The Bard's Guild Happy New Year's Ball -A Festival, Come one Come All

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

Postby erinhue » Tue Dec 30, 2003 6:52 pm

<i> Never a Christmas morning<BR>Never a New Year ends<BR>But someone thinks of someone<BR>Old days, old times, old friends</i><BR><BR>These words that came to me by mail<BR>Remember love that never fails<BR>Through time, distance, and all travail<BR>The heart always remembers<BR><BR>Some names are called for in our hearts<BR>No matter what caused us to part<BR>And loudest when the New Year starts<BR>The heart always remembers<BR><BR>Sometimes the past must stay behind<BR>When memory is its most unkind<BR>Tomorrow tells us it is time<BR>The heart always remembers<BR><BR>And so we face a brave New Year<BR>With no regret, nothing to fear<BR>Our buried treasure still held dear<BR>The heart always remembers.<BR><BR>It is a rare occurrence. The Splintered ChamberPot was empty and Erinhue was alone. The melancholy notes hung in the air, haunting the vacant halls of the Guild’s songhouse. Images, faces from the past, floated up from the depths of memory as Erinhue remembered those now absent from his life. Some were bards now journeying in distant lands and others were good friends, companions in adventure that parted at its end. Some had been gone long enough that the memories could again be sweet and others so newly departed that even mention of their name aloud could start again the deep pain of their loss.<BR><BR>“Plunge.” Erinhue called out. “Plunge get me some vodka.” Before the song house’s main serving sprite could respond with the expected Absolut, Erinhue changed his mind and said “ Forget that, bring me wine, a nice deep red that’s made for joyous singing. It is only the year that ends and that needs celebrating. This is the eve of New Year’s Eve and a party is just the thing I need.”<BR><BR>A goblet and a bottle floated towards him and settled on the tap room’s polished mahogany bar. Erinhue poured some into the instantly chilled glass and raised it to his lips. The sweet nectar of the grape mellowed his mood and helped melt the frost of sorrow the encased his memories. One face in particular came to his mind, a frown wrinkled its expression as a longed for voice whispered into the bard's ear.<BR><BR>“If you think I’d want you moping about at such a festive time as this, then perhaps you didn’t know me half as well as we both thought.”<BR><BR>“And know you well I did.” Erinhue responded out loud. “ And when you’re right, you’re right.” He raised his glass in recollection of someone once held dear, someone he would never see again and smiled, and this time the action truly touched his heart.<BR><BR>“Plunge! Flush! Let’s get to work” he called out once again. It’s the eve of New Year’s Eve and we have a party to put on.”
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Postby Teltasarewen » Tue Dec 30, 2003 10:05 pm

Telta stood before the door of the Splintered ChamberPot her cloak pulled close to ward off the chill and her breath forming small white clouds as she breathed. Pushing her hood down she gently opened the door and steeped inside. <BR><BR>All was quiet. A sight she had not seen in the ‘Pot’ before. It was always filled with people, laughter and conversations. Closing the door behind her she stood there for a moment eyes closed drinking in the silence. It was not unwelcome as she reflected back upon the days passed. Yet she was looking forward to the oncoming festival. The bards performing their songs, poems and stories. And with new apprentices that were sure to come, it was bound to be a great festival. It always was. <BR><BR>A smile lit up her face as she peered into the darker corners of the room. They would soon be filled with old friends and new ones who would light up the place with their smiling faces and good humour.<BR><BR>The sound of a familiar voice echoing loudly in the empty room had her turning towards the sound. <i><BR>“Plunge! Flush! Let’s get to work. It’s the eve of New Year’s Eve and we have a party to put on.”</i><BR><BR>She smiled once more as she walked over to where he had just risen from his chair a glass of red wine still clutched in his hand. <BR><BR>“Hello Hue. Could you use some help in preparing for the festival? I'm all yours.” Telta winked making Hue laugh.
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Postby Little_Bear » Tue Dec 30, 2003 10:49 pm

Fatimir wiped the small amount of sweat from her brow and hoised her pack a bit higher. Ever since the fall when she had first found this place she had stayed in the area, doing odd jobs for the settlements for enough to keep fed and warm most nights. <BR><BR>Her latest had been helping bring the wood in so that the fire places would have enough to burn through the long winter nights, but now that job had ended and her purse was weighted down with coins. <BR><BR>There wasn't much that a poor girl who didn't even speak Westron could hope to do, but she had managed to get by and now trudged through the snow back to where the Splintered Chamberpot sat. <BR><BR>She was never quite sure why she had stayed instead of trying to find her way back home. Somewhere deep inside her, she wanted to understand how the man who had managed to speak to her in her own language once, yet never again, had known how. <BR><BR>It had been just after she recited a song of her homeland, and then seemed to be given some honour that she didn't understand. He had been a large man, but his eyes were kind and he spoke softly. He tried to explain that she was now a Bard, but she hadn't understood what that meant. She only knew that for the brieftest of moments, someone understood her, and she understood them.<BR><BR>Without really knowing why, she now returned to that strange inn so far from home and hoped to once again find understanding there, or at least a warm fire.<BR><BR>The trees at last gave way to the sight of the inn before her and she quickened her pace, making the front door at last and quietly slipping inside. <BR><BR>There were only two people that she could see, and they speaking with eachother, so she made her way silently across the room to the large fire that burned and gave its heat freely to all. Hudling down before it, she thrust her hands out before her to take in all she could through the thin and holed gloves.
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Postby PatriotBlade » Tue Dec 30, 2003 11:34 pm

<i>Heather heard a commotion down stairs. She climbed out of her bed, where she had fallen asleep, reading and stepped into her slippers. She padded down the stairs, calling a greeting to anyone who was there to hear.</i> "Hallo! Anyone alive down here?"<BR><i>Erinhue and Tella greeted her back and the three of them began to prepair for the party.</i>
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Postby Leoba » Wed Dec 31, 2003 5:48 am

There was only one bright spot in the misty clouds of freezing fog. Leoba's face was pale from long lonely sunless days and her cloak ashen-grey as the fire that was dying. Only the halo of her chestnut hair, loose beneath her hood, gave any uplifted spirit to the frozen woodland trail down which her horse, Moonlight, ventured.<BR><BR>"It's been too long isilmë" she whispered into the white mane. Too long since she had last visited the guild house, too long since she had last sung, too long since she'd last seen her love. The barren wilderness of winter suited her mood. <BR><BR>If she closed her eyes she could see him in her mind's eye at their last farewell - Dirk of Esgaroth sitting proud on his great black stallion, as she held the stirrup cup out to him, his jet hair caught at the nape of his neck and his soulful eyes filled with love and light and imminent loss. Eight months it had been since he'd left for the south, leaving only a brief word here and there for the woman who was beginning to fear he would never return.<BR><BR>At the end of an avenue of trees, the last reaches of the ice-bound forest opened into a clearing, burnished silver in the depths of winter frost. There the lights of the Splintered Chamberpot glittered, welcoming friends old and new as ever into the warmth.<BR><BR>Leoba stowed her horse safe in the stables and tucked her ancient harp under her arm, and paused briefly on the threshold. She had little idea what to expect or even to hope for; old friends would be a boon, would be the reason she had make the trek this time of year, perhaps she hoped for new acquaintances and maybe she hoped for a little news.<BR><BR>She swept in on a blast of chill air. And paused. Water dripping off her mist infused garments as a smile began to crinkle her face. <BR><BR>Erinhue was balanced on a barstool, attempting or so it seemed, to string up a row of vibrantly coloured chinese lanterns from one end of the bar to the other. <BR><BR>"Master Hue!" she called in relieved recognition, causing the guildmaster to look around suddenly. "I can't tell you how glad I am to see you".<BR><BR>The barstool, one leg shorter than the others, began to wobble ominously at the sudden movement.<BR><BR>"Oh my goodness", Leoba muttered, trying to gather her cloak out of the way of her feet and to wipe her muddy shoes on the mat all at the same time as scurrying over to steady the stool.
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Postby Hidden_Ring » Wed Dec 31, 2003 7:45 am

<i>Walking down from the Old Forest a figure can be seen. His clothes are spotted with fresh pine sap and evergreen needles. The garments seem inadequate to the task of keeping him warm until one sees the fair elven face of Orion with wispy steam curling past his pale hair to vanish in the wind that billows his cloak. As he moves along the Withywindle, the sound of frorst-coated grass under his knee-length moccasins remind him of the coming season.</i> I'm torn, Lin. Should I return to the songhouse for the festival that is impending, or do I take to the road and go back to my retreat? <BR><BR><i>The sound of a carved wooden whistle rings clear and familiar, like the howl of a wolfhound. First it sounds low then rises to a sustained call before trailing away.</i> You're right, I've spent too much time there. And besides, Elena might be there... <i>Lindruagedhel, Orion's whistle, responds with a trill similar to a laughing bark. With a smile at the leather case that is the carved whistle's home, the white-blond elf shifts his course to follow the river's course to song house.</i>Aye you're right, my friend. Perhaps I shall ask at this festival or the next...<BR><BR><i>With that, they come to the door, and open it to slip into the candle and firelight within the main taproom. From the way things look, the decorating had just started with colored paper lanterns such as those used in the East. Hanging his cloak on a peg by the door, Orion turns to see the guildmaster wobbling on a stool with Leoba rushing to help him. Dashing across to the bar, the elf steadies Erinhue on the stool as Leoba braces the stool itself. Looking up at the greatest Bard of all, Orion greets the nearly-fallen.</i> Trying to start the new year with an injured back, are we, 'hue? "No, Orion, just with a little more cheer than has been here for a time." No arguments to that. I was here at Yule and there was precious little here. <BR><BR><i>Stepping away after Erinhue regains his balance and steps down from the stool, Orion backs off to the center of the room and lifts his right hand to reveal the snowflake obsidian-crowned ring.<BR><BR>************ RING ACTION *************<BR>The gleam of the lights reflect off the glossy black surface of the stone. Orion turns to let the Ring take in the whole of the taproom. As he does so, a feeling of deeper shade fills the shadows of the room without dimming the lights that are glowing.</i><BR><BR>One year ends and another to start<BR>Take the lessons of past close to heart<BR>Let the dark of the old fill without gloom<BR>While all gather in peace inside this room<BR>At the first stroke of 12, thence fall away<BR>Leaving the new to shine out clearer each day<BR><BR><i>********* END RING ACTION **********</i>
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Postby Lithtaur16 » Wed Dec 31, 2003 11:44 am

<i>Shadows flit between the icy trees... no something more. Legs, arms, cheeks flushed red with running and cold. No wraith or wight from off the Downs but a good deal leaner than when she'd last seen her friends, certainly. Familiar green garments had become encrusted in dirt and wet with sweat and the frost that tried to collect in the long nights. <BR><BR>She scarcley needed to think about her destination, she'd passed by many times unknown to the others: watching and lurking as other tasks demanded she be distant. No more. <BR>Thoughts of fire, food and friendly talk would have sped her on now, though even as she had to kept the steady pace they had. <BR>Years were starting to tell on the hound that jogged beside her. Twelve summers ground in the giant dog's joints though she never whined and hid the startings of a limp. Still the silver the muzzle had gone snowy white to her eyes and her coat was becoming somewhat ragged. Lith prayed a Winter and a Spring of better fare and little travel would be easing for the hound; though still she knew that the time was near when she would return to her father's fields once more...</i><BR><BR>"There it is, Anaiu!"<BR><BR><i>The Ranger slowed, then paused on a gentle ridge near the tree break to scratch the hound's head and rub her shoulders. Anaiu would hardly stand for it though, woofing and wagging her tail, grasping Lith's hand gently, as if to pull her on. She truly still had the heart of a seasoned pup.</i><BR><BR>"Alright, alright! But you'll get yours soon enough, little rag coat!"<BR><BR><i>Came the teasing and they were soon at the door. Strangely, there was actually little sound coming from the main room and few horses stamping around in the stables.</i><BR><BR>"Ah, so there is someone here."<BR><BR><i>Lith murmured as her hand slipped around the door handle and twisted it. She had sensed another Ringbearer close at hand, for the power had just flared with an action. Her own ring was tucked safely in the pocket of her tunic and was likely to remain there this time. <BR>She opened the door and poked her head in.</i><BR><BR>"Ha! More than one then! Thank Eru!"<BR><BR><i>Lith grinned as Anaiu pushed past her, tail flailing like a flag, to greet the party around the stool.</i><BR><BR>"It's good to see some familiars again. Can I help with anything?"<BR><BR><i>Lith smiled as she also came foreward.</i>
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Postby erinhue » Wed Dec 31, 2003 12:03 pm

Feeling just a bit embarassed about falling off the stool, Erinhue thanked both Leoba and Orion for helping him.<BR><BR>"I wasn't feeling up to Christmas," Erinhue said referring to his long recovery, "but, as I was just saying ta Plunge, a party is most likely just the very thing I need."<BR><BR>When Lith came in the door Erinhue flashed her one of his starbright grins. "Help? We can use all we can get. Ya know something darlin' I'll just bet you'd know the perfect place to set them glittery candles about. There in that pile over there somewhere just dig in and see what ya can find."<BR><BR>
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Postby erinhue » Wed Dec 31, 2003 12:16 pm

"We're all alive and well you sleepy head." Erinhue called up the stairs to Heather. "Come down and help us get ready for tonight. It's New Years' Eve ya know."<BR><BR>Heather turned back briefly to her room and then came down to the main taproom. Erinhue put her in charge of garland when he noticed that someone had slipped in quietly and taken up a seat close to one of the large fireplaces.<BR><BR>Coming closer to offer greetings, Erinhue recognized Fatimir from her performance at a Bard's Festival. She watched the goings on with a rather forlorn expression. It was easy to understand the fellowship she say going on around her and even easier to see her desire to be a part of it all.<BR><BR>"Hail and Hiya Little One." Erinhue's butter smooth baritone rolled out in its lazy drawl. He was speaking in the strange language that Fatimir understood. "I know what it is to be far from home, alone in the company of good companions. We are family here, a family as close as any we were born to and you my little one are a part of that family."<BR><BR>At an unseen signal from the bard, a gaily wrapped and ribboned box appeared. Erinhue plucked it from the air and handed it to Fatimir. "I lost track of ya at the festival before I had a chance ta give ya these."<BR><BR>When the box was opened Fatimir could see that it contained a full set of traveling clothes, a warm cloak and a pair of knitted gloves, and socks. The cloak and tunic bore the embroidered emblem of the Bard's guild over the heart.<BR><BR>Erinhue started to move away then halted as if something had just come to mind.<BR><BR>"It is not right that you should be alone and isolated simply because you cannot understand what is going on around you. In keepin with the season I offer you another gift. Listen to my harp, if I can get it to play, and when its singing ends, if you should wish it, you will be able to hear and understand, speak and be understood. It is a gift and yours to accept or to refuse but I think that you will be much happier, and so would I, if you listen to Agarak sing."<BR><BR>For once and right on cue, the dragonharp began to play. The strings sent up a pleasing sound but it was nothing compared to the angelic music the ensued when the little dragon's jeweled red eyes flared up and the dragonharp began to sing.<BR><BR>Erinhue smiled brighter and winked at the young girl. He cast her a reassuring nod before moving off to find the front door greenery.
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Postby qwertymoo » Wed Dec 31, 2003 12:20 pm

“Tis a cold sunny day out to be traveling,” said Qwertymoo to himself as much as the trees he passed, “but not so much so that a song couldn’t warm the air a bit.”<BR><BR>As he got closer to the Splintered ChamberPot, Qwertymoo was apprehensive about his entering the establishment. After all, the wise and melodic Erinhue would be here, and I but a new member to this august guild.<BR><BR>The words to a song, caused his fear to flutter away:<BR><BR><i> The New Year begins, the Old One ends,<BR>But both will come and go with friends.<BR>We’ll raise our toasts for Old and New,<BR>And tip our mugs - imbibing brew.<BR><BR>We look back at the Year Gone Past,<BR>and wonder where it went so fast.<BR>We laugh and share with new friends made,<BR>and sorrow loved ones whose ‘light’ doth fade.<BR><BR>As Future Year looked forward to,<BR>may hopefully see friends anew.<BR>With times to share, and memories drawn,<BR>For its those we cherish and happiness is spawn<BR><BR>So we tip our New Year cheer,<BR>and raise our voices for all to hear.<BR>With friends among that relish this,<BR>our last hurrah to the Old Year’s bliss </i><BR><BR>Finishing his song, Qwertymoo felt much the better for having sung it. He arrived at the wooden entrance to the ChamberPot, took a deep breath and swung the door open wide. As Qwertymoo looks inside he sees a number of people, but only one of which he recognizes - Erinhue. Removing his cover, he bows humbly to the owner.<BR><BR>“Hail Erinhue! May your mugs be never tainted with sour rot. Though I be new to this esteemed guild, I hope that I might still be of help in your preparations nonetheless.”<BR><BR>*extends hand to Erinhue*<BR><BR>“Well met,” Qwertymoo extends a greeting to the rest assembled. Feeling a bit awkward and out of place Qwertymoo turns to Erinhue.<BR><BR>“Show me to your larder Master Bard and I shall concoct an eggnog certain to make you forget the past misfortunes and bring to life all those bright memories from the Year Soon To Be Gone Past.”<BR><BR>As he walks back to the larder, Qwertymoo can be heard singing his ode to New Year.<BR><BR><i> The New Year begins, the Old One ends,<BR>But both will come and go with friends…</i><BR>
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Postby erinhue » Wed Dec 31, 2003 12:26 pm

"Qwerty, my good man, eggnog is my favorite." laughed Erinhue as he pointed the new arrival towards the song house kitchens. "And remember, don't skimp on the nog<img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-wink.gif"border=0>"
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Postby GandalfStormcrow » Wed Dec 31, 2003 12:38 pm

Weary and sore from his recent travels and escapades with the Mithril Knights, Raghnildur roamed about his empty shop. He looked to the fireplace, the anvil, and his store of steel and iron. Sighing deeply, he shook his head. After seeing and participating in such a fierce battle with the Dwarves of the Red Hammer, the forging of weaponry would not cheer his spirits today. He had nearly lost his own life yet again, but that was meager food for thought while images of his master and fellow knights in training fought desperately for their own was still fresh in his mind. <BR><BR>He closed the flue to the fireplace, there would be no fire burning and melting steel tonight. A single tear left a bright trail down his sooty cheek as he walked through the oak door into his bedroom. As he lay down on his bed still in his tunic and boots, he uttered a soft prayer to Eru Ilúvatar to somehow alleviate the uneasiness he felt in his spirit. Just as sleep was about to take him he heard a small noise in his closet, a few notes from Ealasaid, his ocarina. A smile crossed his lips as he stood and crossed to the closet door. The instrument was concerned about him, perhaps a song or two would ease Ealasaid's spirit. <BR><BR>As he opened the closet door however, he was not greeted by boots and trousers and shirts. He was instead looking into the Splintered Chamberpot, and it was indeed time for the New Year's Bards festival. A grin split his face from ear to ear. Leaving the door open so that he would not miss the path to the 'Pot, he quickly grabbed his fine black cloak and soft calf leather boots, and a bright blue shirt along with his black trousers from the chair on the other side of the room. He had set out his party clothes before leaving to meet with the Knights so he would have them ready for the Festival when he returned. He quickly walked through and shut the door into the 'Pot, and went straightaway into the restroom to change. <BR><BR>Emerging a few minutes later, a handsome and brightly smiling man stood where the weary warrior had been moments before. He placed his old clothes under the bar and went to Erinhue. With a hearty slap on the back, the Guildmaster turned and smiled at the sight of his friend and gosling. The two embraced, and just as quickly after a few words Erinhue was back to decorating the 'Pot. Telta came over a few moments later, and she and Raghnildur shared a similar embrace. The bonds of friendship forged between these three in battle would not easily be broken. <BR><BR>Raghnildur spoke quick hellos to Heather and Orion gave a quick hug to Leoba, and ordered a mug of ale from Flush. After quickly quenching his thirst, he set about the task of decorating the Splintered Chamberpot with his fellow bards and friends.
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Postby Elrámë » Wed Dec 31, 2003 7:03 pm

Elrame hoisted her pack higher onto her back, pushing open the door to the hall. She slipped inside and seated herself in the corner, listening to the singing of the harp with pleasure.<BR><BR><i>Perhaps coming here hadn't been such a bad idea as she'd thought after completing her audition...</i><BR><BR>Not that she had been unduly worried at that point...<i>or, to be completely honest,</i> she thought dryly, <i>I was fairly well terrified. Well, it's past, and I'm in.</i>
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Postby Teltasarewen » Wed Dec 31, 2003 7:15 pm

<BR>Familiar faces passed through the door of the ‘Pot’. The first was new to the Guild but Telta had not spoken to her...at least she did not remember doing so. <BR><BR>A voice called out to them as Heather descended the stairs. A gust of cold air announced another arrival. Leoba had made it. It had been a while since she was able to attend the festivals. And her arrival was not a moment too soon as she ran for Hue who was in danger of toppling off the barstool. A predicament she herself was not able to help quick enough with as her hands were full of decorations and such. A second helping hand was on it’s way as Oricon arrived.<BR><BR><i>"It's good to see some familiars again. Can I help with anything?"</i> Heads turned to see a large dog wander in and right behind her was Lithtaur, a smile greeting the ones already there.<BR><BR>Erinhue was talking with the young one by the fire and the next thing she knew Agarak’s<BR>soft music filled the room. <BR><BR>Someone offered to make eggnog to which Hue‘s reply was enthusiastic.<BR><BR>Telta continued to help with the decorations adding some garland here and there where Heather had not reached yet. Raghnildur emerged from the restroom dressed for the occasion and walked over to the Guild master and embraced him in a friendly greeting. Happy to see her friend Raghnildur had made it she went over to greet him and found herself likewise embraced and returned it herself. He turned to greet the others and a quick drink and he too pitched in to help decorate.<BR><BR>The door opened and a new faced peered in.<BR><BR>"Hello and welcome." Telta called out.
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Postby evenstar1 » Wed Dec 31, 2003 7:48 pm

<i>Evenstar1 enters the festival. Work prepared in hand an looks for a comfortable seat.</i><BR><BR>Soon it will be new years everyone. An early HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL!
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Postby Lothloriel » Wed Dec 31, 2003 9:10 pm

Seeing the Pot from above, Loth fluttered to the ground, noting the fresh blanket of snow. Not wanting to disturb the beautiful unbroken white, she hovered just above the snow and opened the door. Settling to the ground and folding her wings, she removed her cloak and wandered in towards the sound of harp strings and joyous singing.<BR><BR><i>Perhaps this won't be too bad,</i> Loth thought to herself. <i>I can always wait a while to recite my poem, and maybe they'll have some good Mirkwood wine.</i>
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Postby Eolynne » Wed Dec 31, 2003 9:38 pm

Eolynne raised a gloved hand to push the dark hair off her face as the wind lashed about her. Taraayn walked slowly underneath her, his ears the only sign of alertness in an otherwise tired stallion. Eolynne stroked his mane, murmuring softly to the horse. Soon, she hoped, a warm stable for Taraayn, and a roaring fire to thaw her bones. She attempted to ignore the doubts that chased round her head. Ever since Eogaryn had... had... died, at the grotesque hands of an orc raider, she had felt frozen in her very core. She knew that if she returned to Edoras, she might never leave their home again. So she kept to the highway, hiding away when strangers approached, and keeping her own council as much as possible.<BR><BR>So why, now, was she heading to a gathering, of all things? At an establishment with the questionable name of the Splinterd ChamberPot, no less. It was hardly respectable behavior for a widow, after all. She recalled her recent acquaintance with Erinhue, the bard, and his casual mention of the Bard Guild and their songhouse. All Eolynne knew was that, for all her avoidance of people in recent months, she hungered for some human contact, even if only the sharing of songs and tales. Upon rounding a bend, the timbered hall rose up before her and the warmth of candlelight greeted her.<BR><BR>She reigned Taraayn to the side of the building, dismounted and dropped his reigns to the ground, a signal to the horse that he must not stray until her return. Slowly she walked to the front door, passing a nervous hand over her travel-stained burgundy cloak. It would have to do, she mused. She didn't have any gowns crammed into her pack.<BR><BR>She stepped over the threshold into a warm and festive scene, and was drawn like a magnet to the fire.
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Postby evenstar1 » Wed Dec 31, 2003 10:09 pm

<b>Its offical 2004!!! HAPPY 2004 TO ALL! An may it be blessed!!! I love you all!!</b>
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Postby Jilbo_Baggins » Wed Dec 31, 2003 10:20 pm

<i>Jil makes her way slowly towards the soft glow off in the distance. With gentle nudges and soothing whispers, Addi, her pony, begins to feel a bit less skittish and starts to move forward again. The light begins to grow as she draws closer and soon it takes the shape of a building. She wonders what this night will hold. She hopes this is the place, she is forever getting lost, and that just wouldn't do.</i><BR><BR><i>A shiver of dread begins to make its way slowly up her spine, it lodges sharply in her throat. She gasps and then slowly exhales. No relief is forthcoming and her head begins to buzz with that ever present lightheadedness that always seems to make an appearance at times such as these.</i><BR><BR>"Onward Jil, remember, it is a time of new beginnings, a fresh start. Do not let this happen again! Hold your head up! Move your feet girl! Stop this foolish nonsense and show yourself. Do not be afraid. Life is fleeting! Embrace it!"<BR><BR><i>She finds a warm and cozy spot for Addi in the stables, nuzzles her a bit, and puts a fine woolen blanket on her firm and steady back. "Its so very cold this eve,I can't have you catching a chill." She hears laughter and merriment, and the hauntingly beautiful sounds of a harp singing inside.</i><BR><BR><i>Jil moves towards the songhouse and enters quietly through the door. She looks around at the beauty of the Hall. Decorations are being strung throughout and many appear to have arrived before her. She spies a few familiar faces. She pushes forward. On her back she carries two sacks filled with cakes, pies, tarts, muffins and pastries.</i><BR><BR><i>She spies the great Erinhue right away. She has never met him, but somehow she recognizes him. He commands a great presence. Everyone here appears to be very tall and she suddenly feels very tiny. Her heart starts beating faster. Just nerves..bah..stop it Jil..</i><BR><BR><i>Jil smiles in relief and moves towards Telta.</i><BR><BR>"Telta, I'm so very glad to see you." She stands on her tippy toes and tries to reach the sacks as high as she can and shows them to Telta. "Some treats for the songhouse, I hope it's ok. I felt I should bring something, where should I put them?"<BR><BR>
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Postby prettygaladriel » Thu Jan 01, 2004 4:33 am

<BR><BR>Dark was the night outside. Legyviel looked up one last time and drank in the sight of the countless stars, huge and metallic, before she opened the door of the Splintered Chamberpot and entered. Bards were gathering to celebrate the coming of the new year, and she was looking forward to listening to some of the greater Bards play.<BR><BR>The fire was crackling merrily in the hearth, warmth radiating from it. The few occupents of the pot could be seen in the light enamiting from it. Legyviel frowned. This was the first time she had seen the pot with so few occupents...usually it was bustling with activity. Still, it was filling up fast.<BR><BR>The frown disappeared from the elf's brow as she recognised a few familiar faces. A smile now touching her lips, she walked over to Erinhue.<BR><BR>"Happy New Year, Master Hue" she whispered into his ear. Before he could reply, she had moved away. Finding a comfortable spot near the fire, Legyvile settled herself down, to watch and listen to the songs other were singing. Perhaps she herself would sing before the night was over.<BR><BR>Calling over Flush, she ordered an ale from him. When he returned with her order, she tossed a coin to him and leaned back against the wall next to the fireplace, her cloak wrapped around her to keep the heat out. Contemplating what it was she would write to sing, Legyviel's thoughts flew away to careen over far-off mountain tops and low, green valleys, old faces and adventures mingling with her more recent ones.<BR><BR>
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Postby Braganil » Thu Jan 01, 2004 6:51 am

It had been a long ride form Edoras to where he needed to be, but it had been a ride filled with laughter and many a song. Braganil was his way to his first bard festival since his induction as apprentice bard into the fabled Bards Guild of TORC.<BR><BR>Having his hedgehog Tegi securely in his travelling pouch hanging from his sword belt (Braganil never went anywhere without his trusted sword and hedgehog), his horse Rahedan soon lead the Rohirrim towards the entrance of the splintered Chamber Potty.<BR><BR>A new year is here<BR>We give it good cheer<BR>We drank hard all night<BR>Explode our heads might<BR>For the ale was so strong<BR>But one must've been wrong<BR>Yet cheer we give now<BR>And so we do vow<BR>Our liquor to hold<BR>Much better and bold<BR>At the end of this year<BR>When again we'll give cheer!<BR><BR>So singing mindlessly, Braga finally arrived at the fabled Bards gathering place. He had Rahedan placed in the stables with instructions to only give him the best of apples, peaches and hay, and then stepped into the Potty, looking around and greeting the already assembled bards with a smile and a nod. Eventually he also found the Master Bard of the guild and bowed deeply before Erinhue, Tegi squeaking plaintively at being dislodged from his cosy sleeping position by the swaying of his travelling pouch.<BR><BR>"Master Erinhue, I wish you a Happy New Year. I thank thee for this splendid festival and I hope to learn much, but maybe also present here some of my own poems and songs."<BR><BR>Bowing once more, Braganil then stepped back and looked around some more. Many of the bards he didn't know, only few looked familiar at all. Well, he hoped by the end of this festival he would know many more than he knew now, and with that thought Braga ordered a mug with ale, a small dish with water and a bowl with mealy worms for Tegi, then settling down at an empty table and watching his hedgehog eager consume the meal before him.<BR>
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Postby erinhue » Thu Jan 01, 2004 7:21 am

<i>When Braganil set Tegi on the table surface there was a moment as if time was holding its very breath and then a horrendeous screeching shrieked out from the velvet lined niche above and behind the bar at the tap room's south-east corner.<BR><BR>Erinhue stopped in his tracks and rushed towards the dragonharp's alcove. "Agarak! What's wrong with you? Stop that awful racket."<BR><BR>The noise abated for a moment but the threat of its return hung heavy in the atmosphere. A few very high squeaky notes quivered up from the harp's untouched strings.<BR><BR>"You're what?" Erinhue's voice was full of shocked amusement. "I don't believe it."<BR><BR>The screeching notes began again. From across the floor, Telta clapped her hands over her ears and cried out, "'Hue please believe it what ever it is, just quiet Agarak down."<BR><BR>"But..." Erinhue cocked his head a bit to the left and stared up at the harp. The tone of his voice changed as he used its talent to sooth. "All right,all right, be quiet now, everything will be all right, I'll show ya, trust me."<BR><BR>Once again the noise stopped and yet still seemed to hover near.<BR><BR>Erinhue's gray eyes scanned the tap room and came to sudden rest at Braganil's table. Nodding, he walked over to the table and spoke to the man seated there.<BR><BR>"Um, Braganil, I'm sorry but I got a problem and I need your help. I cannot believe it myself but, well it seems my dragonharp is afraid of your friend there. That ain't a good thing, the harp has a tendency to burn things when it get's upset and right now Agarak is very upset.<BR><BR> Now I've quieted it down for the moment but I can't really tell what will happen if the harp stays this aggitated. If it wouldn't be too much trouble, would ya bring your little friend over here with me and let Agarak see that it won't hurt him?"
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Postby Teltasarewen » Thu Jan 01, 2004 8:17 am

<BR>"Telta, I'm so very glad to see you." She stands on her tippy toes and tries to reach the sacks as high as she can and shows them to Telta. "Some treats for the songhouse, I hope it's ok. I felt I should bring something, where should I put them?"<BR><BR>Telta smiled back at the seemingly nervous newcomer. ”Jil. Welcome to the Splintered ChamberPot.” The elf took in the sacks the young woman had brought with her. “I’m sure they will be appreciated very much. It looks like you have quite a few treats with you.” Telta smiled at Jil and helped her with the heafty load.<BR><BR>“As to where to put them well...” Telta looked around an idea popping into her head. “...Come with me.” The elf took one of the sacks making Jil’s load lighter. Making her way to the side of the room Telta set the sack down on a table and proceeded to push two of the empty tables to the wall so that they were side by side. “Just a moment.” she said as she walked away coming back several minutes later with a cloth, some plates and utensils in tow. Shaking out the deep red cloth she placed it over the two tables and put the rest of the things down at one end. <BR><BR>“There. Now it’s a proper place to set your treats. A place where everyone can help themselves. Shall we?” Telta indicated the sacks of treats and began to set the tasty morsels out upon the table. <BR><BR>As the two of them set out the assorted variety of pies, cakes muffins and such Telta suddenly grabbed her head covering her ears a screeching noise threatening to damage her sensitive hearing. It didn’t take any guesses as to it’s origin as Hue spoke to Agarak surprise in his voice. <i>"You're what? I don't believe it."</i> And again the noise started.<BR><BR>"Hue please believe it what ever it is, just quiet Agarak down." Telta called out her hands over her ears to try and block out the sound but it helped very little. Hue found what he was looking for and for the moment the noise stopped.<BR><BR>Turning back to Jil she spoke “Let’s get the rest of your treats out and hope Agarak does not decide to gift us all with another dose of his discontentment.”<BR><BR><BR>
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Postby prmiller » Thu Jan 01, 2004 8:47 am

Amrodel enjoyed taking Parm on journeys. Parm sang.<BR>Parm gave treats. Parm told stories. Parm gave treats.<BR>Parm rested often. Did anyone mention that Parm gave treats?<BR><BR>It was a horse's dream. As they neared the Inn that was now<BR>a source of delicious memories, Parm found another tune<BR>and song rumbling inside him. His beloved biwa, Beautiful<BR>Voice or Bisei, sent cheerful notes, with the slightest nuance<BR>of melancholy, over the surrounding grounds and into open<BR>windows.<BR><BR>This day and year have opened bright<BR>and brought to me and mine delight,<BR>but more than this, I pray they bring<BR>a daily cause to dance and sing.<BR><BR>The mists of melancholy lie<BR>upon some hours, but soon they fly<BR>for lo! the sun of cheerful mirth<BR>sings out to warm the chilling earth.<BR><BR>Though tea and coffee may bring cheer<BR>they soon will end, as will a year,<BR>but bring me tales and one good song,<BR>and such will last the whole year long.<BR><BR>Dear friends and bards who heal this world<BR>from sundry pains upon us hurled,<BR>link arm with arm and tune with tune<BR>and we shall banish sorrows soon.<BR><BR><BR>It was a cheerful, bouncing melody. Parm loved to be among<BR>his friends, his dearest and truest friends in all of the realm<BR>of Middle Earth. Some had risked much to protect him, while<BR>others he had had the consummate honour to stand beside<BR>and battle darker powers. These were the bonds that made<BR>for the richness of fellowship and these were the bards that<BR>made for fellowship envied by the rich.<BR><BR>All looked well, until Parm dismounted.<BR><BR>Amrodel knew full well that Parm needed to be close to the<BR>ground for his staff now served to support him. He did not<BR>walk briskly, but hobbled, painfully, yet with determination<BR>to the door of Erinhue's pride and joy, what Parm simply loved<BR>to call That Inn! <BR><BR>His staff eased open the door, and he hobbled, working hard<BR>to mask the discomfort he felt, and found his favorite table:<BR>near the coffee urn and close to the bookshelf. Before he had<BR>even settled into his seat, a steaming cup of coffee (Plunge,<BR>isn't it?) had been set near him - and was that a sweet roll?!<BR><BR>Parm rapped his staff on the floor and raised his mug:<BR>To Marvellous Bards! Happy New Year!<BR><BR>With a cautious sip, and a hearty bite, Parm glowed with the<BR>magnitude of gladness. He was in his heart's home.<BR><BR><BR><BR><BR><BR><BR>
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Postby Leoba » Thu Jan 01, 2004 9:56 am

As swiftly as Erinhue was righted to his feet again, Flush was on the scene, pressing a glass of bubbly into Leoba’s hand.<BR><BR>“Why, thank you” she said to the spirit, doing his duty unbidden. And she chinked glasses in fellowship with Orion who had been given the same.<BR><BR>Telta, hands brim-full of decorations and sparkly things, grinned amiably at Leoba and the young woman swung her way over towards the Elf, picking her feet about crates stamped with the marks of Dorwinion and Dale. ‘Quality wines to spice up the evening’, she thought merrily, ‘and toys to keep the child in all of us amused’. She exchanged air kisses with Telta, then bent to pick up her own armful of paper chains, pocketing for later a few of the explosive streamers that lay in the adjacent box.<BR><BR>Engaged in trying to pin streamers to the window frames, Leoba missed the calls of greeting that passed between Erinhue, Telta and a man she’d never seen before who called himself Raghnildur. There was so much she had missed, so many people her friends knew whom she had missed through months pursuing her own cares.<BR><BR>Suddenly she felt a pair of muscular arms grasp her by the waist, slightly roughly thanks to their strength. She looked down to see a pair of male hands round her middle and she couldn’t suppress a yelp of surprise as the stranger squeezed her! Instinctively she swung round and, mindful of the sharp edges of jewellery on her fingers, instead of lashing out, she grabbed her nearby glass of bubbly and flung it in the strangers face.<BR><BR>“Just what do you think you’re doing?” she spat, more from shock than any serious affront, and they one they called Raghnildur. “Indeed, who in Arda are you? You seem to know my friends, but tell me, is it the custom in your homeland to grab women like that before even seeking the courtesy of an introduction?!”<BR><BR>
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Postby Jilbo_Baggins » Thu Jan 01, 2004 9:57 am

<i>With the harp temporarily halted from its screeching Jil begins to relax and take her ease.</i><BR><BR><i>She hums a merry tune as she feels so honored to be here where all the rich and beautiful voices dwell. Telta was kind enough to help her set out her treats and the faces within were starting to become more clear as the room appeared to shine even brighter. She notices the handsome man that Telta refers to as Raghnildur and thinks that he looks very familiar and kind. She gives a little nod in the general direction of all of those she recognizes.</i><BR><BR><i>She sees that the recently injured Parm had arrived despite the overwhelming odds that had recently laid the wise and gifted one so low. Jil smiles in relief. She giggles as the Bards' eyes crinkle with delight as to discovering the sweet roll.</i><BR><BR><i>As she takes everything in around her, Jil recalls a few worthless journeys she had taken before arriving here in this new land. She wonders if the comfortable feeling that is beginning to settle within is truly real this time. She was tired of searching for a home away from home and the wandering lust was beginning to become stale and old. She was ready to plant herself firmly before a fire and discover newer more lasting friendships. Share stories and tales and hear pleasant and genuine voices for the rest of her days. She had only ever known brief encounters that left her empty and sad. She misses the companionship of her Shire. All she can do at this point is hope for the best.</i><BR><BR><i>She begins to ponder out loud that these are very delicate orbs, these eyes that are new to strange and unfamiliar lands.</i><BR><BR><b>Through the Eyes of the New.....or.....New Beginnings</b><BR><BR>Once, in a dream..What a whirl! What a rush! I believe I began to engage. I was hushed.<BR>I thought with a smile and a laugh and a tear that my life had begun to be lived without fear.<BR>I was wrong so I ran and I hid and I strayed. I often looked back on mistakes I had made.<BR>I was driven by hope and by awe and desire and I was held captive, immersed and inspired.<BR>But I didn't give up, at least not right away, I enjoyed the abuse I encountered each day.<BR>For often in life and it can be quite fleeting we run into fate and we take quite a beating.<BR>So I watched in the dark as others' arrived to this cold unknown place I had wanted to thrive.<BR><BR>They wade through the flames and the wars and the stalkers. Using keystrokes as their swords and their walkers!<BR>They were grasping for signs of a sweet kindred soul they were trusting in strangers and battling trolls.<BR>Tossed all around and then tugged here and there, pushing and pulling and storming the lair.<BR>Up! went their heads and their fists and their chins til' it just didn't matter, the losses, the wins.<BR>Forgetting all reason they start to grow dim as they throw it away, all their worth, on a whim.<BR>A few make it through with a glint and a glimmer they sparkle and shine with a flick and a shimmer.<BR>Fading or blending or dying or spawning? My head just kept spinning confusion was dawning.<BR>I could not look away, for the answer, I craved. Like a beam from the sun in the dark of a cave.<BR><BR>I awoke! And I left..And I sailed into night. What a ride! What a wave! What a storm! What a sight!<BR>The fog became thick once again for my trip and my eyes, they were blinded, befuddled and tricked.<BR>But off in the distance I spied a soft light, through the haze and the maze I did steer towards this site.<BR>And as I drew closer the fog began lifting, the shapes and the shadows in darkness ceased twisting.<BR>I felt myself warm with the chance of a docking, the sea had grown colder, was churning and rocking.<BR>I was ready to share to be honest and true to converse to partake to refresh to renew.<BR>I hoped that my race was now closer to winning so I sailed straight away to a bright new beginning!<BR><BR><i>She approaches the great Erinhue, gives as graceful a curtsy as she can muster. "It is a great honor to meet you Master Erinhue! I thank you for the chances to let my voice ring out at last. I've kept silent for a long time and I am so ready to sing."</i>
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Postby Nindalf » Thu Jan 01, 2004 11:16 am

Nindalf stood and straightened his long tunic, wiping away the worst of the spilled gravy which blended well into the russet wool. His palms were still damp from the hot banqueting room, My Lord Faramir keeps the keep too warm for the Pelegirian trader. But a successful day, and the Knights of Dol Amroth would soon be bedecked in finest ‘Easterling’ silk that Nindalf had trying to be rid of for months. It was fortunate that Nerumir, Chamberlain of Prince Imrahil had been so drunk, and so easy to be rid of the Prince’s gold.<BR><BR>Yawning, Nindalf looked down at himself again and picked up the small chest of ‘trinkets and items of special interest’ that he planned to sell to the mixed nobility tonight. Already, Elfhelm of Rohan had shown interest in the ‘Mearas mane pendent’, and an Easterling wanted the charred wood Nindalf had authenticated as from the Pyre of Denethor. This would be an even more successful evening, and smiling his hand pushed the privy door open…..to reveal the slightly shabby, but unwholesomely familiar interior of the ‘Splintered Chamberpot’.<BR><BR>Several patrons turned to look at the red faced Gondorian trader as he emerged, and those that understood the dock slang of Pelargir looked shocked, or turned away embarrassed. So Nindalf sighed deeply, and sang a brief mantra that calmed him in times such as these;<BR><BR>“No matter how hard the fall, <BR>It is easy to sell your lucky britches if you survive, <BR>to the fool who rescues you, <BR>who wants to be as lucky” <BR><BR>Looking round he saw that merriment was in the air, and mischief. He stepped towards the table where a Rohirrim had let some sort of rodent or vermin run free, much to the distress of Master Erinhue.<BR><BR>“Hello ‘der Mazter Erinhue” he said, his docks’ accent harsh against the wailing from behind the bar, “I am called Nindalf, Trusty Nindalf to me friends and clients. Looks like you’ze gota problem wid de wharf rat ‘ere. Now I just ‘appen to have ‘dis ‘ere cage dat Radagast ‘imself gave me to keep me own pet in. Sadly, ‘Fluffy’ passed on, but I can let yer ‘av it, for a small fee”. Beaming, he held out his hand to shake the Master Bard’s, as he leaved his small chest onto the table, narrowly avoiding the hedgehog, and winking at Bragonil.<BR><BR>
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Postby Aliana » Thu Jan 01, 2004 11:53 am

It had been far too long. Aliana stood some distance away from the Inn for a few moments, taking in the welcome sight of the glowing windows, the smoke wafting lazily from the chimney. Well, what was she waiting for? she thought.<BR><BR>Pushing her way through the door, she was greeted by the sight of several familiar faces, as well as many new ones... and a hedgehog. The walls were sporting cheery decorations, and the two ghosts were already hard at work dispensing the drinks. Across the room, Master Erinhue seemed to have been approached by some sort of merchant, while Leoba appeared to have her hands full with another man, though she seemed to have the situation under control-- at least a little. What fun would the old place be without a bit of intrigue, she thought with a smile.<BR><BR>Already overheated, she took off her cloak and draped it over the back of the nearest chair, before accepting a drink from a spectral hand with a nod of thanks. The stuff in her glass was clear and kind of sparkly. She gave it a puzzled sniff.<BR><BR>"This isn't ale, is it?"<BR><BR>"No... it's a special kind of drink-- to toast the new year!"<BR><BR>"Well, to the new year, then!" she smiled, raising her glass. "May it bring us strength and joy," she added, to no one in particular.
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Postby Little_Bear » Thu Jan 01, 2004 1:13 pm

She smiled uncertainly up at the large man who seemed genuinely pleased to see her; a rarity these days. He again defied her reason and spoke in her own language and she found herself haning on every familiar word. Family? Oh how she missed hers.. how she yearned to be back in the warm grasp of her father, the tender embrase of her mother. <BR><BR>Her thoughts were startled out of her, however, when out of thin air a box appeared and floated down to the man's hands, who then handed it to her. She stared at it a moment until a promting from the old Bard set her to unwrapping it. Tears filled her sea-blue eyes as the contents were revealed to her. <BR><BR>She pulled out first a tunic, just like those her kin wove. Thick and warm.. and no holes! The rest of the clothes were soon pulled out after and she found the tears would no longer obey and stay in her eyes. She wanted to give the great man a hug, but she wasn't yet brave enough for that, so instead she hugged the cloack and let her finger trace the beautiful design upon it.<BR><BR>Then he offered her another gift. Another? No, surely she could never hope to repay his generosity, but as he spoke, the reality.. no, the *un*reality of what he was offering her sunk in. <BR><BR>Fatimir looked uncertainly at the... harp? She was sure it's eyes were flashing at her and she didn't like that, not one bit! She was about to shake her head, wanting nothing to do with the posessed musical instrument, but her action was cut short when the harp actually began to play. <BR><BR>She sat in awe and wonder as the music issued forth, yet no hand touched the strings. As the harp began to sing, she felt a song of her own, quite unintentionally, slip from her lips. The words blended with the melody as Fatimir sang quietly to herself by the fire.<BR><BR><BR>It feels like home.<BR>The snow outside and the fire blazing<BR>Food and presents bring their joy<BR>To brighten the face of each girl and boy<BR>And it feels like home<BR>The smiles on people's faces glow<BR>Friends and family with good cheer<BR>Make it feel like home here<BR><BR>The chill in the air, laughter everywhere<BR>Showing a stranger such loving care<BR>The warmth in the faces of such different races<BR>Who've traveled here from their faraway places<BR><BR>It feels like home<BR>This place of hope that I barely know<BR>Though I'm unknown miles from my own<BR>This place feels like... <BR><BR>The harp had been about to play the last note when a sudden silence took the room, followed instantly by a horrendeous screeching shrieked. Fatimir quickly covered her ears and grimmaced as the sound stopped, only to restart again moments later. <BR><BR>When a modicum of peace was temporarily restored to the inn, Fatimir timidly peered over the edge of the large chair by the fire to see what was going on. The large, friendly man was <i>talking</i> to the harp, and then finally turned to another man in the bar concerning his... what was that thing? Whatever it was, they didn't have them where she was from. Afraid? She didn't blame the harp one bit, though she failed to notice just how odd that thought was. <BR><BR>What she <i>did</i> notice, however, was that she understood what they were saying! Even the harp!
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Postby elengil » Thu Jan 01, 2004 1:37 pm

Zahrah sat at the dresser brushing her hair. The small inn-room was warmed by the fire that crackled in the corner, but could have very well been warmed by the look on her face alone. Her smile, genuine and bright, was matched only by the shine of her eyes. It hadn't been long ago that she had been restless, closed.. but now something within had changed. <BR><BR>Had she been asked, she would not have been able to define it herself. She knew she felt at peace, but was at a loss to explain exactly why. But no one asked, and so she was spared having to think on reasons. She simply sat brushing her hair, and smiled.<BR><BR>The snow that lay on the ground outside was new to her eyes. Never in the south had such a thing occurred and it delighted Zahrah, filling her with the joy of a child. She finally dressed in the warm clothing that she had been given as a gift. Her eyes sparkled as she remembered her friend giving her the finely wrapped package, having little concept of such things in Harad. <BR><BR>The thick, woollen cloak, heavy fur hat... even the dress she found was enjoyable to wear, and all of it kept her very, very warm. Finally she pulled on the fur-lined leather boots and laced them up, then slipped into her matching gloves. At last, she was ready. In all her ninteen years she had never known such excitement, but now she was ready. She took a deep breath, and made her way out into the fluffy, white snow.
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