Rain on Bree

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

Postby EdaintheRanger » Mon Dec 16, 2002 9:17 am

Rain, its insidious nature filled the young man’s senses, the perpetual hissing in his ears, the faint whiff of ice stung his nose, his vision limited, as he ducked his head deeper into the hood of his cloak. The cold, dank, wetness drenching his already soaked clothes, and horse, urging her onwards towards his destination. The horse’s head was bowed beneath the pressure of the weather and the toll of this day’s journey. Patting her warm damp shoulder, Edain mouthed an encouragement to her.<BR><BR>The day was drawing to a close and the night stood in the wings waiting for its call. The wind whistled in from the east, down from the Mistys and with the spite of Caradhras driving it, as if shooing the hapless ranger away from his domain. Soaked to the skin the wind cut through Edain like a knife. Head bowed like a pious man he hunched over dear Drufre and rode on, by dead reckoning rather than any actual skill.<BR><BR>The visibility was down to all but a few yards, and as the night closed in Edain started to feel Claustrophobic. Then like the stars that appear on a clear night, Edain could make out soft yellow pinpricks, flickering in the countryside. Lights! Up ahead was that soft mound called Bree Hill, and further around to the west was Bree town proper. Edain could see the homely lights of the hobbit holes of Archet, he was so close now to home. The sight gladdened his heart; all his trials and labours were worth it when he could see that the Breelanders and the Shirefolk living their lives undisturbed. Clip-clopping steadily onwards Edain meandered the way around the hill. Through the sheets of rain there was a hazed view of the stockade that surrounds the main town of Bree. The torches that lined the gate where guttering in the rain and gave off a weak, red, glow. Gratefully Edain coached his horse towards them, as if scenting a warm stable and a fresh manger Durfre picked up her pace. They approached the gate, when the rain started to falter. As Edain checked his horse, halting, the rain finally stopped. After three whole days of it, it had stopped bloody raining!<BR><BR>Edain grinned despite himself <em>“Typical!”</em> he exclaimed to no-one in particular, then dismounting gingerly he hobbled to the gate, stretching his legs. The young gateman was brusque and impolite, moaning that he had a pint waiting for him at home. Paying him no mind as he walked through the gates Edain breathed a sigh of relief. The streets were empty, as one would expect on such a night, the overhanging buildings now lit with that wan light of a gibbous moon, as the clouds drifted back to the west. Hugging his hood close Edain made towards the stables and the back door of the “Prancing Pony”. He took a short cut, not wanting to be wet through for much longer.<BR><BR>************************************************************************************<BR><BR><BR><em>“Psst! He’s coming, Chancer… sorry Englethorne’s coming!”</em> the one Breelander called back to the lady who sat on the back of a piebald nag. The other Breelanders shuffled nervously, and made darting glances at the two hulking men who stood behind her horse. The hulks shifted their weight in turn, and the gibbous moon, fleetingly revealed a faded white device on the overcoat of the one of them. Her eyes narrowed and a cruel smirk crossed her stern, pinched, features<BR><BR><em>“At last,”</em> she said quietly, then addressing the locals she commanded <em>“Jek, Yoddo, you cut him off, Lub you know what to do, look out for the watch. I’ll speak to our errant accomplice, myself.”</em><BR><BR>Turning in her saddle she addressed the hulking men who seethed behind her. <em>“If he tries anything, stop him!”</em> then as an afterthought saying <em>“Gently.”</em><BR><BR>One of the big men nodded once. They all moved into position. The Breelanders’ knuckles were white as they clutched their cudgels closely.<BR><BR>**********************************************************************************<BR><BR><BR>Tired, Edain trudged towards the ‘Pony, taking a way through the backstreets. Following the line of the stockade, he didn’t notice that it was broken. The next thing he knew he was being challenged by a shrill, chilling voice.<BR><BR><em>“Englethorne! Where’s my money?!”</em> <BR><BR>The sounds muffled by his hood, Edain threw it back, his eyes widening and his tiredness slipping away.<BR><BR><em>“Huh?!”</em> he said baffled to hear his brother’s name. <em>“Who are you?”</em> he asked as the motley crew stepped out of the shadows.<BR><BR><em>“Damnation! That’s not him, and he’s seen us. Get him before he gets away!”</em><BR><BR>The situation was evolving too quickly; Edain drew his sword as the Breelanders reached him. Batting them away with the flat of his sword, he doggedly tried to retreat the way he had come. Whacking Drufre on the right hindquarter he sent her away, there was no room to mount. He was fatigued, and fighting quick foes with a desperate edge. At some point he was clubbed about the head and swooned into a crumpled heap, thinking him done in, the vagabonds left. Edain was losing consciousness fast, and last remembered thudding into a side door of some mannish house, before passing out.
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Postby asaris » Mon Dec 16, 2002 12:46 pm

<i>Business is brisk tonight</i> thought Benoit as he sipped on his ale between songs. The cold had apparently driven many from their homes to the warmth of the Prancing Pony, and the tavern was packed to the gills with all manner of men. <i>After tonight, my purse shall be full. Perhaps I won't have to play tomorrow night, though old Barliman won't like that.</i> The hat in front of the leather-clad bard was starting to fill up with coins, and he took a moment to empty it into his pouch. Business was always better when the money hat was empty. He was not a great bard; his friend Erinhue, for example, was much better, though perhaps Agarak had something to do with that. But there were certainly much worse bards out there, and a small town like Bree rarely had any bard of note playing there. <BR><BR>Running his hand through his dark hair, the bard began to play again, this time a somewhat merrier tune than the last. Songs of love lost were really his speciality, but on a night like this, the patrons would be wanting something a bit lighter. As the first chords came out of his lute, the rain outside started to slow, then stop...
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Postby Leslie-ElfWarrior » Mon Dec 16, 2002 1:14 pm

<BR><i>It was early morning as the sun shinned through the trees. Leslie led Angel by the reigns as they neared Bree. Weeks before she was relieved to be back in Middle Earth and out of Harad. She was relieved to find that Angel hadn’t done anything while in the stables in Gondor, and was now even more relieved to be so close to Bree. Finally almost all of her tension left her as she breathed in a fresh breath of air before she felt a clap on her back which made her jump and whirl around to see her companion.</i><BR><BR>“Wooo Leslie don’t be so jumpy. We’re not in Harad anymore; there are no Tribesmen or Nomads. We’re right outside Bree. You act as if a Tribesman has just hauled you into his tent for some time alone. Calm down… Besides when am I gonna meet this Ranger you’ve been daydreaming about all this time?”<BR><BR><i>Leslie stood there a moment thinking before answering.</i> “Right the Ranger… I’m not sure when I’ll see him; he said he might visit his Inn before returning to Bree, so I don’t… Are you laughing?!”<BR><BR><i>Leslie noticed Declynn put a hand over her mouth just as a soft giggle escaped. It was kind of funny that Leslie couldn’t remember much of her past, but she could remember Edain from Mirkwood. She had gone through so much since the festival there, but still thought about him. Over the years she had cherished the memories she had of Edain, but by now he would’ve saw to his Inn, returned to Bree, and be well gone by now. Not to mention that he had probably forgotten that she even existed and who could blame him it had been so long. Leslie looked up at Declynn whom had almost doubled over with laughter, and a small smile touched the corner of her lips.</i> “Well if your laughing I think we should inform all of Middle Earth that Declynn Winters is smiling. I mean especially since it’s such a rare occasion that we see you smiling.”<BR><BR><i>Declynn immediately stood upright and lowered her hand. She frowned which got Leslie laughing at her. Then Leslie noticed the playful glint in Declynn’s crystal blue eyes just before Declynn tackled her. The two acted like children at times, and this was one of those times. After a bit of tussling, Leslie and Declynn straitened up and continued on their way to Bree. Of course neither one where done acting childish. For when Leslie looked away, Declynn stuck her tongue out at her, and while Declynn looked away Leslie stuck out her tongue as well. As they left the woods and were on the edge of Bree both had started an little argument and a few people overheard them.</i><BR><BR>“You started it…”<BR>“I did not, you did!”<BR>“Did to…”<BR>“Did not!”<BR>“Did to…”<BR>“Did not!”<BR><BR><i>Soon they entered Bree and both decided they’d quit for the time being. Leslie as always noticed the light shiver that ran over Declynn, but ignored it. Some people stopped to glare at Declynn while others pretended she didn’t exist. As always it appeared as though Declynn was not welcomed, but no one said anything against her entering Bree. Occasionally small whispers from the people could be heard…amongst the whispers they could hear the name Black Ranger of Bree in the same sentence with heartless Ice Witch. Since the years of the Plague and the finding of the cure… Thousands of men lost their lives, and an enormous amount of women had committed suicide. No one wanted to believe that a plague had broken out especially after a cure was found. Instead everybody became delusional and blamed the acts and deaths on Declynn. Since one of the first cases of the plague was found where Declynn had been, everyone believed she had done something. The stories were unclear, some claimed that she herself started the plague others believed that she just killed anyone that got in her way or was and is a minion of Mordor. Of course some of the men she had killed in the woods outside of Bree were considered great honorable men, but no one knew what those “Honorable” men were infected with, so blame went to Declynn. It also didn’t help that she was still infected with the plague the cure didn’t work on women, and since it didn’t work she along with very few others could live with it, but most couldn’t many had committed suicide to rid themselves of the evil. The glares continued as Leslie and Declynn moved along. They quickened their pace as they moved down the muddy street. Leslie leaned over as they neared Pomporo’s Magic shop.</i> <BR><BR>“Ignore them.”<BR><BR><i>Stepping up the small stairs that led to Pomporo’s Magic Shop, Leslie opened the door and let Declynn enter first, then followed. Just as Leslie entered the Magic Shop she heard the old man’s gruff voice.</i><BR><BR>“Go away! I don’t have any more love potions!” <i>Both women spotted movement behind the counter and both went up to lean down on the wooden counter top.</i><BR><BR>“I don’t need one of those… From what some men have said I’m quick beautiful, but thanks anyway.” <i>Leslie said with a smile over the counter.</i><BR><BR>“And even if you had a million of those love potions they wouldn’t help me…” <i>Declynn’s voice added. The heavy set Wizard stood up and looked from behind the counter an big grin came over his face. He still had problems moving about, due to his size. His hair or what was left of it was grey streaked with white, and still he was balding. From the smile both could tell that he had lost yet a few more teeth.</i><BR><BR>“Leslie!” <i>Pomporo came around the counter and gave a big tight hug, then turned to Declynn, and straitened as though about to scold her.</i> “You are a very lovely woman, you don’t need even one love potion. Men these days are just blind, as blind as an Orc in Sun light!” <i>Declynn smiled as she got up and hugged Pomporo.</i><BR><BR>“Come now sit, and tell everything you’ve been doing.”<BR><BR><i>For a few hours the three of them talked about all they had gone through. The mission Lord Elrond had sent them on to Khand, meeting Elora, Turin, and their friends. What they faced, and how they came back. Then someone in brown clothing charged into the Magic shop cursing as he removed his cloak.</i> <BR><BR>“Hello Drake.” <i>The three said all at once in reply to Drake’s cursing. The man turned to them before giving Declynn a hug and rubbing the top of her head messing up her hair. Drake looked older, his black hair had even more streaks of grey and silver. He looked tired, but still very feisty! After taking a quick look around at Leslie and Declynn, he just shook his head and sat down. Even more chatting came as the conversation widened and continued. Finally Pomporo pulled out his pipe and a deck of cards. The four started to play cards for quit some time, and before Leslie knew the conversation had turned to relationships.</i><BR><BR>“Leslie why not tell ’em about your ranger?” <i>Declynn’s voice interrupted, and Leslie rolled her eyes knowing the three of them they would never let her live this down. Putting a card down, Leslie sigh.</i><BR><BR>“I met a Ranger named Edain outside of Mirkwood we went to the Mid Summers Feast together, and then I was called away on the mission to Harad with Declynn.” <i>Leslie had tried to make it sound so simple, but then Declynn spoke up again.</i><BR><BR>“Oooh c’mon! Tell ‘em about him.” <BR><BR>“Ok, he’s handsome and he won me over...”<BR><BR><i>Looking up from her cards Declynn, Drake, and Pomporo were staring and frowning at her waiting for more on the story.</i><BR><BR>“Look I know you people if I told you everything you’d never let me live this down.” <i>After a pause and the stares and frowns not stopping, Leslie sighed again.</i> “Ok I was attacked by an group of Orcs in the woods of Mirkwood. This ranger came to assist me then we escaped. We searched his companions out and I decided to stay. We went to one of the posts near Mirkwood. I was watching over a girl we had found and then went to go check on this Ranger. I fell asleep in his bed chamber in a chair next to his bed. Later on that day we continued onto Mirkwood for the Festival. We stopped that night and we kind of got to know each other. I will admit we did feel a great deal for each other over that day and the next couple, but nothing you three think happened! The next day a friend of his presumed dead returned to us, and we continued onto Mirkwood. We got there and I was kind of forced to wear a gown, but it wasn’t so bad…”<BR><BR><i>Declynn, Drake, and Pomporo busted out laughing at the mention of a dress.</i><BR><BR>“You? In a dress! Now that would be a glorious sight to see!!!”<BR><BR>“Was it pink? I always thought you could impress any man if you wore pink!” <BR><BR>“No, she told me it was light blue!!!”<BR><BR><i>Suddenly telling them anything about Edain came out as a bad idea, and so Leslie got up from the table and started to leave.</i><BR><BR>“Oooh don’t leave, Leslie. I’m sure the gown was adorable… Tell us did it have ruffles?”<BR><BR><i>Leslie gave an annoyed glare at the three as she left the shop. Outside it had grown dark and rain now pounded down on the muddy streets. Even outside the Magic shop laughing could still be heard. Leslie slipped on her cloak outside. She had stopped for a minute under the roof. It had been a long time. Maybe she could search him out? No, she’d be some silly girl chasing a dream. Besides by now he had probably found another. Leslie felt a light shiver run through her as she imagined Edain with a beautiful wife, and a few children. The feeling of her heart sinking came back, and the laughter she heard coming from inside the Magic Shop did not help. So she quickly walked down the street towards the Prancing Pony. “I should’ve known better then open my mouth around those three.” Leslie thought as she moved. Finally making her way to the Inn, Leslie entered and went to the bar to order an ale.<BR><BR>**********************************************<BR><BR>The laughing didn’t stop for a good few minutes, but Declynn had heard Leslie’s tale before and could not hold back. Finally after a few moments the laughter died. The three looked at each other knowing they could not help it, but Declynn soon felt her conscience get the better of her and she stood quickly with a sigh.</i><BR><BR>“I’ll go talk to her.”<BR><BR><i>Declynn grabbed her black cloak and headed out the door. Slipping her cloak on, Declynn went into the pounding rain, and instinctively head for the pony where she knew Leslie would go. But the sudden loud angry voices made Declynn slow down as she moved and look to her left.</i><BR><BR>“C’mon lets get out of here! He’s dead!”<BR><BR><i>Declynn moved up along side the building and peek around the corner. She saw a few figures, but beneath the rain and darkness she could not see much. Waiting a few moments the figures disappeared around a corner. Declynn drew her sword and slipped around the corner carefully. Moving carefully, Declynn looked around the corner the figures had headed down. She started to press on, but hearing something being knocked over with a clang and a hard thudding sound behind her made Declynn whirl around to see someone fall. From what she could see of the man he was hurt, so she quickly sheathed her sword and went forward to assist him. The young man was unconscious, bleeding, but alive. Declynn looked down the ally that the man’s foes had left down. Then returned to helping him. She soon started to pick him up which was no easy task. She stumbled around holding the young man up and trying hard to drag him back to the Magic shop where Pomporo could help him. Finally getting him out and onto the main street and thinking the foes were long gone, Declynn called out.</i><BR><BR>“Help!”<BR><BR><BR>
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Postby Alandriel » Mon Dec 16, 2002 3:35 pm

Her little expedition had a first gone very smoothly. Although it was quite late in the year, the weather had been holding nicely and Alandriel had managed to gather many rare herbs and roots in Chetwood. The mild days had inspired her mood to the point of over-confidence and she decided to take advantage, extend her stay a little to dry and prepare her bounty before returning home. She loved forests, and was not very keen on starting her trek back too soon. Tired to the point of exhaustion after a long day of extended foraging, she had sunk gratefully into her improvised camp of soft leaves and moss hidden under the great boughs of an immense tree, only to be rudely awoken in the dead of night by cracks of thunder and pouring rain. Two days had gone by until she reached the edge of the wood and by then her mood was as miserable as the steady drizzle. She could summon her faithful steed Ethalon to make a quick dash for Bree. But knowing how much he disliked being stabled and confounded, she decided against it. It was not far now, she could see the lights of Archet slightly to the north of her, and Bree would just be some hours ahead. With a sigh, she trudged onwards. At least she had been clever enough to travel with her full gear. Thanks to her oil-cloth cape and elven cloak she was actually in not too bad a state <BR><BR>‘I wish I could say that for my herbs..’ she mused gloomily. ‘I hope they’re not all ruined’. <BR><BR>Just then, the rain subsided and the first faint stars could be glimpsed between the clearing clouds. <BR><BR>‘Finally, a better omen’ she thought and started on her way south and west, heading for Bree’s south gate. <BR><BR>The gatekeeper let her in grumpily and she made straight for the Prancing Pony. It was late, but for sure Nob could be found near the stables. She did not feel confronting Barliman Butterbur in the state she was in right now. No, much better to ask Nob to help her to her usual room on the second floor to the back of the left wing. Alandriel walked through the large stone arch into the inner courtyard of the Inn and immediately spotted the little hobbit. <BR> <BR>‘Nob, please, I am too tired right now to give my greetings to Master Butterbur’, she said softly, as she placed her hand on the shoulder of the youngster. Nob nearly jumped with surprise, not having heard her approach. But quickly his face burst into a smile as he recognized the slender woman.<BR> <BR>‘Mistress Alandriel, it’s good to see you back. With all that horrible weather of late and everything’ he spluttered gaily. ‘Don’t you worry. I’ll fetch the key presently and you can say your hello’s when you have rested a bit.’ <BR><BR>With that, he hurried away and Alandriel made her way quietly to the second floor. Nob was already there, beaming, with the key and let her in. <BR><BR>‘The company has lessened somewhat but there is a fine bard entertaining tonight. Maybe you care to join us in a little while…. Or shall I bring up some things for you?’<BR><BR>‘No, don’t trouble yourself too much, dear Nob. You’ve done quite enough already. I’ll be down shortly’.<BR><BR>Nob closed the door and Alandriel started to unpack her travelling pack. The herbs looked worse for the soaking they had received – but hopefully they could be rescued. She spread them out on a small table standing beside the window. Quickly she changed into a fresh tunic and pulled out a second pair of boots. The other ones would need a thorough clean later. Finally she wrapped herself anew in her grey cloak and pulled the hood up as was her custom. Taking the key, she locked the door again and proceeded to the common room.<BR><BR>Due to the late hour, only few patrons remained and the bard, Nob had spoken of. As she entered, he just finished a song and by his weary looks she discerned it might have been the last one for the night. <BR><BR>‘Too bad’, she sighed to herself, ‘A merry tune accompanying my dinner would have been nice’. <BR><BR>With a slight nod to the dark haired man, she approached the counter and Barliman was already winking at her. <BR><BR>‘No need to sneak in like that, mistress Alandriel, you know you’re always welcome. Nob told me you are weary. Some stew will put you right again’ and with that he put a steaming bowl full in front of her. <BR><BR>‘Thank you, Master Barliman. Indeed I am tired and hungry and accept your hospitality gratefully. Maybe we can talk later.’ <BR><BR>She took the steaming fragrant bowl over to one of the empty tables. In passing, she pulled out a silver coin from her pocket and dropped it into the hat in front of the leather clad bard. <BR><BR>‘One last song, if you please, Master Bard. I need some cheering up after some hard days.’<BR>
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Postby asaris » Mon Dec 16, 2002 4:50 pm

‘One last song, if you please, Master Bard. I need some cheering up after some hard days.’<BR><BR>Benoit smiled gently at the woman who had just come in from the cold night. It was clear from her haggard looks that she had indeed had a long journey; though the night had been long for him, he could certainly spare one more song. Especially for a silver coin. "For a woman so beautiful," he said with a gleam in his eye, "Of course." He turned to tune his lute, continuing to talk. "Just wrote this one. Hope you like it." A couple strums satisifed his bard's ear, and he began to play:<BR><BR>Two hobbits walked a pathway dark<BR>When they met a ranger stark:<BR>Help me sirs, help me please<BR>Some wizard dark has stole my knees.<BR><BR>By his height the hobbits knew<BR>that this man indeed spoke true;<BR>hobbit height he had become<BR>"But dear sir what can be done?"<BR><BR>"He lives across the meadow there<BR>in a tower not so fair<BR>there my knees in chamber dank<BR>sit alone, growing rank.<BR><BR>Bring them back to me I beg,<BR>on this offer I'll not renege:<BR>Restore you my knees to me,<BR>and ever shall I be your friend."<BR><BR>The hobbits went to fortress tall<BR>and found therein no door at all.<BR>Instead a window up fifty feet<BR>Where a maiden softly weeps.<BR><BR>"Oh hobbits save me from all harm,<BR>This wizard has stolen my arms!<BR>Bring them back to me I beg,<BR>And on my honor I'll not renege:"<BR><BR>"Restore you now my arms to me,<BR>your faithful friend I'll ever be,<BR>Always by your side I'll<BR>and never ever run away."<BR><BR>"Oh unhappy maiden fair,<BR>How can we join you there?<BR>Here there is no door you see,<BR>how then can we helpers be?"<BR><BR>"Climb my hair you hobbit pair,<BR>and enter to the tower stair.<BR>Go up top and there you'll see,<BR>maiden's arms and ranger's knees."<BR><BR>Up her hair the hobbits climbed,<BR>for arms and legs to find.<BR>Once atop they clambered in,<BR>they saw a dwarf, minus chin.<BR><BR>"Help please dear shorter kin,<BR>wizard here has stole my chin.<BR>And without chin no beard I have,<BR>All my friends now only laugh!"<BR><BR>Smiling hobbits ran on by,<BR>climbing stairs into the sky.<BR>Once atop what did they find,<BR>but an elf that's in a bind.<BR><BR>"Help me please small shirefolk<BR>My ears are gone -- it's no joke!<BR>The wizard put them in a jar;<BR>really now he's gone too far."<BR><BR>Nodding ran the hobbits past<BR>into a room with treasure vast<BR>and in the middle what did they see,<BR>but arms and chins and ears and knees.<BR><BR>Story short, they gave them help,<BR>the maiden ranger dwarf and elf<BR>body parts to all they gave<BR>for their livelihood to save.<BR><BR>So we end this story long<BR>I hope you have enjoyed this song!<BR><BR>Seeing that the lady had finished her meal, Benoit bowed and asked her, "So, what do you think?"
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Postby Erandil_Duiniant » Mon Dec 16, 2002 7:28 pm

Erandil crouched against the side wall of a small shop, gazing across the road through her sodden dark hair at the lighted windows of the Prancing Pony. She was just being silly, she told herself for the umpteenth time. It was ridiculous to stand out here in the rain when she could be warm and welcome inside. Still, she couldn't help hoping the rain would stop and she could find some relatively dry, out of the way place on the outskirts of town to spend the night. Unfortunately, the rain was not being very cooperative. On occasion, she had tried to explain to others her reluctance to enter the closed, crowded establishments that others seemed to find so welcoming, but they only shook their heads and looked confused and told her that she had been on the road by herself for too long.<BR><BR>Ever since the rain had started, she had been slowly edging her way towards the Prancing Pony, all the while vaguely hoping the rain would stop before she got there. Now she was there, and the rain was still coming down, as heedless of Erandil's wishes as ever. She had just decided that she was being stubborn and childish and begun to walk out into the street and head towards the inn when the rain began to slow down. It drizzled for a little bit, then stopped all together.<BR>The wanderer glared at the sky in exasperation and then, with a sigh, began to wring out her sopping blue cloak. It was useless, and she soon gave it up. All of her clothes, and the rest of her for that matter, were just as wet as the cloak. She was standing there, pondering what to do next, when she thought she heard a call for help coming form further down the street.<BR><BR>Erandil turned and saw a woman struggling to hold up the limp form of a man. She was obviously having a difficult time of it, and the man appeared to be seriously hurt. Forgetting both the inn and the wet, Erandil began walking hurriedly towards them.<BR><BR>"What happened? What do you need?"<BR>
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Postby Leslie-ElfWarrior » Mon Dec 16, 2002 8:33 pm

<BR><i>Leslie started to turn the cup of ale on the table in her hand. Few were left now in the Prancing Pony, but she did glance over her shoulder at the woman whom had arrived and the Bard. The Bard’s music was soothing and nice to here, but for her it seemed she was meant to be sad. Drake, Pomporo, and Declynn may consider what she told them a joke, but to her it wasn’t. Leslie looked down into her ale as though to make a wish, then looked back up at the sound of giggling. There in the far corner a man sat at a table, and in his lap and arms was a beautiful young girl. He seemed to be trying to tickle her making her giggle even more. The young man even snuck kisses to her as she giggled and squirmed. Leslie looked away and back towards her ale. She wished the Bard would keep playing and drowned out the sound of the couple’s laughter and giggles. But he had played for a while even before she had come in. So instead, Leslie picked up her ale and started to move to the opposite corner of the Inn. As she moved she reached into her cloak and pulled out a gold coin, she dropped it into the Bard’s hat as she moved passed him and towards the furthest corner.</i><BR><BR>“That was a wonderful song, Thank you for playing it.” <i>Leslie said as she had just got passed him. Getting to the furthest table the couple’s laughter could still be heard, but not as well as it could have been when she had been at the bar.</i><BR><BR>*********************************<BR><BR> "What happened? What do you need?"<BR><BR><i>Declynn turned to see a woman start to approach.</i> “Someone attacked this man in an ally. It wasn’t me, please don’t blame me, because it wasn’t me…” <i>Declynn knew that almost all Breelanders would think she had done this to the poor young man. Her reputation was not liked and neither was she, most would blame and accuse her. Biting her bottom lip, Declynn looked back at Pomporo’s Magic Shop. </i><BR><BR>“I need to get him to that shop…” <i>Declynn pointed down the street at the shop (Pomporo's Magic Shop) then almost lost her balance and almost lost hold of the young man. She also was about the same size as Leslie which for carrying someone was a bad thing. </i> "Or...maybe the Prancing pony Inn...Either one whichever ones closer, but please help me get him to one of them before I drop him..."<BR><BR><BR>
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Postby Tobias_Red-tail » Tue Dec 17, 2002 4:17 am

Alayna sat atop her mount, seeming oblivious to the wind pulling the strands of her long brown hair from the thong at the back of her head, the lengths slapping across her face and stinging her dark eyes. Finally, too irritated at the wind, the deepening gloom, and the gently falling rain whose sole purpose seemed to be to soak her through, she spurred her mount on faster, eager to reach Bree before the rain started anew, for being trapped in the night with the pouring rain was not an interesting prospect to her. Lingering outside the East Gate, waiting for the man who sat comfortably out of the rain to open the confounded gate. When he did, he began asking her an endless stream of questions, mainly on who she was, where she came from, and her business there. Finally tiring of his endless tirade, she asked him.<BR>"Are you paid to keep travelers outside the rain? Your foolish questions have begun to tire me, and I see that what my business might be is of little use to you."<BR>"It ain’t my fault mistress, I meant no offence! It’s just my job to ask questions after night has fallen."<BR>Hearing his comments, she shook her head and smiled, before throwing him a coin. <BR>"Take this as my apology for my rudeness, and my disturbing you in this weather."<BR>As she rode past him, he gave her a confused look, then returned to the comfort of his lodge to examine the coin he was given. When he held up his lantern to give him a closer look on the markings of the coin, his interest was aroused by the knowledge that it was from Gondor, and a proper gold coin at that. Smiling to himself as he tossed the coin, he returned to the comfort of his house, where he would wait until the next traveler came along.<BR><BR>She entered the inn, a place called the Prancing Pony, she noted. She removed the hood and spoke in low tones to the innkeeper, who seemed to be distracted somewhat.<BR>"Excuse me," Alayna began.<BR>"Half a minute, if you please," he vanished for a moment, then reappeared. "What might you be wanting?"<BR>"A room to myself, and stabling for my horse. In the meantime, would you tell me if a particular man named Jander lives here?"<BR>"A Mr Jander, you say? Lives on the second floor, last room. A secretive sort, doesn’t bother anybody, and never comes out of his room. Come with me mistress, I’ll take you to your room."<BR>"Thank you."<BR>They traveled in silence for the rest of the short way, and only paused for the innkeeper to show her the way to Jander’s room.<BR><BR>Once she was settled in her room, and she had assured him that she was very comfortable and required nothing. Changing out of the rain soaked traveling clothes, and putting on the dark green dress she usually wore. Once dry, she made her way to Jander’s room. No doubt he has set a few traps, and locked the door more than once, but that was hardly a deterrence. Alayna’s hands worked quickly as lock after lock after trap fell apart in her hands, then she entered the room. Jander was there, seated at a table. A mug of ale sat half-drunk, along with the remnants of a few half eaten meals. He glanced up at her, and presented her with a pouch. His speech was slurred, but she made out the words all the same.<BR>"I wondered when I would be called upon. Here are the jewels, for I have had them for a week now."<BR>"Thank you. Now get out of here, out of this building, out of Bree, for a while, at least."<BR>"Why?" Jander asked, obviously puzzled.<BR>"I’m telling you to begone, wretch.”"<BR>"That order comes from Elaith? Does he fear that I have been discovered, that hem by association, has been implicated?"<BR>"I was not sent to collect the jewels, warn you, or even scold you, fool. I was sent to kill you."<BR>"But..." He stammered<BR>"Your assumption was right, Jander. Elaith does suspect that he has been implicated in this whole affair. You know too much, and pose a threat to us all. Now run, run for your life, for if you hide, long enough, and deep enough, this matter should blow over, and you should be safe."<BR>"Have I no reward, after slaving for you and that Elaith for so long?"<BR>"A reward you shall get, and from me alone." Alayna’s lip curled in contempt, and handed him a bottle of the finest spirits that could be found in Gondor.<BR>"Many thanks then." He broke out into a silly smile, and Alayna realized that he was extremely drunk.<BR>"And take some money, and get yourself a mount."<BR>"Yes, yes." He eyed the bottle hungrily, as if he could not wait till she was gone, and he could finish the entire bottle without having to share a drop.<BR>"Leave before tomorrow’s morn, for if you remain here, I will surely have no choice but to take your life."<BR>"Sure, sure. Will you leave now?"<BR>Not bothering to answer the drunk’s question, Alayna left the room, effectively resetting all his traps as she left. Shaking her head, she entered the common room, and found a seat considerably far away from all the other patrons.<BR><BR>A bard, clad in leather was singing a song about wizards and various body parts, and there was another patron who also seemed to want to avoid the crowds seated at another part of the inn. None of the people there really caught her attention, and that included a woman seated at a considerably empty table, who was eating a bowl of stew. Deciding that after her long journey, a bowl of stew would be more than welcome, she ordered one too, but declined the offer of ale. Seeing the bard’s hat appear relatively empty, and knowing that she would receive payments for her trouble of going to this land in the middle of nowhere soon, she tossed a coin, and predictably, it fell into the hat. Another gold coin, for she carried little silver. Gold bought better information than silver or copper, and was far easier to use. Her mind wandered, bringing back to her mind the man upstairs, a fellow, who would fall dead within a month, two at most. She had used blood-thinning tonic on the man, something that would kill him conveniently and leave no trace of clear poisoning. He knew too much, and his death was unavoidable. She was the sword of Elaith, her mentor of old, and this man had failed them both, and brought them into deeper trouble. It had been thirteen years since her last adventure, and now she was thirty, a far cry from the young and brash person she was at seventeen.
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Postby Erandil_Duiniant » Tue Dec 17, 2002 5:20 am

Erandil glanced at the woman, a rather confused expression on her face. "Why would I blame you? People don't usualy go to the trouble of trying to kill someone and then decide to go dragging them through populated areas calling for help."<BR><BR>As she spoke, Erandil moved to the man's other side and took as firm a hold of him as she could without fear of doing him further harm. "The Pony's just over there," she nodded her head in the direction from which she had come. "There are probably people there who could help. I'm afraid I'm not much of a healer myself."<BR><BR>Erandil glanced at the lighted windows of the Prancing Pony. It looked as if she would be going in after all. The two of them trudged through the muddy road towards the inn, supporting the man between them. Easy to see why the other woman had been having trouble, she thought as she shifted his weigt on her shoulder.
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Postby Alandriel » Tue Dec 17, 2002 2:12 pm

The hot, fragrant and well spiced stew worked its magic and the warmth spread through her whole body, chasing away any lingering chills. ‘Nothing better than a decent meal‘, she mused lazily, ‘and the tune was not bad either. That bard, although young in years, shows promising talent, if he can truly conjure a song like this at the whim of the moment.’ <BR><BR>Other people that had entered the Inn thought him worth his money also. Two gold coins had been added to his hat. <BR><BR>‘A lot of wealth seems to be going around these days … it might be more than just payment for entertainment‘, she pondered. The lands faired well under King Elessar’s rule and many of its people were well to do. In times of relative peace, money was ever a great tool for corruption and conspiracies and Alandriel was apprehensive at best, when it was so easily spent without any apparent reason. Too many rumours of treachery had reached her ears as of late. <BR><BR>She was just finishing her dinner when the bard’s tune ended. He bowed to her and enquired as how well she liked his newest composition.<BR><BR>A small smile escaped from her still hooded face as she stood up from the hard wooden bench and the well worn table. ‘I guess, honouring a long tradition would not hurt’ she thought as she headed in his direction.<BR><BR>Aloud she said in her husky voice: ‘Well done, young master. You have lightened my mood considerably with your talents.’ Still smiling she added: ‘I believe the old customs still hold true. Is it not considered lucky to buy a bard a drink? Join me at the bar with my old friend Barliman after you have seen to your lute, if you so please’.<BR><BR>She then headed over to the bar, where Barliman was starting to clear things up for the night. ‘Not too hasty, old friend. You still have customers worthy of your ale and mead’ she teased her benefactor of many years. With his customary grin, Barliman put a glass of mulled wine in front of her. ‘Knew the minute you stepped in, that you’d be wanting some of that. Especially with this kind of weather as of late.’<BR><BR>Alandriel leaned over the counter and answered: ‘You’re a true friend as always. My heartfelt thanks, Master Barliman.’ With a whisper she added: ‘Do you still hold the things I left for safe keeping last time?’ With a conspiring smile the red faced innkeeper countered in a low voice: ‘But of course. Safely under lock and key as per your instructions. Do you want me to fetch them now?’ <BR>‘No, there will be time later, thank you’.<BR><BR>Barliman nodded his understanding and returned to his chores. The glass of mulled wine warmed her hands as she turned her attention back to the room.<BR>
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Postby Leslie-ElfWarrior » Tue Dec 17, 2002 9:16 pm

<BR>"Why would I blame you? People don't usually go to the trouble of trying to kill someone and then decide to go dragging them through populated areas calling for help."<BR><BR>“You’d be surprised what I’m blamed for.” <i>Declynn said beneath her breath as the woman came to the other side of the young man and started to support him. The pony was a lot better once inside, Declynn called out to Barliman for a room, an easily accessible room that is. Soon a crowd started around them, and Declynn started to get impatient.</i><BR><BR>“Barliman could you please hurry up with that room, please?”<BR><BR><i>The man came around the bar and pulled out a key as he ushered the two women to bring the young man with them. Already Declynn could hear whispers and questions, but ignored them. Declynn and the other woman partially dragged the young man into the room that Barliman had opened the door to. <BR><BR>At first Leslie did not notice the three enter and from where she sat could not see them that well, but when someone called for a healer, she stood up and slowly moved forward barely catching a glimpse of two women taking someone into a room she couldn’t tell who they were. She moved up next to the crowd and tried to see what was going on, then Declynn emerged from the room, and Leslie moved passed some of the crowd.</i><BR><BR>“What’s going on?”<BR><BR>“Someone’s been hurt. He needs a healer and some clean dry clothes.”<BR><BR><i>While someone said something about getting a healer, Leslie said she’d get some clean clothes.<BR><BR>Leslie left the Inn and headed down the street. Then stepping off the main street she cut down a few allies before reaching Drake’s house. At first Leslie thought no one was home yet, but after a moment she heard Drake’s grumpy voice boom inside.</i> “I’m coming, hold your horses!”<BR><BR><i>Drake yanked opened the door and Leslie didn’t waist any time.</i> “I need to borrow some clothes. A young man was injured and his clothes are soaked.”<BR><BR>“Alright! Alright! Hang on a second.” <i>Drake left the door open as he disappeared into the darkness of his home for a few moments. Then returned tossing a satchel of clothes at Leslie.</i> “Here ya go!” <BR><BR>“Ok Thanks Drake, Good night.” <i>Leslie turned and started to leave as she heard Drake mumble something and slam the wooden door shut. She couldn’t help but smiled at the elder Rangers grumpiness before heading back the way she had come. After cutting back down the allies, Leslie ended up back on the main street and entered the pony quickly.</i><BR><BR>Ok I got some of Drake’s Clothes.” <i>Leslie said as she started passed Barliman.</i><BR><BR>“You’ll have to wait a bit, for the healer. Unless your willing to try your talents.”<i>Barliman smiled as Leslie frowned.</i><BR><BR>“I’m not that good at healing or using magic yet. Besides I’ll regret it in the morning if I try it’s best to let a more professional healer assist him. But what about his wet clothes?”<BR><BR>"Oooh don't worry we got him out of those clothes and into bed. Didn't want him to catch his death, ya know. You can give him those clothes later after the healer sees to his injuries."<BR><BR>"Ok."<BR><BR><i>Leslie went and sat at the table with Declynn closest to the young man’s room to wait for a healer, but if one didn’t hurry up Leslie would try to heal him herself and all things considered that would be disastrous. The last time she had tried it she had tried to heal Elora, she had been interrupted and received a major head ache that refused to stop. She had problems balancing and even staying upright. At one point all she wanted to do was sleep. It also caused her to see things. Things she guessed where apart of her past, but once she awoke from seeing these things she couldn’t remember what she saw. She hated it and couldn’t stand it, Declynn told her to never try it again. Which suited Leslie just fine, because she didn’t want to try it again. Leslie held the bundle in her lap and waited as Declynn did with her patience quickly leaving her.</i><BR><BR><BR>
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Postby Tobias_Red-tail » Wed Dec 18, 2002 2:32 am

Alayna looked up from her bowl of stew, wondering what the commotion really was about. Seeing the woman who had appeared to avoid the crowd move purposefully in that direction, her own curiosity was aroused. She too, began to head in the general direction of the whole fuss, ignoring the warnings that had begun to go off in her head, starting with the reminder of her last adventure. As she threaded her way through the rabble to get a better look at the ensuing confusion, she caught a close-up glimpse of the woman who had made her way there. She seemed familiar somehow, like a fragment of memory. Shaking her head to clear out those thoughts, Alayna began to listen to the questions and whispers that had started in the inn, her trained hearing catching every word that could prove useful, and the emotion behind it.<BR>"Who could have done this?"<BR>"Need you ask? It’s that Declynn, that heartless Ice Witch." This was spoken with a hint of fear, Alayna noted, remembering the speaker as well, knowing that he might prove a valuable source of information later.<BR>"The Black Ranger of Bree? The one infected with the Plague but managed to survive?" Now an incredulous tone, but Alayna was intrigued. She had joined their search for the cure, for no real reason, except that maybe because her mentor, Elaith, too had contracted it, and she felt that her job would be to help find his cure.<BR><BR>She looked for a seat closer to the many ensuing conversations, and was pleased to discover a table considerably nearer to the talk.<BR>"He’s just a young man, what must he have done to get such punishment?" Curious and fearful, with a bit of sympathy, Alayna noted.<BR>"I don’t know, but it must have been bad." Another fearful voice.<BR>Musing to herself, and tuning out all remaining conversations, she began to wonder about what use this Declynn would have for killing this man, then bringing him back here to be looked after. A ruse, perhaps, for he might be already grievously wounded, too injured, to ever be healed properly, and for all she knew, a poison could be slipped into his drink while he was resting, and when he drank it, it would kill him slowly, leaving no real proof, but making it instead seem like a fatal injury. But the name Declynn, it too struck a chord inside her. Had she encountered this woman before, or even heard that name?<BR><BR>Standing up, and giving the impression of one stretching, she asked a nearby man who was craning his neck to get a better view.<BR>"Who’s this Declynn?"<BR>"She’s that one, you know, the one with the auburn hair with red highlights."<BR>"I see her. Thank you. And you might find some use for this." Kicking out a stool that no one was sitting on, and wondering if he would get her drift, she returned to her musings.<BR>The face that accompanied the auburn hair was familiar too, but like the woman she had seen earlier on, she was unable to place it. Ignoring all that, and thinking about all she had seen today, she came to the conclusion that it was very unlikely that this Declynn, who seemed so familiar, would kill this man at any rate. If it was a ruse, it was too elaborately set up for her to actually be able to tell anything. <BR><BR>Finally tiring of all the speculations and worthless chatter that went on, Alayna left the inn, and decided to take a walk in the drizzle. Not unarmed, of course, for despite that appearance, there was many places on a body that weapons could be hidden. As she entered the rain, which had begun to start in a steady stream all over again. It would be a long night, but she could wait. She, for one, was not in the mood to spend the better part of an hour attempting to reach her room. Once outside, she immediately found her way to the side of the building where she stayed at, and began to climb up. It was hardly a problem for her to reenter her room, and Alayna was soon inside, setting up a fire in the hearth, and returning to her thoughts. It wasn’t that she would be locking herself up here for the rest of the night, more like she would prefer to stay here until the pandemonium below had died down. Not that it would be difficult to know when, she noted with a wry smile, for it was more than likely that the entire inn would seem far quieter than now. She would estimate an hour, before the people remembered that it was time for them to return home. In the meantime, she supposed that to look through her case of poisons would be the most fascinating thing she was likely to do until the uproar ended. Then she could return below, and attempt to figure out how all those people seemed like a memory. And to find out what exactly happened, she reminded herself.
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Postby EdaintheRanger » Wed Dec 18, 2002 11:28 am

With the warmth from the fire and the soft sheets, Edain eased into a stage closer to conciousness. He stirred slightly, before emitting a low moan, his head was one big hurt, and he couldn't see anything.<BR><BR>A icy jolt of fear shot through him, as the rest of his senses returned. The thought that he might be blind surged through him. The rest of his body might have been screaming with pain and he felt very tender, but his eyes mattered the most. He couldn't open his eyes, and he didn't want to move to try. The wound on his forehead had bled freely in the skirmish and the blood had gummed his eyes shut. But in his current state he couldn't think of that. So he lay still for a while listening to the fire crackling and the hiss and spit of the water landing on the grate as it dripped down the chimney.<BR><BR>Then he felt a hand on his forehead, a cool soft hand. A damp cloth was bathing away the gore around his face. Gingerly he opened first one eye, then the other.
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Postby Muccamukk » Thu Dec 19, 2002 8:34 pm

"I hate the North!" Amuk ket Quamor stated with a passion. The knowledge that there was no one present to hear his lament did not for a moment hinder him. "It is cold! It is wet! The food is bad and the people unfriendly!" he continued, voice low and dark. "I have not seen the sun once in the last week! I have not heard my own tongue spoken once in the last month! I have not been warm once in the last year!" Now his voice rose to a higher note. "I want to go home!"<BR><BR>The fire snapped in response. He edged closer to it, risking the blankets that he huddled in. He glanced about his room in search of more warm layers, but didn't see any. He already wore most of them.<BR><BR>He briefly considered visiting the common room, where the many bodies would create heat. There had been a bard there earlier, and though his songs were strange, the man of Harad found them somehow comforting. Still, he had the distinct impression that he was not welcome amongst the Breelanders. There was more than one kind of cold.<BR><BR>So Amuk huddled, alone in his room, dreaming of home. Home: A land of beauty and terror, the only elements being sand and sky. The sand ever changing, every day it took a new pattern, a new colour, a new death. Dunes that stretched further then the eye could ever hope to see, swirling and dancing under the constant blue dome of the sky. A blue that was so intense that it seemed surreal. Between sand and sky there stood but one thing: the Trade City of Esht, rising like a flame. Towers of red stone seemed to hold up the sky. People came there from all corners of the earth, for it sat on a crossroads and fed on a desert spring. Trade routes followed the compass points. To the North rose unseen mountains, their roots filled with gems and gold. A great ocean, wide without hope of crossing, lay to the East. South stretched country after country, abundant with so many peoples that it would take ten lifetimes to count them all. And West the road led to the Dark Lands and beyond to the true West, over a thousand leagues distant.<BR><BR>He had set out from there over three years ago, a mere lad of twenty-one, family biding him a fond farewell, their youngest son setting out on a voyage of discovery. He had promised new discoveries that would bring honour to his name.<BR><BR>He had been a member of the first trading caravan between Esht and the Lands of the West. After journeying for many months through the lands of Harad, skirting the darkness that still lingered over Mordor and crossing the largest river that he had ever seen, they arrived in Minas Tirith. Not a bad city really, a bit chilly, but not bad. The people were of the silent sort but not unfriendly. Well actually, many of them <i>were</i> unfriendly, but they could be avoided. His party had King Elessar's blessing, so for the most part they were left alone.<BR><BR>Then Amuk had had the brilliant idea that the North might be rich with treasures unknown to the Haradrim. In fact, he had actually <i>volunteered</i> to scout them out.<BR><BR>His life had gone down hill rather quickly after that.<BR><BR>A timid knock interrupted his shivering bad humour. "Come in!" he called, not wanting to leave the warmth near the fire.<BR><BR>The door opened and a boy cautiously poked his head in. Amuk recognized him as one of the innkeeper's staff and thought that his name was Hob.<BR><BR>Hob stared openly at the man of Harad's roan skin, narrow, fine-boned features, and long black hair (its single bread reaching the small of his back). Even though he had seen the stranger before, the Breelander still seemed to find him both fascinating and terrifying.<BR><BR>After a long moment, Amuk broke the silence with: "Can I be of help?"<BR><BR>The boy jumped slightly. "Y-yes, Master South… I mean Master Amuk, sir!" he said. He stammered at first, but seemed to gain confidence when he wasn't immediately killed and eaten. "There's a man as needs a healer. The Master thought that with your herbs and all, you might know something of the art."<BR><BR>"I do have some skill," Amuk admitted; "though I am not renowned healer." He felt entirely unenthusiastic at the prospect of leaving even his room, let alone the inn. When it had started raining, he had holed up in the Pony and pledged not to leave until it stopped. "Where is this man?" he asked<BR><BR>"Just here, sir," Hob answered, gesturing down and to the left; "in a chamber by the common room." He seemed eager to be on his way.<BR><BR>The man of Harad heaved a heavy sigh, but rose to his feet nonetheless. Leaving his blankets in the chair, he pulled his heavy brown cloak more tightly about himself. After retrieving his bag from under the bed he asked: "Do you not have your own healer in this village?"<BR><BR>"Yes, sir, but she is out on a farm near on four leagues away." The boy was already halfway along the hall to the stairs by the time he answered, the other man almost running to keep up. "Mrs Holewall's taken deathly ill. Ah," he added, as the arrived before a closed door, "Here we are, sir."<BR><BR>A small crowd of the curious gathered around the door, but they quickly parted to make way for Amuk and his guide.<BR><BR>The healer sighed again and advanced into the room.
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Postby asaris » Thu Dec 19, 2002 8:58 pm

Benoit, though it didn't show, was somewhat worried about the man he had seen dragged in. But as he put away his lute, he saw the Southron come in, and noted the way Nob led him up the stairs, and the bags of herbs around his belt, and so thought <i>Let the southron take care of him. I'm sure he's a better healer than I.</i> And, glancing over at Alandriel, Benoit added <i>I have better things to do, anyway</i>.<BR><BR>So, having finished his playing, he decided to take the red-head up on her offer as he oiled the lute and put it back in its case. <i>She's not bad looking</i>, he thought, <i>and it </i>is<i> a cold night, after all.</i> He walked over and ordered a pint, sitting down next to Alandriel. "It is a pleasure, dear...I'm sorry, I didn't catch your name?" His mouth twitched upward in a charming, yet somewhat wistful smile. "They call me Benoit."
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Postby Leslie-ElfWarrior » Thu Dec 19, 2002 10:47 pm

<BR><i>The tea was hot yet cool and refreshing in taste, and it served to relax both women considerably. Once again Leslie noticed Declynn glance at the door leading to the young man’s room. She could tell her friend was worried about being blamed for the man’s injuries and some of the Breelanders made no pains to hide whom they thought responsible for the young man’s injuries. Leslie sighed it was their first day back in Bree and already the Breelanders had found something to pin on Declynn. She gave a faint smile when her friend looked up at her, but it didn’t seem to help. Declynn had taken to staring at her drink and turning it in her hands. That way she could occupy her mind with something else other then some of the glares that some of the people around gave.</i><BR><BR>“Declynn cheer up, once this man wakes up. I’m sure he’ll say it wasn’t you that attacked him… You’ll be cleared of any wrong doing.”<BR><BR><i>Declynn stopped turning her cup, and looked up at Leslie with a doubtful look on her face. Even ‘if’ the man claimed she had not done it that would hardly change the minds of the Breelanders. Leslie went back to sipping her tea when she heard the shuffling of feet as the group parted and made way for the healer, but when Leslie looked up she immediately felt like she was in Harad again, which terrified her. She looked back at Declynn whom looked just as jumpy as she. Both turned back to their drinks as the man entered the room. Leslie felt a shiver run through her as she mumbled beneath her breath.</i> “I just got out of Harad and now a man from Harad is here… My luck must be that of the worst kind.”<BR><BR><i>Leslie of course meant no bad intent on the man whom had entered the room, but over the passed couple of years in Harad. She and Declynn had been dragged into a real problem, kidnapped by Khandese, and forgot count of how many times she, Declynn, and Elora came so close to being forced to “please” Tribesmen, Nomads and many others. It had come to be one of the most terrifying experiences of her life. She was either worried about herself ending up in a man’s bed, Declynn ending up in a man’s bed, Elora ending up in a man’s bed, living through the day or night depending on the occasion, or completing the mission Lord Elrond had sent them on. Leslie let out a shaky breath and sipped at her tea again trying to calm herself. Declynn had been watching her the entire time and noticed her worries.</i><BR><BR>“I’m ok…”<BR><BR><i>Declynn nodded as she went back to sipping her tea. Leslie noticed it very late and Barliman started to clean and close up for the most part. Any with no room in the Inn were being asked to go home. So the crowd had departed, only a few remained including herself, Declynn, Benoit, Alandriel, Barliman, and a few other Breelanders. Leslie had looked back just in time to see Declynn stifle a yawn.</i><BR><BR>“Why not go home and rest?”<BR><BR>“No way I’m not getting blamed for this. I’m gonna stay here until I know he’s ok, and then I’m going to find whomever did this to him and give them a severe beating, and then I’m gonna clear my name of any accusations!” <i>Declynn straightened, which made Leslie smile.</i><BR><BR>“And how will you do all this if you do not rest, Hmmm?” <BR><BR>“I---…Well…”<BR><BR>“See now either get a room here or go home.”<BR><BR>“Ok, Ok… I’ll get a room here. You coming?” <BR><BR>No…I’ll wait for the healer to finish and remain with the injured man incase. Besides I don’t think he wants to wake up and find that he has no clothes.” <i>Leslie held up the bag Drake had given her earlier.</i> “Now go to bed. I’ll wake you if there’s any change in the man’s health.” <BR> <BR><i>Declynn nodded then got up and went to the bar asking Barliman for a room, then after they chatted for a moment Declynn returned to where Leslie was seated.</i> “According to Barliman they’ve already sent a description out of the man and is trying to find anyone that might know him. Just to let you know any family or friends of this man’s may come by as early as tonight, ok???”<BR><BR><i>Leslie nodded and soon Declynn headed up stairs and into a room for some long needed rest. While Leslie remained right outside the man’s room. Soon a maid came out and rushed over to Barliman which got Leslie standing up. She went to where the maid and Barliman stood.</i> “What’s going on?”<BR><BR>“The man, I was cleaning him up and he opened his eyes. He’s awake.”<i>The maids voice came first followed by Barliman’s.</i><BR><BR> “I’ll prepare some tea and soup for the lad just incase.” <i>Barliman called out for Nob or was it Hob either way the lad had retired for the night and soon Leslie spoke up.</i> “Master Barliman I’ll take him the food and drink ok?”<BR><BR><i>Barliman nodded his thanks as he rushed off to prepare the soup and tea for him. Leslie sighed as she went back to her table a picked up the bag of clothes and headed for the man’s room. No better time then now to bring the man some clothes. Especially since he was awake. Leslie heaved the sack over her shoulder and went to the door, she had just reached for the handle as she stopped herself the healer from Harad was in there too. Swallowing hard, Leslie opened the door to see the healer over the injured man trying to help him. Leslie couldn’t get a clear view of the injured man, but she certainly didn’t want her eyes to remain in the general direction of the healer. She moved towards the cabinet to put the clothes away as she moved she spoke aloud in a soft voice.</i><BR><BR>“I'm sorry to disturb either of you. I hope your better Sir, I brought you some clean dry clothes. I hope they fit.” <i> Leslie pulled out the clothes Drake had given her and started to put them away, that’s when she heard Barliman’s voice call out to her.</i><BR><BR>“Leslie the tea and soup are ready.”<BR><BR><i>Leslie moved towards the door.</i> "I'll be right back Sir. Barliman has made some tea and soup incase your hungry or thristy. I'll bring it in for you now." <i>With that Leslie left the room and went back out to get the tea and soup.</i><BR><BR><BR>
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Postby Tobias_Red-tail » Fri Dec 20, 2002 12:59 am

Alayna decided to return to the common room after a while, for to be trapped up here was hardly and interesting prospect for her. Hearing the murmurs and words growing quieter by the minute, she estimated that some other occasion was taking place, hopefully somewhere further away from the Pony. But because of an interest in the unusual, she decided that to get an idea of the latest incident to wrack Bree in one night. As she reentered the Common room, whispers about a supposed Haradrim merchant reached her ears. Definitely interested, for there was no doubt that a merchant from Harad might have some herbs that she might need, which she could use for purposes less than righteous. She joined the crowd waiting outside the door, wondering what magics this healer might work on the man who had been dragged in earlier. Turning a gaze that promised wrath upon any that might bar her way, she leaned comfortably against the doorway, interested to see a healer at work. Again she saw the woman who had so teased her memory, this time preparing to put away some clothes for the injured man. However, another image came to her, the woman she had seen chatting with the bard. Had she not her own herbs and the like, probably enough to help heal the injured man? For these people to put their trust in a complete stranger completely baffled her, since she did not understand why they would trust someone they hardly knew, as opposed to someone easily half the small town knew. <BR><BR>Pushing those thoughts aside, her mind focused on the business at hand, for she might have a chance of getting the required things at a cheaper price than the black market. She would speak to the man of Harad later, probably once this whole mess was finished and done with. Sitting at a corner of the inn, a position she had chosen mainly for the excellent view of the comings and goings of the people, she ordered a glass of mead. Sitting there, and slowly sipping the drink, but not allowing it to dull her senses in the slightest, she began to muse about Jander, the particular wretch who was likely to be dead soon. She had never understood why Elaith had trusted that man, with so many of their secrets and duties. Pity, he had said. Weakness, she had called it. She had killed countless times now, but yet at this moment, she felt an immense sense of guilt for killing this man who still had a family back in Gondor. He had turned to helping them to clear his debts, not knowing that it was Elaith who had set him up in the first place. She felt pity for the man’s family, even compassion. No amount of gold could bring the man back, once he consumed the entire bottle. Assailed once more by guilt, Alayna began to sprint up the stairs hoping that she might stop him before he finished the whole bottle.<BR><BR>His door was flung open, and Alayna readied a dagger to hurl at the bottle. As she expected, he had already consumed nearly three-quarters of the wine. A dagger whistled past him to crash into the bottle, sending him jumping up and sputtering an assortment of curses. Once more, she questioned her idea of bothering to save the man. Ignoring his insults and threats, she ran into her own room, and ransacked the box where she kept the poison for the elixir. Upon finding it, she returned to his room, telling him to drink t and not ask any questions until she was done. After forcing it down his throat, Alayna spoke first.<BR>"I poisoned you earlier."<BR>"Why? I thought you was ordered to let me off?" He replied, now extremely sober, as she was pleased to note.<BR>"Treachery, my dear friend. Now, as of business, I suggest you take your wife and children, and get out of Minas Tirith, for I have my own beliefs that you will not be let off so easily."<BR>"Let off?"<BR>"You are supposed to be dead along the road. How would I explain it if you turned up at a tavern we know Elaith frequents? I might tell him that you met a healer, but we both know that I was supposed to ensure that you had consumed the whole bottle before letting you off."<BR>"I think I’m starting to catch on. So you mean that I should take my wife and children, and start life somewhere else?"<BR>"You should try Edoras."<BR>"But money? I have none."<BR>Reaching into a hidden compartment on her dress, she drew out a purse and handed it to him.<BR>“"Take this, and start life anew. Your wife and children deserve better."<BR><BR>Ignoring his foolish thanks, she sat down at the bar and requested for a glass of plain water. Now all she had to do was wait.<BR>
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Postby Alandriel » Fri Dec 20, 2002 8:48 am

Sounds from a commotion ensuing from the entrance to the taproom caught her attention first. Two women were dragging a body up the steps and into the arched doorway, a man of middle years with red hair. Blood was trickling from a head wound, forming a small puddle on the floor. They would either need a healer fast, or a shovel….. headwounds, depending on their severity, could easily prove fatal. <BR><BR>The noise soon drew a crowd. One dark haired lady elf was obviously familiar with one of the new arrivals. She briefly conversed with them and then slipped out into the night. Barliman ushered them into a near by room. The crowd dispersed somewhat, as mutterings of ‘Ice witch’ and ‘Dark ranger’ spread through the inn. Some curious folk followed the party to have a better look at the stricken man but most returned to their drinks and conversation. Speculations as to the meaning of the incident soon claimed the room.<BR><BR>The bard, although alert to all the comings and goings, did not seem too concerned. He was packing away his lute and by the manner he handled it, carefully and almost reverently, it was clear he had a deep affection for his beautiful instrument. <BR>Alandriel caught his fleeting glance, still sitting at the bar sipping her mulled wine slowly. Oh, how she knew that kind of glance! Inadvertedly she smiled to herself. She could do with a bit of jesty conversation and might glean some information about the happenings in and around Bree. Bards were ever the eyes and ears of the lands and privy to many tidings. It might prove entertaining, useful ... and diverting. The dark haired man made his way over in measured steps, stretching his back as he went to shake off any weariness from his previous long play. He was easily a good head taller than Alandriel.<BR><BR>Another, smaller commotion was heard coming from the hallway and a new wave of rumours shook the room. Alandriel could make out the words ‘healer’ and ‘haradrim’. <BR>‘So, now a healer, has appeared… A Southron? The Pony is full of surprises tonight’ she mused silently. ‘Wonder what kind of queer witchcraft those barbarians possess. They better get the spade ready, just in case.’<BR><BR>Just then, a lady sat down at the bar not far from her. Yes, it was the same woman with long brown hair she had seen earlier. Very strange! Earlier she had been sitting at one of the far benches of the inn, eating her dinner, then got up to join the crowd that had gathered upon the appearance of the stricken man. Alandriel saw her then mingling with the crowd, gathering information from the patrons and shortly thereafter leaving into the rainy night. Not much later, she had reappeared again, this time settling down for a drink. Her boots had been glistening with wetness, as had the back of her cloak, but not the front… as if she had been out in the rain, then dried off hastily. The woman had kept to herself, gloomily nurturing her mead. Shadows of anger, pain and guilt had played over her face in quick successions, although she had masked them very well. Then, as if stung by a bee, she had abruptly left the room and dashed down the hall, only to be back again a few minutes later, this time sitting at the counter with a glass of water. Very queer indeed! What was going on? Obviously a lot more than just casual glances could reveal and Alandriel resolved to talk to the woman at the next best opportunity.<BR><BR>Meanwhile the bard had settled into a chair next to her:<BR><i>"It is a pleasure, dear...I'm sorry, I didn't catch your name? …. They call me Benoit.</i><BR><BR><i> The pleasure is all mine, Master Bard. You carry an unusual name…. I am Alandriel, arrived out of Chetwood just this night. What are the news of Bree? Do you know what the commotion was all about? I am quite versed in herblore and the man that got dragged in here earlier might need some help.’ And in a hushed voice she added ‘Apparently a Haradrim healer has appeared and is looking him now over. I fear he won’t last very long. Those cursed Southrons are barbarians.’<BR>
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Postby Erandil_Duiniant » Fri Dec 20, 2002 5:09 pm

After she had helped to carry the man to a room, Erandil had quietly made her way back to the common room. She made her way over to a corner of the room where she could see most of what was going on. Every now and then she would glance at the door, wondering if it would not just be better to slip out unnoticed. Unfortunately, it was starting to rain again, and the prospect of drying off was a pleasant one, even if dry was probably still a long way away. Plus, she felt she should stay and make sure the man was all right, although she did not know if there was anything more she could do, her healing skills being more likely to kill a patient than help one. Besides, a healer had already gone in; a Haradrim by the looks of him.<BR><BR>For a little while, Erandil attempted to amuse herself by listening to the gossip in the room but soon gave that up in disgust, deciding it was just that: gossip. What the villagers were saying about the woman who had found the man made little sense to the wanderer, and it went against logic to say that she would hit someone over the head and then drag him to a populated area to be healed. The murmurs about the Haradrim were also of little interest. Whatever else they might be, Erandil knew from personal experience that the healers of Harad were skilled at what they did.<BR><BR>Board of gossip, she turned her attention to the puddle forming at her feet. Her clothes were hopelessly soaked. It would probably take them the rest of the night to dry completely. She patted the silver hilt of her sword thoughtfully. She supposed she would dry off faster if she moved closer to the fire, but that would mean putting herself in the midst of a small crowd, and that was the last thing she wanted to do. With a sigh, she sat down where she was.<BR>
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Postby Muccamukk » Sat Dec 21, 2002 12:24 am

The man already stirred by the time Amuk entered. He was still groggy and his eyes, though open could not seem to concentrate on anything. There was a maid tending to him, mopping his face with a damp cloth. When she saw the man of Harad, she scurried out of the room muttering about tea and soup.<BR><BR>Amuk shook his head in disgust. "Giving food to a head wound!" he muttered. "Barbarians, are they trying to kill the man?"<BR><BR> However, the healer <i>was</i> pleased to note that there was already a warm fire lit, complete with a steaming kettle. He motioned for Hob to pour the water into a basin that stood near the bed, before turning his attention on its occupant.<BR><BR>The man's hair was dark and matted with mud, water and blood. The blood flowing from the wound on his forehead had not slowed. In her constant mopping, the maid had only succeeded in preventing the blood from congealing. Amuck sighed. <i>Do not these people know anything?</i> he wondered, as he found a clean rag and applied pressure to the wound. With his free hand, he bound it with a stripe of linen.<BR><BR>While he was checking for injuries, a woman scurried in. She was not the maid, but rather a delicate brunette. There was something odd about her, but Amuk was too busy to worry about it. He had found at least one cracked rib and a shallow gash along his left arm, but nothing serious. He would worry about them after he had tended the head wound.<BR><BR>Finished what she was doing, the woman said: "I'll be right back Sir. Barliman has made some tea and soup in case you're hungry or thirsty. I'll bring it in for you now."<BR><BR>"Do not trouble yourself!" Amuk snapped, but the woman was already gone. He sighed again, shaking his head.<BR><BR>Combining a number of herbs, he poured them into the hot water. The room quickly filled with pungent steam. It had a fresh clean scent that brought energy and wakefulness to any whom inhaled it.<BR><BR>After a moment, his patient became fully aware. His gaze drifted lazily around the room before focusing on the healer's dark face. For a moment, he just stared, eyes wide, but then he started to struggle. His movements, though not strong, caused his wound to resume bleeding.<BR><BR>"Stop!" Amuk commanded. "You are injured. I am a healer. Let me help you."
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Postby asaris » Sat Dec 21, 2002 2:05 pm

"The pleasure is all mine, Master Bard. You carry an unusual name…. I am Alandriel, arrived out of Chetwood just this night. What are the news of Bree? Do you know what the commotion was all about?"<BR><BR>"No clue, probably just a mugging. The streets of Bree aren't always the safest in Eriador. Not much goin' on here in Bree -- but let's talk about lighter things. It's not often you see a woman travelin' alone; what brings ya to Bree?"
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Postby Hunter » Sun Dec 22, 2002 1:13 pm

<BR><BR>The rain had ended and night had long descended on the land to the east of Bree. The wind picked up, tearing through and scattering the last remaining clouds that held a threat of rain and brought with it coldness from the heights of the Misty’s. The gibbous moon shinning through wore a hazy ring as it shed its pale light onto the Great East Road below.<BR><BR>A lone figure rode along the road; her horse's steps muffled by the soft layer of dust turned to mud as it picked its way along the tree sheltered edge. The horse faltered a few steps then stopped, trembling as it stood on three legs. Slowly dismounting, Morghan Lachlan stroked the horse’s damp neck and whispered soothing words as she ran a hand down its muscular foreleg and stooped as she lifted the hoof. In the wan light she couldn’t see anything lodged in the muddy hoof and using her fingers began to probe along the tender inner sole; she soon found a sharp stone deeply imbedded in the quick. Using a knife from her pocket, she carefully pried out the offending stone. <BR><BR><i>“There boy, it’s out,”</i> she crooned softly. Her mount gave an answering wicker and nudged her shoulder causing her to smile in the darkness. Morghan stood, glancing back they way they had come, then in the direction she had been heading. Bree was still some miles ahead; any lights from it hidden by the wooded, rolling hillsides. She would have easily made it there before the day dawned, but not now. The Forsaken Inn lay closer, back less than a mile, and though she hadn’t planned to make it her stopping place, she knew that pushing on might end up causing her horse to go lame.<BR><BR>Gathering up the dangling reins, she set out walking back down the dark road.<BR><BR>Would anyone still there remember her, she wondered. She had changed and memories had a way of fading over the years; she bore little resemblance to the young woman who had lived on the edge of Chetwood Forest near the Midgewater.<BR><BR>The trace of elvish blood that flowed through her veins had allowed her to age gracefully. There was a tracery of fine lines around her dark gray eyes that were more thoughtful now and her step was not quite as lively as it had been in her youth. Her tall frame, once rounded with the gentle curves of womanhood had grown lean and slender; the fiery red highlights in her hair had faded to a softly burnished copper, which was sparsely sprinkled with strands of silver. And she now wore it cropped short, loose curls framing her oval face that had once been mostly hidden by the wild and unruly mass that had tumbled down her back. <BR><BR>No, she doubted there would be any in the area who would link her to the young woman who had once been known as the hermit of Chetwood and who had received sidelong glances on her rare visits into Bree or Archet. She had traded in that quiet, solitary life for the oft-times solitary, but never sedate, life of a ranger and it had suited her. She knew now why her father had been happy with this life.<BR><BR>Turning down a side road marked by a towering beech tree, Morghan saw the darker outline of the Inn. She would have thought that the Inn would have changed; grown more prosperous after the war, but from what she could see in the wan light, that had not occurred. Time has passed the Forsaken by.<BR><BR>A pale golden light still shone from one of the lower windows and the lantern outside the door had not yet been extinguished letting her known that travelers were still welcomed at this late hour. She hitched her horse to a post in the front, looping the reins loosely through the rusted metal ring near its top. <i>“I’ll be back soon,”</i> she told him as she stroked his broad nose.<BR><BR><BR><BR><BR><BR>
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Postby Leslie-ElfWarrior » Sun Dec 22, 2002 3:13 pm

<BR><i>Leslie walked fast paced towards the bar were Barliman waited. She looked at the soup and tea with question, then at Barliman. The tea looked fine, but the soup looked a bit much for an injured man to handle.</i> “Are you sure he’ll be able to eat this? Just because he’s awake does not mean he can eat this.”<BR><BR>“And what is wrong with my soup?” <i>Barliman seemed agitated at Leslie’s words.</i><BR><BR>“Well for one thing it’s too thick. And has too much ingredients in with it.”<BR><BR><i>That did it Barliman looked purely insulted as he tried to not lose his cool</i> “Barliman don’t get me wrong your soup is very good, but this might be a bit much for him.”<BR><BR>“And what does your Wizard’s Guild suggest?!”<BR><BR><i>Leslie could tell he was still insulted, but Leslie decided to go with what she was talking about. The wizard’s of the Wizard’s Guild did teach her herbal remedies. She wasn’t an expert but she was thought enough, if anything.</i> “Well the Wizards of the Wizard’s Guild would say the same. For serious injuries patients should only have liquids, usually hot liquids there are a few cold liquids, but I don’t know them so I would not try them. The liquids from the soup and tea are fine, but the meat and the huge chunks of vegetables are not good for the seriously injured. Maybe in two three days it would be fine it depends on how he recovers.”<BR><BR>“Well if your so great at this why don’t you heal him? Huh Master Wizardess?”<BR><BR>“Because I’ve tried healing people before and it’s not pretty. If I was to I’d regret it in the morning. After healing someone before I’ve gotten real tired, so tired in fact that I nearly fell of a Camel. I wanted to go to sleep right after trying to heal that person. Weeks after that I’d get these strange dreams and visions more then likely from my past, and after I had seen them I can’t remember what I saw. Another person I’ve healed I’ve had problems seeing, hearing, and on rare occasions speaking. I’d get very bad headaches so bad that I pass out from the pain. Now let me think why am I’m not in there healing him? Hmmm let me count the reasons.”<BR><BR><i>Leslie’s sarcasms was not appreciated for Barliman only glared daggers at her. Then taking the soup off the tray, Leslie said she’d bring the tea to the man. Turning from Barliman Leslie frowned she didn’t like arguing with the man, but he had asked for a little sarcasm. Taking the small tray of tea, Leslie had just neared the door when she heard the healer’s voice.</i> "Stop! You are injured. I am a healer. Let me help you."<BR><BR><i>Leslie entered the room to see what was going on and found the man in bed struggling to rise. Leslie quickly went to set the tray on the counter spilling some of the tea on the tray. She then moved to the other side of the bed. She had moved to stop the injured man from hurting himself. For a moment Leslie just stood there trying to place the face she saw. She had seen many along the roads… Bree, Rivendell, Lorien… Besides the darkness and the new blood escaping the wound made it hard to place the face… Then she saw his eyes, and recognized him almost instantly, and for another few moments Leslie just stood there in shock then hearing the healer ask Edain to remain still again brought her back and she quickly knelt by the bed. She did not try to hold him down for she did not want to cause further injury, but she did speak softly trying to get him to relax.</i> “Edain… Edain, calm down. Relax let him help you.” <BR><BR><i>Her words seemed of little help… Maybe he was still too out of it. This time she spoke softly and yet a little slower and calmer.</i> “Sir I’m a friend, you don’t need to remember me right now, but must stop moving and relax… please. You must stop, it’s alright just relax… Please.”<BR><BR><BR>
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Postby EdaintheRanger » Mon Dec 30, 2002 3:57 pm

Edain came around with a start, he felt as if he was restrained and weakness filled his limbs. Fearing that he was a prisoner of the muggers he struggled to rise. A cool hand rested on him and he felt blood pulse from his throbbing head. His senses returning Edain could make out a calm voice with an unfamiliar accent speaking as the hand held him down. The feeling wasn’t reassuring and Edain began to panic, the dark face filling his vision. A pungent and sweet aroma filled the air, and the scent reminiscent of <i>athelas</i> did reassure the young red headed ranger. To the Haradrim the young man appeared so pale as to be almost luminous, and his eyes were round and a piercing blue. His blood covered face was oval and long with high cheekbones. He looked almost Númenorean, save for the red hair, which suggested local Breelander heritage along with his stocky body. His height was short for a man who from his attire (now removed) seemed to be a ranger. The dark blood on Edain's bare fore arm stood out starkly against the pale skin. Dark bruises were quickly forming, mottling his ivory skin. Edain felt now pleasantly warm, slipping into a semi-conscious state.<BR><BR><i>“Mmmm”</i> he murmered almost content.<BR><BR>Then the voice came again more insistent this time, and Edain again attempted to rise. Through the haze Edain began to make sense of the words, <i>”I am a healer. Let me help you”</i><BR>His mind sharpened, and oddly he could hear elvish as if whispered softly from afar.<BR><BR><i>“Uuurrgghh!”</i> he gurgled and then coughed softly. The dark man was still holding him, and Edain remembered that he was hurt and as a healer himself he should do what the stranger was saying. He lay back and remained conscious. The blood forming on his forehead congealed into a soft scab. Edain lay motionless as he let the man administer medications and treatments to his wounds. The man was professional, Edain observed. A wan smile touched his lips, glad to be in safe hands.<BR><BR>Then the immediacy of the situation struck him like a slap on the face. Edain tugged at the man’s robes as he flitted around him. Edain could feel his strength returning, and so his tugging became insistent. Finally he spoke softly <i>“My brother, my brother is in danger.”</i> he managed.<BR>
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Postby Alandriel » Tue Dec 31, 2002 1:16 am

‘It's not often you see a woman travelin' alone; what brings ya to Bree?’<BR><BR>Alandriel slightly chuckled at Benoit’s words and replied:<BR><BR>‘I mostly travel alone, and usually I go by unmarked paths. Only this foul weather has brought me here to seek refuge and shelter. ‘ <BR>(..and some other things besides, she thought, but did not say it aloud.)<BR><BR>‘I am a ranger and healer… although some say witch. I have been on a small expedition to replenish my stock of herbs. How about yourself? You do not seem from these parts if I’m not mistaken?’<BR>
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Postby Hunter » Tue Dec 31, 2002 2:05 am

<BR><BR><i>“Ay! I said, that’s enough now!”</i> Bess said more firmly, then pouted prettily at the bleary eyed young man on whose lap she sat. <i>“I need to catch my breath,”</i> she added in a huskier voice as she straightened her blouse before snuggling closer. Her fingers idly played with the buttons of his vest. <BR><BR>Brennen Thane grinned drunkenly back at her, then took a long drink from his tankard of ale. He liked the flashing dark eyes in the pert little face that looked up at him and he wondered how a girl such as she had come to work for the dour Butterbur. Her open, friendly manner was at odds with the scowling look he had received from the Innkeeper on his arrival. There were some who welcomed a strange face it seemed, even if she had not exactly been a wealth of information on the current events in Bree; all she had talked about was how hard she worked at the Pony and how Butterbur frowned upon strangers when they arrived. <BR><BR><i>“I’ve heard all the talk and gossip from the older patrons of what the Pony was like during and after the Great War,”</i> she had complained when he had first asked her about any news of the area. <i>“I wish that I had been old enough to have worked here when the King had passed through while in disguise,”</i> she had sighed. <i>“He is said to be most handsome.”</i> <BR><BR>Tipping his tankard higher, his warm brown eyes lazily scanned the room. The Pony was quiet tonight, the rain having kept away most of the local inhabitants who may have dropped in to share a pint and talk over matters they had seen and heard. <i>‘Oh well,’</i> Brennen shrugged inwardly, <i>‘I’ll find out the local news and gossip another time.’</i> He let himself relax, thankful to be out of the cold and rain for at least one night. Tomorrow he would be on the road once more, headed for the Shire to join up with his uncle. Some things had remained the same after the war, the Rangers still kept a watchful eye on the inhabitants in and around the Shire, especially the little folk.<BR><BR>Catching the scent of clover from Bess’s hair as she leaned closer, Brennen almost missed the quiet disturbance at the far end of the room. He became instantly alert, only a fraction of his attention focused on Bess as she leaned to whisper in his ear, <i>“I will be free from my duties soon…”</i> <BR><BR>A small crowd had gathered around two women as they supported a man between them. The rain must have started again, for their clothes and hair were wet and the poor man between them was muddied, as if he had fallen to the ground. Brennen tried to see what was happening without appearing to be obvious. <i>“Perhaps not,”</i> he answered, nodding in the direction of Barliman, trying to look disappointed. <BR><BR>Bess looked up in time to see Butterbur looking in her direction, a frown creating furrows across his forehead. <i>“Drat,”</i> she said under her breath as she jumped from his lap and began gathering the empty tankards from a nearby table. Butterbur had already warned her many times about being too friendly with the patrons, especially the young men who frequented the common room. <BR><BR>Brennen remained where he was in the corner, watching the people as they began to disperse from around Barliman. A few left, talking amongst themselves and looking over their shoulders at one of the woman with wary looks. One woman left, only to return in a short time with a bundle in her arms. She sat down at a table wearing a concerned look on her face and was joined shortly by one of the women who had been helping the man. Their heads were bent close in quiet conversation. He wished he were closer so that he could hear what they said. Then one of them left after talking with Barliman for a short time. It was not long after that Barliman called out for some food to be brought, and while Bess did not seem to hear him the other young woman stepped forward to offer assistance. He lifted an eyebrow slightly in quiet speculation. <i>‘She seems very eager to help,’</i> he mused.<BR><BR>He looked around and saw that the bard, who had provided entertainment a short time ago, was also watching the proceedings, as was the woman he had joined. The quietness of the evening had been broken, and although it could turn out to be only one of the local’s who had been injured, Brennen remained watchful, his Rangers instincts taking over. He slumped down in his chair and cradled his half finished tankard of ale in his hands as he stretched out his long, leather clad legs; he would wait around for a bit longer before heading to his room.<BR><BR>Bess walked past Brennen, rag in hand as she headed to another table to wipe off the bits of crumbs and gather the empty tankards as another of the Inn’s patrons took their leave. She sighed loudly, but Brennen appeared not to notice her. She shrugged, then quickly dismissed him from her mind. There would be other young men visiting the Pony on other nights and although that he did have a comely face, he had only left a few copper coins when she had served him. She straightened from the table and sauntered slowly toward the kitchen. <BR><BR><BR> <BR> <BR>
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Postby asaris » Tue Dec 31, 2002 11:20 am

Listening to the beautiful young lady, Benoit quaffed down half his beer; engrossed as he was with this young woman (and aware as he was of her knee quite close to his thigh), the rogue was never one to be caught sleeping, and he was keeping an eye on the others in the common room while talking with Alandriel. None of them seemed particularly interesting. Sure, there was the guy in the corner, but there wasn't so much as a whiff of danger about him. He seemed to be mostly wet. <BR><BR>The others were all usuals here, people Benoit had seen countless times even if he had not met them. Declynn -- that was a sad tale, Benoit thought. Blamed for something not her fault. The plague had happened while he was doing some training at Rivendell, but he had heard enough when he came back.<BR><BR>Needless to say, these thoughts passed through his head in an instant and were gone -- he wouldn't want to appear inattentive. Of course, he couldn't very well say he was from Rivendell, so he gave her the usual story, which, after all, wasn't too far from the truth. "Don't believe in witches," he said with a small smile. "Anyway, I'm from Bree, actually. Eh, don't like being tied down to one place much, so since I was young I traveled a bit here and there, but here's where my roots are. Nice town, an' Butterbur knows me an' my playin'. But I see you've finished yer ale -- can I buy ya another?" After speaking, Benoit quaffed the rest of his beer.
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Postby Muccamukk » Thu Jan 02, 2003 12:27 am

<i>These Northerners are passing strange!</i> thought Amuk, still trying restrain his patient, Edain? <i>They get upset over the littlest things.</i> He couldn't see how anyone could worry over the fate of a brother. If an older sibling died, then there was one less person above you in the line secession. If it were a younger brother, well then you were that much less likely to be assassinated yourself. <i>Perhaps it affects his family's honour. Ah, well, I can ask later, I have more immediate concerns.</i><BR><BR>Deciding to take the matter in hand before Edain did himself any further harm, Amuk grabbed him firmly by the shoulders. He was not a strong man, but he had no difficulty pressing his weakened patient into the bed so far the he could no longer move. The wound had now reopened; dark lines of fresh blood patterned his pale face. The healer moved into the other's direct line of vision. "If you do not stop thrashing, I will drug you," he said in a matter of fact tone. "With your injury, that may well kill you. Even if it does not, you will not be in a position to help anyone."<BR><BR>The girl was still knelling next to the bed, clutching Edain's hand as if her life depended on it. Amuk looked to her for help, noting for the first time, the points on her ears. <i>So that's what it is,</i> he realized. <i>She is an Elf! I have never met an Elf before.</i> Aloud he said, "You must speak to your lover. He will cause himself harm."
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Postby EdaintheRanger » Thu Jan 02, 2003 5:46 pm

At the mention of the word "drugs" Edain quit struggling. He allowed the Eastern healer to administer to wound on the head to the side of his head and was soon quite stable. It turned out that the ranger wasn't at death's door and that the blow on the head from the rogue's sap wasn't that serious. Yes head wounds could be nasty and had to be treated with care, but as they bled freely they were often more nasty looking than dangerous. The ranger has a robust constitution the Eastern man was able to observe. “He has a hard head!” he thought.<BR>Leslie had laid her hand on Edain’s hand and that had soothed him also, a dim memory unfolded in his mind, her soft voice ringing and the man drifted into a light sleep.<BR><BR>Amuk turned to the Elf looking on with a wonder, <i>“The patient will sleep now. When he awakes he will need a little attention. It is best to be cautious with these things.”</i><BR><BR><i>“He spoke of his brother. Is this significant?”</i> Amuk asked Leslie in a hushed tone.<BR><BR>*********************************************************************************************************************<BR><BR>Out on the East - West road the vagabonds had dispersed. The leader had deemed it prudent that they lie low before pursuing their prey in the morning. So they were packed off on their separate ways with a crown each in their pockets and a shrieked threat, rather than a thank you. Lob (Loseph Longfellow) one of the locals who had fell in with this roguish gang, flitted like a shadow across the moonlit fields. His track lost as he ran in the long grass parallel to the Great road. He didn’t like being outside Bree it was scary, but that was part of the fun! Glad to be part of this big adventure he made his way to the hide he had made, to rest for the night. In his eagerness to get away from the guilty excitement of clouting a stranger, and a ranger at that! He didn’t see the woman and her horse standing on the road. No he was drunk with the giddiness of the feeling that he had got a blow at a ranger. Never before had he been so bold, why he could drink like a man in the inn soon. He had proved himself. For he’d never liked those dark men who strode through Bree without as much as a by your leave! “Hi ho! This was a grand old lark!” The lad thought as he nipped across the hedge to his hiding place.<BR><BR>*********************************************************************************************************************<BR><BR>Back in the Inn, Edain continued to sleep, placidly.<BR>
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Postby Leslie-ElfWarrior » Thu Jan 02, 2003 8:17 pm

<BR>"You must speak to your lover. He will cause himself harm."<BR><BR><i>The Healer’s words came out of no where, and Leslie looked up at him shocked to even hear the words.</i> “Lover…! No, no…I’m an old friend of his. I haven’t seen him for two…three years.” <i>Leslie looked down at Edain.</i> “But I will try to keep him calm…”<BR><BR><i>Leslie was still surprised to see him after all these years. Ever since she left Harad and entered Gondor, Rivendell, and Bree she had felt different and everything around her felt different. It had surprised her to see how Pomporo and Drake had aged and changed. So much had happened… Could it have really been two or three years? Leslie never kept count being immortal she never had reason to keep count, and never wanted to either. At the beginning of her journey in Harad all she had thought about when she wasn’t being attacked was how she would’ve loved to have stayed with Edain. For the longest time it was her only escape route thinking back over the days spent with him, otherwise she would’ve surely gone mad long ago. But now she could sense that he had changed a lot over those years as well. For a few moments she wondered what he had gone through since. It was surprising how so much could change over just three years when your gone. Leslie swallowed hard, wondering what she could possibly say to calm an injured man she had not seen in years. Then she heard him say something again about his brother. Maybe he’s delusional…Head injuries do that kind of thing. They can do many things to a person it all depends on where exactly they’re hit. He could be reliving an event where his brother is in danger, or it could be true and his brother could be in danger. She thought about this for a while as she spoke softly to him to relax and held his hand. But at some points her mind was thinking hard about how Edain might be right or wrong about his brother’s safety. Finally she looked down at Edain to find him asleep, only then did she hear the words that followed.</i> <BR><BR>“The patient will sleep now. When he awakes he will need a little attention. It is best to be cautious with these things.” <BR><BR><i>Leslie nodded it was always best to be cautious. No matter how big or how small an injury appeared on the outside, on the inside it could be twice as big and twice as dangerous then thought. But she hoped he was right about Edain having a hard head, and she hoped it wasn’t too bad an injury; supposedly it wasn’t.</i><BR><BR>“He spoke of his brother. Is this significant?”<BR><BR>“I’m not sure,”</i>Leslie released Edain’s hand gently to not disturb him.</i> “I know a bit about head injuries… I have a permanent one myself. He could be delusional, he could be reliving an event where his brother is in danger, or his brother could be in real danger. Either way it’s best to be cautious. I’ll be right back.” <BR><BR><i>She left the room quickly and went back into the commoner’s room. She went up stairs to Declynn’s room, and knocked. Declynn was still in her regular clothing when she opened the door.</i> “I thought you were sleeping…” <BR><BR>“Well I decided to sleep in my regular clothes incase he woke up. Besides I couldn’t sleep well. How is he?”<BR><BR>“He was awake, but is now asleep…”<BR><BR>“I told you to wake me up if there was any change.” <BR><BR>“Look even awake he was having trouble, you wouldn’t have gotten your answers from him then. But right now we have bigger things to worry about. He’s Edain---….”<BR><BR>“Edain! The same…”<BR><BR>“Yes Declynn, but right now he is worried about his brother. I’m not sure why. He could be delirious from the head injury, he could be reliving a terrible event. Heck if I know, but I want to make sure…”<BR><BR>“Leslie he’s suffering from an head injury, it’s very unlikely that his brother is in any kind of danger.”<BR><BR>“Who has had a severe head injury here?”<BR><BR>“You did.”<BR><BR>“So I’m the one most likely to know about head injuries. He certainly isn’t suffering from Amnesia unless it’s selective amnesia like mine. So just incase I want you to find his brother, and bring him here.”<BR><BR>“Ok what’s his name?”<BR><BR><i>Leslie opened her mouth to tell Declynn the name, but it was so long ago. She only remembered segments of their conversation. Them joking about some Inn Snowdog owned. His brother and Uncle raising him to be an Ranger. His brother and Uncle were both rangers, but beyond that Leslie couldn’t remember for the life of her what their names were or much of anything else about him. She started cursing in elven.</i> “Selective Amnesia has done it again!” <BR><BR>“Well what do you expect? It’s been three years, your not going to remember every detail of your conversations with him.”<BR><BR>“Your right, but I know that his brother is a Ranger I can remember that much.”<BR><BR>“Oooh that narrows the list considerably. How many Rangers come through Bree? Let me think, Hmmm…”<BR><BR>“Alright Declynn no need to get sarcastic! Well nonetheless I still need you to look for his brother. Just mention Edain’s name I’m sure someone will know him, and be careful Edain said his brother was in danger.”<BR><BR><i>Declynn frowned as she got her cloak and sword and headed down stairs. She noticed a few Rangers in here and decided to ask here first. She watched as Leslie went back into the room with Edain and the healer and waited until the door was shut, before whistling to get everyone’s attention.</i> “Excuse me everyone, but does anyone know an Ranger named Edain? I need to find his brother now!”<BR><BR><i>Leslie shook her head as she turned from the door leading into the Commoner’s room. Even behind the shut door the faint sound of Declynn whistling and asking the question was heard. She turned around and went back to where she had been kneeling before by Edain’s bed. She pulled up a big chair and laid back in it. “Well doesn’t this just bring back memories?” Leslie thought, then looked back up at the Healer. She despised most of the men from Harad, but he was then again a lot nicer then whom she’d met. She smiled faintly at him, then said in a hushed tone.</i> “Thank you for your help.”<BR><BR><BR>
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