sword in his hand, ready for use, and was laughing heartily. Ashlei squinted in confusion as the man replaced his sword in his scabbard, wiped his eyes, and offered his hand to help her up. She replaced her dagger, and accepted his assistance. She took a moment to dust herself off, and rearrange the weapons that clanked around her, before staring the man straight in the face and asking,</i> “What’s so funny?”<BR><BR><i>The man shook his head.</i> “I’m sorry for knocking you down, miss. The whole army is on such high alert these days, I’m very edgy. It was just a reflex, I apologize sincerely.” <i> He bowed elegantly.<BR><BR>Ashlei raised her eyebrows.</i> “A reflex, huh? Well, it’s very finely trained. Actually, I’ve been looking for a member of Dol Amroth’s army. I need a teacher.” <i>She hadn’t really been hunting for a soldier, but meeting one had given her an idea.<BR><BR>The man looked surprised.</i> “Well, you certainly found a soldier. I’m an officer, actually. You probably wouldn’t understand ranks, but I take orders personally from the General himself. You can call me Stefan. What would you like to learn?”<BR><BR>“How to use these.” <i>Ashlei said, gesturing to her sword, bow, and quiver of arrows.</i> “My grandfather left them to me, but I don’t know how to use them. I need to learn, though, if I’m going to protect myself. I want to travel around the world, you see.”<BR><BR><i>Stefan looked thoughtful.</i> “Well, you’d definitely learn how to use them in the army. We don’t usually let females join, but we have a great need for more soldiers right now. How about I take you to see the general and let him decide.?”<BR><BR><i>Ashlei nodded.</i> “All right.”<BR><BR>“Okay, follow me.” <i>Stefan said. He turned, and started down the street. After a moment of hesitation, Ashlei followed.</i>
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Postby lalatiel » Tue Jul 16, 2002 4:05 pm

Anar nodded without a word, and left the house as quickly as she had come, boot heels clicking on the pavement, to the house she shared with no one but the wind and the rain. Her belongings fit into one case, wealthy as she was, and her mother's stone almost found a place in the lining of the case, but Anar reconsidered. No, the stone would stay with her. It hung on a silver chain that sparkled with a likeness of sun on sterling water in sunlight, moonlight and firelight, and with its' own inner glow in times of deepest darkness. A star fallen into cold waters it was, and it was going home.<BR> Anar was no elf, though she was often mistaken for one, but what elf had auburn hair and honey-gold eyes? What elf did not have leaf-shaped ears? The sea called to Anar as it did to any of the Eldar, but for a different reason... the sea would always call to the descendants of Earendil. Every night she lifted her mother's stone to her ancestor's star, and asked that the Valar of the Elves would protect her as they did the Firstborn. And her query had been granted, for the stone's inner fire was never extinguished, it glowed brighter in the darkness than it ever had before, and Anar had never been touched by the illnesses that assailed the other mortals. And that was possibly why she was mistaken for one of the Eldar, she thought as she reached Tav and Larindyl's house for the second time. The touch of the Valar was upon her shoulders.
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Postby Tavarila » Mon Aug 26, 2002 7:21 am

Tav looked at the shining gates of Dol Amroth and he smiled. He was finally home. As he walked along the streets to his house, he winced. He realized that he forgot to tell Larindyl where he was going, or even that he was going. Not to mention the person walking by him, swathed in a white cloak. He sighed. <i>I just hope there’s no broken glass</i> he muttered as they ran up the steps to the beautiful seaside house.<BR> He decided that it was better to have Lari not be told by servants that he was back, so he crept very quietly towards the door. After all, he reasoned, he wouldn’t want to wake the sleeping Larindyl. <BR> When he cautiously opened the door to their chamber, he saw her on the bed, glaring at him. He decided to open off with telling her where he had been.<BR><BR><i>Well, I decided to find some of my kinsfolk that were nearby since they might know something that would help on our quest...<BR><BR>So what did you find out?<BR><BR>Why don’t you ask her yourself?</i><BR><BR> With that the robed figure took off the hood and revealed her face. She had long dark curls and a radiant smile, reminiscent of Luthien Tinuviel of old. Lari gasped and glared at Tav. He quickly assured her that this was his sister, Arcalime. Since Lari was still glaring, she asked for a bowl of water. Tav looked at her questioningly.<BR><BR><i>So what’s the bowl for? Are you going to scry something?<BR><BR>He’s such a smart boy, isn’t he?</i> she replied to Lari.<BR><BR> She passed her hand over the water and a scene began to appear. It was of a verdant forest by a babbling stream. In the center there was a small clearing with Tav in it, being very sneaky.<BR><BR> Tav quickly explained the setting. <i> You see, my dear sister over here sometimes doesn’t appreciate the company of others, so she found a spot for herself over the years. Right before the Gilrain joins the Serni, there is a mere which reminded her of Lorien. Five hundred years ago it reminded Nimrodel of Lorien as well, but that’s beside the point. Anyway, I knew that she disappeared over there a few years ago so I thought that it would be a good place to look for her. Just my luck I found her.</i> Arca started to giggle and the picture started to become wavy. The two others looked at her meaningfully and the picture soon cleared up. <BR><BR> After Tav had walked into the center of the clearing, a lilting voice almost sang out. <BR><i>You know you can’t sneak up on me.<BR><BR>Just give me a chance, sister dear.</i><BR><BR> He heard a silvery peal of laughter behind him and whirled to face it. Of course, this was what he was meant to do, and so was tackled from behind. This quickly turned into a snuggle. She liked to snuggle. Once she had settled down a bit, he actually was able to face her.<BR><BR><i>Eru, I forgot how beautiful you were!<BR><BR>It has been awhile, hasn’t it? I tend to forget about the time though</i> she replied with a grin<BR><BR> He finally got a good look at her. Her hair was still dark brown, almost black. Her skin was very pale, and her dimples were visible. She had an impish smile on her face that was so radiant it almost glowed. Then he noticed that she was <i>still</i> hanging on, albeit not as tightly.<BR> Tav gave up. He sighed deeply and began to tell her about his dreams. During the tale, Arca actually let go and had a slightly serious expression on her face.<BR><BR><i>Umm, we can skip over the boring parts</i> whispered Tav<BR><BR><i>Ohh, so you want to scry it?</i> was the immediate reply<BR><BR> Despite all this, the scene wavered then resolved a few minutes later, with Tav just finishing his long monologue.<BR><BR><i>...And so, I went to you to find out if you’d like to come with, for amusement value or something</i> <BR><BR> She laughed gleefully and hugged him again, the glint in her eyes as bright as ever. Tav quickly had her end the scene before she saw him roll his eyes. Lari, however, was still not convinced.<BR><BR><i>That still doesn’t answer my question. What did you find out about the stone thingy?<BR><BR>Oh, that thing? It’s a Palantir, like the one at Osgiliath. Only a lot smaller. Probably one that was lost, like the one from Minas Ithil that is no more. Isn’t that right Tav?<BR><BR>Oh, yeah. I’m sure it will be a lot easier to find stuff in the libraries now that we know what it is.</i> Tav was laughing nervously.<BR><BR><i>Alright, I forgive you Tav.</i> She glares at Arca. <i> But </i>you<i> go to the guest room. We still have to have a little </i>talk.<i> So scoot along then.</i> Tav looked at Arca pleadingly as she was shooed out the door, but she just laughed. He couldn’t fathom why. Then the door closed to the chamber, and it was just Tav and Lari. He couldn’t help but cringe and silently repeat his hope about the glass.<BR>
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Postby Eruanne » Wed Aug 28, 2002 8:06 am

Just a few miles from the walls of Minas Tirith, far enough off the main road that few ever stumble across it there was a little spring fed pool surrounded by very vigorous willow trees. It was a pleasant place, restful and quiet. The elven girl at the edge of it had chosen it for its peace, true, but mainly because it offered privacy.<BR><BR>She was a tall lass and hardly slim, though her long months of walking had worn off quite a bit of the excess flesh associated with the quiet life of a scholar. Most of what was left was simply the softness bequeathed to her by her human grandmother. Her hair was long and braided, though at the moment it was nearly impossible to tell its color, due to the dust of the road that had settled on it like a coat. Her clothes were in a similar state, stained and faded by the trials of long traveling. Her name was Eruanne, and she had come a long way indeed.<BR><BR>Eruanne had set her pack on the mossy bank beside the pool and was unpacking it, trying to get down to the bottom. She *had* packed her soap, she knew she had! She'd used it before on this trip after all. Surely she hadn't left it back at that hot springs? That would have been a very stupid thing to do. And where was her towel? How did she mange to lose things even when she only had a few cubic feet of space to lose them in? Why couldn't she be as organized as Kai?<BR><BR>That last thought provoked a wince and yet another run of the internal mantra that seemed to be taking over her thoughts on this trip. 'I will not think about him. I will not. Notnotnotnotnotnotnotnotnot.' She was distracted from this pleasantly mind numbing repetition of the word 'not' by the discovery of the object of her search, a little wooden box containing two balls of herbal soap. The towel was folded neatly beneath it.<BR><BR>With a happy little squee she snatched the two objects up. The towel she tossed on a low hanging branch and the box she set on the very edge of the bank. Time for a bath. <BR><BR>Eruanne got in the water quickly, not bothering to fold her travel stained garments and barely pausing to unbraid her hair. She had been itching for the feel of water on her skin for quite a long time and she could see no reason to wait any longer. Besides, she would be coming to Minas Tirith soon and she absolutely refused to present herself at the gate so covered in white dust that it was easy to mistake her for a statue.<BR><BR>She took her time about bathing, luxuriating in the blessed coolness and delightful weightlessness that the water offered. She'd always loved to swim. Her grandfather had often teased her by saying that she was really some changeling child that became a seal when everyone's back was turned. She never failed to laugh at that.<BR><BR>Kai had found it funny too. He used to say that he was sure she'd make a lovely seal, but that he hoped she stayed elven most of the time because he didn't know how to make jewelry for a seal. Kai…She shouldn't think about Kai…but surely it wouldn't hurt too much to just think of him for a little, if she didn't think about him the rest of the day.<BR><BR>The last time she had gone swimming up in the mountains of home she'd been with Kai. They hadn't been planning on swimming, just going up to gather herbs for her and stones for him, and then have a picnic lunch. But they'd found a little pool nestled in the roots of several huge evergreens and Kai hadn't been able to resist.<BR><BR>He'd had his shirt off and himself in the water before she'd had time to say anything. She'd stared for several seconds, too stunned by his complete comfort in front of her to move. But then she laughing as she tossed her long over robe over her head and plunged in after him.<BR><BR>They'd played for hours, dunking and splashing and generally making fools of themselves. It was a lovely, lovely afternoon. But the way it ended…<BR><BR>She'd wiped the last of the water from a particularly large splash out of her eyes to find Kai staring at her. There was an odd set to his face that tugged at some part of her that she hadn't paid all that much attention to before. She'd stared back, that neglected, previously quiet part of her waiting expectantly. <BR><BR>But nothing happened. Kai blushed and looked away and so did she. They'd gotten out and followed their original plan for the day, carefully avoiding speaking of that moment in the pool. She hadn't understood at the time, though she did now.<BR><BR> She sighed and hauled herself out of the pool. She dressed and dried quickly, trying to ignore the threatening pressure of tears against her eyes. She shouldn't have thought about it. It just pulled the wounds open again.<BR><BR>…<BR><BR>The golden mid-afternoon light filtered through the high, thin windows of the reading room of the library of Minas Tirith. The scholar Belecthor, who was busy copying a rather crumbly manuscript, started at the sound of a throat being cleared behind him. He turned around, expecting to see one of the cataloguers. What he saw instead was a tall, red headed elf in a dove grey dress, her hands clasped lightly behind her back. The poor man couldn't help it. He gaped.<BR><BR>"I am sorry for disturbing you, but I wanted to ask, are you Scholar Belecthor?" He nodded absently, trying his best to place the odd accent that colored her words. She smiled. "That's good. I have been looking for you. You see, my name is Eruanne, and I have come from the east to learn something of the history of this land. I was wondering if I might help you in your work. I read very well, and I am told I have a clear, steady hand. I am willing to work hard and I am good at being quiet. Will you have me?"<BR><BR>"Of course I will!" Eruanne smiled. "On one condition."<BR><BR>"Oh." The young woman's face fell. "What?"<BR><BR>"Why, that you tell me something of the land you came from, of course!" The smile returned, a good deal stronger.<BR><BR>"I can do that. What are you working on?"<BR><BR>"Oh this? This is an account of the Great Plague of King Telemnar's reign. It's rather gruesome reading but quite interesting. See this here? It's…"<BR><BR>Eruanne bent over the ancient parchment, secretly rejoicing. Yes, this would be a good place. Perhaps here she could forget the past, at least for a little while. Perhaps here the visions would leave her at peace. She focused all her thought on her companion's lecture, deliberately submerging herself in a world long gone. No more regrets.<BR>
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Postby larindyl » Wed Aug 28, 2002 12:18 pm

The robed girl (Larindyl couldn’t call her a lady, well not quite yet anyway) passed silently from the chamber. Lari faced Tav with a stern look on her face, although her eyes had a glimmer of an amused twinkle in them.<BR><BR>'You never told me you had a sister'<BR><BR>Tav muttered something about hermits, hibernation and a glade under his breath – she couldn’t really hear him but decided to pursue the conversation.<BR><BR>'Why didn’t you, we could have invited her to the wedding.'<BR><BR>Still Tav never looked up…<BR><BR>'She really is very pretty, is it in the genes or what? I must admit I hadn’t noticed.'<BR><BR>This was too much for Tav, he looked up and his face was red, and his eyes met hers, but he realised she was laughing. She held out her hands and drew him to her, and her tone was serious now as she spoke in earnest.<BR><BR>'Dearest Tav, you must know I was worried. You’ve been so strange, so distant recently, since you had all those dreams, but I can’t bear it, I can’t bear it if you don’t share it with me, you must tell me everything, you must know that we go together now, because we share something now, and we go together to achieve it. Besides, I missed you!'<BR><BR>She laughed, after all, she wasn’t really angry all that much, the first bit had sounded all wrong and jumbled up but she hadn’t really known what to say and couldn’t say what she wanted to say right very easily, besides she didn’t really know what she meant, only she felt an overriding fear of losing him. Arca looked like a force to be reckoned with, and she didn’t dare tell Tav how threatened she felt by her presence, with her almost seductive smile and her knack of centring the attention of a room to herself. ‘What’s happening to me?’ she thought to herself, ‘I’m never usually jealous - what an ugly word! How can I be jealous of her anyway – God, she’s his sister!’ But none of this showed on her face as she drew Tav closer and rested her head on his shoulder and let him stroke her hair. He still hadn’t said anything, but she felt in the way that they were sitting that he was contented with her and with life, and he knew she’d forgiven him, after all, it wasn’t his fault that Arca was so lovely. After a few more minutes, Lari felt she ought to say something, so she said in as normal voice as she could<BR><BR>'What about your sister – will she be alright in that room, its not really ready or anything, I mean I wasn’t expecting company – she felt Tav tense as he winced at the slight attack – and I haven’t put out new sheets or a towel by the washstand or anything.'<BR><BR>‘Typical housewifery worries,’ she thought, ‘that should sound normal.’ And she felt better already, she’d given a small rebuke and her worries were out in the open, and Tav’s reply gave her a huge wave of relief.<BR><BR>'Don’t worry, my sister’s pretty resourceful and self-sufficient, she’ll cope, besides I spent the day with her and now I’m with you.'<BR><BR>Larindyl turned so she was facing him, she liked the look on his face and smiled into it. She whispered naughtily, ‘I’m glad I’m not your sister!’ just before their lips met.<BR>
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Postby Ashlei » Sun Sep 15, 2002 5:58 pm

<i>Ashlei stared down the blade of her sword. It was a plain, unadorned, wooden sword, no different from all the others the trainees used to practice with. The only remarkable thing about it was that its point was located an inch above her trainer’s throat. Ashlei took a deep breath, beginning to recover from the shock. She took a step back, raising the sword into the guard position. She took a shaky breath, and then said,</i> “I think I won.”<BR><BR><i>General Hafgar scrambled to his feet, retrieving his own sword from where it lay several feet away.</i> “That you did, despite our utter failure to teach you anything of importance.” <i>Ashlei started to wilt as he continued his criticism.</i> “You refuse to fit into the mold of a proper soldier, in a battle you would endanger everyone in your unit by your refusal to simply follow orders. You are unfit to ever serve in this army!” <i>The last few words Hafgar cut off sharply, his anger clearly showing through. Then his face softened as he spoke again.</i> “Despite that, your unorthodox fighting techniques are rather effective when you fight by yourself, and you have an amazing situational awareness. You defeated me only because I expected you to be stunned by that pillow, and was completely unprepared for your reaction.” <i>The pillow in question was hanging limply from a chain several yards away. It had been released on a direct course to Ashlei’s head when her back had been turned during the last several seconds of the fight.<BR><BR>At this, Ashlei broke out in a grin.</i> “Thank you sir. And as to the situational awareness, I am the second of nine children. I’ve been looking after the younger ones while my older brother helped our father in the field since I was 10. Keeping track of seven infants, toddlers, and small children at the same time teaches you very quickly to be aware of everything around you.”<BR><BR>“Well then,” <i>Hafgar said with a smile,</i> “I shall have to send my soldiers to help in the royal nursery, because situational awareness is the only thing I have been unable to drill into their heads. This test is designed to do exactly that, but you obviously have no need of it. However, I must stand by my original statement. You are unfit to serve in this army. The ordinary soldier must be able to behave exactly like everyone around him. You are unable to do that. If you were a man, you would most likely do well in a special unit, but as a woman, you have no hope of getting in. I’m sorry, but the army is not the place for you.”<BR><BR><i>Ashlei nodded.</i> “I understand. I know don’t conform well to molds.” <i>She smiled wryly.</i> “If I did I wouldn’t be here. I thank you for the training, you did not have to give me a chance, but now I’ll at least be able to defend myself wherever I go.”<BR><BR><i>She had turned to leave, heading for the small room she had been allotted to store her few possessions, when she heard a clamor from the other side of the training ground. She turned to look, and saw several people in brightly colored clothing entering. Behind her, Hafgar sounded amazed as he said,</i> “Why would the nobility be coming <i>here</i>?”
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Postby Tavarila » Tue Oct 22, 2002 1:42 pm

<i>"...So, why haven't we left yet?"</i> Arca asked rather petulantly. She was standing on the patio where they were all having breakfast, snacking on a piece of fruit. Tav began to pace nervously, his eyes shifting rapidly betwen Arca and Lari. <BR><BR><i>"Ummm...the road isn't exactly safe...yeah...it's no place for two women and a knight. I couldn't defend against a whole patrol of uruks...well, I'll give even odds. But still... "</i>he conceded. <BR><BR>The two ladies laughed at this, and Tav shrank back, his eyes darting wildly.<BR><i>"Silly Tav, you know you can best a few orcs, everyone knows you are one of the best knights around... "</i>Arca replied, advancing on him.<BR><BR>Lari raised her eyebrows at this. Tav, after seeing her reaction, quickly ran to the side. Arca put her hands on her hips, then burst into laughter. She ran at him, knocking him over. She then proceeded to snuggle, to Tav's growing horror. He stumbled up, but he was against the railing. There was a small cliff directly behind him. He gave Arca a kiss on the cheek and tried to disengage her arms. He eventually suceeded and walked over to Lari and gave her a kiss so she wouldn't be jealous. <BR><BR><i>"That's it, I can't take this anymore. We're leaving first thing tomorrow. And right now we're going to see if we can't find any people to help us on our journey. Come on."</i><BR><BR>They all walked through the city until they got to the training grounds. Tav went with a resolute expression on his face, his footfalls heavy. Arca on the other hand was dancing in front with a smile even more radiant than usual on her face. She was ecstatic to actually be doing something again. <BR><BR><i>Ah, Hafgar! Just the man I was looking for. We are planning on traveling to Minas Tirith to have a look at the libraries. I know they are dear now that the orc attacks are getting more common, but do you have any people you can spare?"</i> Tav drew up close and started to whisper.<BR><BR><i>Please Hafgar! I'm going crazy with all of these women here! I need to get out! Can you help?</i><BR><BR>Hafgar thought for a moment, looked over at Ashlei, and smiled. Tav groaned softly.<BR><BR><i>"Why of course I have someone to spare for such an old friend Tav! I know just the person. This pretty young lass just bested me on the training field."</i><BR><BR>Tav stormed off, grumbling about being 'surrounded by conniving women'. Arca just sighed.<BR><BR><i>We're leaving at first light tomorrow. And I'd suggest keeping away from my grumpy brother over there for a while...."</i> Her eyes twinkled brightly.<BR>
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Postby Quennith » Tue Nov 05, 2002 9:06 pm

Quenn idly drew her sword and examined it, being ever so careful not to drop it or cut herself with it as the horse drawn cart jostled its way down the road to Minas Tirith. <BR><BR>“You should be careful-you could cut someone with that!” Tallam whined, turning around to peer at her. “Someone like me!”<BR><BR><i>Not such a bad idea, little brother, </i> Quenn mused. “Or I could just shove you off the back. No, even that’s too much of a bother. You’ll fall off all by yourself. Stupid idiot, sitting on the very edge, dangling your feet off the end ‘cause it’s fun!’ ”<BR><BR>“What’s wrong with dangling feet?” Tallam muttered, turning back to stare at the road passing away several feet below his hairy bare feet. <BR><BR>“Tallam, look at that horse. That one,” she pointed at the thick, study animal that was pulling a cart behind them. “How much bigger is that than you?”<BR><BR>“I dunno, twice me, maybe.”<BR><BR>Quenn rolled her eyes. “Try closer to three times you. <i>Honestly, </i> its <i>hoof </i> is the size of your <i>head! </i>”<BR><BR>“So?”<BR><BR>Shaking her head, Quenn returned her attention to the blade. “Never mind, little brother. You never had one to begin with.”<BR><BR>In any hand but a hobbit’s, the short sword that Quenn handled would have looked ridiculous. But somehow in Quenn’s hand, it managed to look dangerous. In all actuality, the sling stuck into her tooled leather belt was the more deadly weapon. Though careful practice and sporadic experience had honed Quenn’s ability with the sword to an edge as sharp as her blade, her true ability was with that sling. Her expertise with a stone had reached almost legendary status in the East Farthing, and her name was known as far west as the respectable towns of Bywater and Hobbiton. But Quenn’s gaze was captured by her sword, the last legacy she had left from her father.<BR><BR>“Hey, hey Quenn?”<BR><BR>Except maybe for her baby brother. <BR><BR>“What, Tallam?”<BR><BR>“Why are we going to Minas Tirith again?”<BR><BR>Quenn sighed in exasperation. “The Library, you simpleton. There’s more history there than anywhere! Except maybe among the elves-but there’s no getting anything out of them.”<BR><BR>“Oh, right,” answered Tallam. He turned back around and Quenn gazed back at her sword, her thoughts drawn away to a land by river, far to the north and west. There were several moments of silence before Tallam turned around again. More silenced elapsed before he dared interrupt his sister’s thoughts. “Quenn, tell me a story.”<BR><BR>Quenn sighed again but, inwardly pleased, sheathed her sword and scrambled over to sit next to her brother. “This,” she said, testing the tone of her voice and preparing to launch into her story-telling mode, “is the story of the Battle at Fornost, against the Witch-King of Angmar . . . .”<BR><BR>By the time she was finished, they had nearly reached the city of Minas Tirith. Totally overwhelmed by the sight, the hobbits stared in awe at the magnificent city, blinking at the reflection of the rising sun as it glinted off the now rose-tinted walls. Even Tallam was stricken to silence as the passed into the first circle of the city.<BR><BR>“This is where I leave you,” cried the farmer whose cart they had been riding in.<BR><BR>“Thank you kindly for you aid,” replied Quenn, jumping down from the cart and curtsying with all the grace a hobbit girl could while in men’s attire. “It spared short legs a long walk.”<BR><BR>“Your welcome, lass, it was a right pleasure to have you, pretty stories and all,” answered the farmer, just as politely. He turned, preparing to leave.<BR><BR>“One moment, sir,” cried Quenn, holding up one short arm. Passers-by stopped to stare as this odd creature drew attention to herself. The farmer halted, waiting. “Would you be so kind as to direct me to the Library, good sir?”<BR><BR>A laughed rippled through the gathering crowd. Their guide smiled condescendingly. “It is not open for the likes of you, halfling. If that is for what you have journeyed, then it has been in vain.” With that the man turned his horses and disappeared into the crowd.<BR><BR>“But I want to learn!” Quenn cried desperately to no one. <BR><BR>“What is it that you would learn?” said a soft voice, laced heavily with some strange accent.<BR><BR>Quenn looked up to see a beautiful elf, dressed in the soft robes of a scholar. For some reason, Quenn trusted this strange, airy being, and sensed a kindered spirit.<BR><BR>“Everything,” she answered simply.
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Postby Eruanne » Wed Dec 25, 2002 12:44 pm

Eruanne loved the markets of Minas Tirith. They were always full of strange people from all over this part of the world. On her pervious trips she had met dusky skinned tribesmen from the east, and strong, stern men from the north, from Rohan. She liked to talk with them, to hear the stories of their people and their lives, and they seemed just as interested in her as she was in them.<BR><BR>Today was a particularly fine day. The sun was bright and high, streaming down in shafts beneath the booths. In the shade it was chilly, and breezy enough to make her feel almost as if she was at home again. All the merchants and traders were in lovely moods and she found many perfectly happy to haggle. <BR><BR>Haggling was a new thing for her. Her people did not haggle, but she thought it rather fun. It wasn't a thing that would fit back at home, but she liked it here, it matched the energy of these people, the playful way they conducted their lives. She was getting rather good at it.<BR><BR>A new sheaf of parchment and a little ivory seagull comb later she found herself wandering down to the gate. The comb had been tucked into her hair so it held some of it back and out of her eyes. She liked it, and she liked the robes that the younger clerks had scrounged up for her, and she liked this city, and this library, and the sun and the wind, and the whole world. For right now, she felt as if there was nothing that could make anything any less wonderful.<BR><BR>Laughter rose from over by the gate, in the open space that the farmers used to unload their crops from their wagons, which were really too large to get up the narrow side streets. Eruanne blinked, disturbed a little by the mocking quality of the sound. She made her way over to the wagon it centered around.<BR><BR>Two tiny people stood there, a boy and a girl. At first Eruanne thought they were children, because of their height, but their proportions were those of adults. She was utterly fascinated.<BR><BR>"But I want to learn!" The girl cried, her voice cracking in distress. <BR><BR>Eruanne stepped forward, sliding between the last few onlookers blocking her way. "And what would you learn?" She asked, some small part of her fascinated by the way her voice seemed to hush the entire city.<BR><BR>The girl turned to her, surprise and delight dawning across her face. Trust glowed in her warm eyes like a newly kindled fire. And there was another kind of light as well, the sort of hunger and flame that Eruanne knew intimately. “Everything.” she answered. And that decided the elf. This girl would be her first student. It was high time she took one.<BR><BR>Eruanne grinned, all the sternness in her face and stance melting away. “Then learn you shall!” She crouched down so she could look the girl in the eye. “My name is Eruanne. And yours?”<BR><BR>Th girl smiled too. “I’m Quenn. And this,” she jerked a thumb at the boy, “Is my brother, Tallam.”<BR><BR>“Pleased to meet you both. Care for lunch? I’m entitled to eat at the clerk’s mess and no one will mind if I bring a few extra mouths.”<BR><BR>“Yes, please!” Tallam piped. “I’m *so* hungry!”<BR><BR>Eruanne clapped her hands. “Lunch it is than! And afterward we’ll find you a place to stay. I’m afraid learning everything is going to take both of us quite a long time.”<BR><BR>“But that man said that I wouldn’t be allowed to use the library.” Quenn sounded nervous.<BR><BR>Eruanne blinked. “I can’t see why you wouldn’t. They’re always looking for more people who can read to catalogue and such. Part of the payment is acess to the library. ” She smiled. “Don’t worry, I’ll talk to Scholar Belecthor and tell him you’re a student of mine. He won’t mind if we use the library.”<BR><BR>“Ah.” Quenn lightened up considerably. “Let’s go get food.”<BR><BR>“This way.” Eruanne straightened and began to lead them towards to the clerk’s mess. “Do you mind if I ask something?”<BR><BR>“Ask away!”<BR><BR>“What are you?”<BR><BR>“We’re Hobbits.”<BR><BR>“Hobbits? I see. Where do you live, what are your customs? Tell me everything.”<BR><BR>Quenn laughed. “Everything would take quite a long time.<BR><BR>“We’ll have a long lunch than.” Eruanne said, and laughed too.
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Postby Quennith » Mon Mar 03, 2003 9:12 pm

Quenn decided that she liked the elf. A lot. More than just about any living person . . . being that she’d ever met. She could feel it, the beautiful elven woman had the thirst too. Only she probably was ten times as old with twenty times the knowledge that Quenn could ever hope to gather, but thinking it over, Quenn decided that was a benefit to her new student, not a hindrance.<BR><BR>Quenn realized suddenly that Tallam wasn’t walking with them anymore. “Excuse me, Lady Eruanne, but my brother appears to have strayed . . . . I’m afraid he’s not used to cities . . . . Perhaps he’s a bit too excited about them . . . .”<BR><BR>“Oh, that is perfectly understandable. Happens all the time I understand.” Eruanne’s voice itself seemed a little distracted. She shook herself and seemed to return to herself, smiling. “The Guard will return him when he’s found.”<BR><BR>Quenn stared at her nervously shuffling feet. “See, that’s just it. Tallam-see Tallam is a-well, he has this habit. It’s not a good one. In fact, I’m rather ashamed to admit this . . .”<BR><BR>“Quenn,” Eruanne said simply, though her voice seemed to contain a fiber of strength. Quenn looked up to be awed by the acceptance she saw radiating from Eruanne’s gentle eyes. She might as well know the worst . . . .<BR><BR>“Tallam steals things . . . we needed it to live, to make it here . . . but sometimes, he does it more because it’s so easy to take things from these clumsy humans. I try to explain to him that sometimes it’s wrong but-”<BR><BR>“No student of mine will go unprovided for,” Eruanne afirmed.<BR><BR>“I’m not sure that’s the problem, when it comes down to it-”<BR><BR>“Stupid kid!”<BR><BR>A loud crash and a cloud of dust erupted from a stall off to the right. Tallam tumbled out of the mess to cower behind his sister.<BR><BR>“I just thought the flutes were clever! Better than the kind they’d make at home-”<BR><BR>“Stupid tween!” Quenn shouted, and maneuvered behind her teacher. She sure hoped that Eruanne could get them out of this-the street was too choked with guards to hope for escape by fleet hobbit feet. They’d have to whether this one out.
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Postby Ashlei » Mon Mar 31, 2003 8:23 am

<i>Ashlei stared upwards at the ceiling of the arch as she passed under it. She could still barely believe how much her life had changed in just the few short months since she had left Lydda behind. When she left, she had been a naïve girl walking out into the great unknown, carting along old weapons she had no idea how to use, full of a youthful belief that somehow she would be all right. And amazingly, she was! Now, as she passed out of Dol Amroth, she was at least decently skilled with the weapons she carried, which, though still old, were at least cleaned and polished; she was much more practical in her outlook on the future, and, she hoped, at least a little less naïve.<BR><BR>Ashlei suddenly stumbled forward. While she was lost in contemplation, she had slowed her pace so that the horse she led bumped into her. She turned around and stroked the horse’s mane. </i>Easy, Michla, you’ll get to run soon.<i> She took a firmer hold on Michla’s reins and continued forward, blushing slightly when she noticed that the four she traveled with had stopped to wait for her. As the group resumed it’s progress, Ashlei wondered yet again what she had gotten herself into.<BR><BR>It had started out so simply, four members of some sort of semi-nobility (she hadn’t been in Dol Amroth long enough to figure out its political system) wanted to journey to Minas Tirith to use the library, but needed some extra protection. Ashlei had just been dismissed from the army due to her inability to fit into the proper ‘mold’ of a soldier. When asked, she had agreed to accompany the four. Simple. Unfortunately, the group dynamics were not.<BR><BR>Tav was apparently a great fighter. Ashlei was just along to not let anyone sneak up on him. He had long, blond hair, and was supposed to be an elf! If it wasn’t for his ears, Ashlei would have doubted the elf part because she’d always heard that elves were solemn and wise. Tav certainly wasn’t! He seemed to have a chip on his shoulder about not traveling with male companions, even though the others were his wife, his sister, and his good friend! He also tended to speak in rambling, disjointed sentences, as if he could not figure out exactly what he was trying to say. It could be rather confusing talking to him at times. From what Ashlei had overheard, this whole trip had started with some weird dream he had about a glass ball, something called a Palantir. The library was supposed to help them figure out where to find it.<BR><BR>Larindyl, whom Tav called Lari, was Tav’s wife. She claimed to be half-elven, but Ashlei hadn’t yet managed to get a look at her ears. She seemed like the most normal of the lot, though at times she seemed almost jealous of how much attention Tav’s sister gave to him. Larindyl seemed to have an ulterior motive for coming along, besides wanting to be with her husband. Her father, Andrahil, had sailed off into the sea 17 years ago and had never returned. Ashlei was extremely curious as to why he had left, but had so far been unable to obtain the story. Larindyl seemed to think that since Tav’s dreams involved the sea, she might be able to find her father on this journey.<BR><BR>Ashlei knew the least about Anar. She was a good friend of Larindyl and Tav, but was apparently only coming along because she didn’t want to be separated from them. Unlike the others, she acted like Ashlei thought an elf should, though she was fully human. She had auburn hair and, curiously, gold-colored eyes. She wore a beautiful white jewel on a silver chain around her neck, which she had let Ashlei see once. The jewel appeared to be a very important heirloom that had been passed down through several generations of her family.<BR><BR>Arcalime, or Arca was the strangest of the group. She had beautiful curly dark brown hair, and ears indicative of elven blood. She was Tav’s sister and, unfortunately, shared his manner of speech. She loved to snuggle with her brother, and whenever this occurred Tav looked embarrassed, Larindyl tried not to glare, Anar stood in a corner looking amused, and Ashlei settled for internally rolling her eyes and wondering why she was accompanying this dysfunctional group of people.<BR><BR>After a few minutes the quintet mounted their horses and continued down the road at an increased pace.</i>
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