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Minas Tirith Forums » The Green Dragon » Road to Rivendell (Page 15)
Author Topic: Road to Rivendell
Hamfast Gamgee
Guard of the Citadel
Citizen # 5528

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Gandalf was deep into drinking a mug of ale and eating some Yuletide Pie. 'Don't forget the last midnight fireworks!' Timbo nudged him.

'Oh, goodness, nearly fell asleep!' he bustled and went to prepare. Ferdy was nearly dozing of as well, but then he thought he saw something under the tables but dismissed it as nothing. He looked outside the tent at the snow which was now falling harder in the night howling and swirling in the cold air. Ferdy was glad of the cheerful fire. Then he definitely saw something.

'Oh, its you Will, thought you were in bed!' Ferdy smiled.

'He should be in bed, you little scamp!' snapped his mother.

'I can't sleep, its Yuletide!' Will sniveled.

'Oh, let him stay up!' everyone cried and his mother didn't like to go against the general consensus and so gave him some hot lemon drink.

'It's midnight everyone!' coughed the red-faced Rory Oldbuck.

Gandalf let off some some final midnight white bangers. Everyone applauded as the smoke cleared. As everyone was drowning their final drinks and Ferdy eyes were closing again, Will managed to scampy onto the stage unnoticed by any Hobbit until he gave a loud cough to gain attention. 'I would just like to say a Merry Yuletide to one and all!' he said and the whole tent applauded!

From: Bagshot Row, Hobbiton, The Shire! | Registered: Sep 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Loremaster
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Young Will's wish of a Merry Yuletide had been sincere, Gandalf thought, and the Yuletide had been merry enough. But looking back at the first three weeks of the new year, he hadn't seen much merriment.

The old Thain had only lasted till the New Year celebrations were over. Two days into January he had died, surrounded by his sons, daughters-in-law, and grandchildren. Gandalf had said goodbye to him earlier in the day. They had had a longer talk the day before, together with Ferumbras, talking about what to do if the winter went on the way it was heading now. Ferumbras had given the matter a lot of thought already, and he had impressed both his father and Gandalf with well-thought-out plans for what might be necessary.

"You will be a good leader for our people, my son," Isumbras had said. "I leave them in good hands."

Gandalf had promised to help as much as he could. Ferumbras had already confided in him his fears of the rumours that were going, and said that he hoped that his people would think better of him if he was doing a good job when he was the new Thain.

For some reason, the guarded hobbit had found it easy to share his problems with the old wizard, something Gandalf was glad about. The new Thain needed support. And he had told Gandalf that after they had talked about Shire management together that day, he had had a private talk with his father, one of the best talks they had ever had. That was where they had said their true goodbyes - the ones with all the family present, on the old Thain's last day, had been less intimate.

The funeral had been a week later. Under normal circumstances it would have been much grander, and there would have been another grand party to celebrate the inauguration of the new Thain. As things were, the two were combined. There was a party, and Marigold had made sure to set aside some of the best beer and not use it up completely at the Yule party - she had suspected that the funeral might not be far off.

But it was more subdued than it would have been - also, Ferumbras had told Gandalf, not to give the impression that he was celebrating something he had long been waiting for. Gandalf had heard rumours - so he was pleased to hear murmurs during the funeral that 'whatever you could say about the new Thain, he surely was mourning his father'. Gandalf hoped that the old rumours that Ferumbras had been trying to speed the inevitable, would be dispelled soon.

The first two weeks of the new Thain's office had been efficient. The old Thain hadn't been in a state to check up on anything personally, and Marigold had helped him a lot in making sure that necessary decisions were taken. She had, in fact, done a lot of work that she didn't get proper credit for, Gandalf realised. Now Ferumbras stepped in, too. He shouldered his new responsibilities well. Already people had begun to notice that with his knowledge of the Shire - and Tookland especially - after his wanderings, he was able to anticipate where help would be needed first, and to give it.

For help was needed in many places, Gandalf realised. And he was surprised to see how willing the hobbits were to give it. Food was beginning to become scarce - and those complacent hobbits, as he had thought them to be, were not hoarding the food for themselves, but sharing willingly with those who had less. And not only the Thain's family, who had the resources to share on a large scale - even those who had only a little, were willing to share with those who had even less.

Take Primula Green now, for instance - young Will's mother. He had met her at Great Smials, where she worked for the Thain's wife, and they had talked a lot there. She was apparently another who found him easy to confide in. She had her troubles, as the sole provider for her little family after the loss of her husband, and the early winter, with its ruination of the expected vegetable crops from her kitchen garden, had been hard on her. But she got a lot of help from the Tooks, and she willingly shared what she got with others who were in need.

He had been a guest at her son Will's birthday party the other day. So had Ferdy Took, since Will was considering him a friend now that they had talked so much over the Yule Party. Primula had warned them that it would only be a very small birthday party, but she didn't want the children to have to miss out on it completely.

Will and Marigold - Primula's young Marigold, that is - had their birthdays only two days apart, Will on January 18th (when he was 6 this year) and Marigold on the 16th (when she was 9). They always used to have their party together, and this year it had been Will's turn to have it on his actual day.

Primula had told her children that she didn't have the money to buy any presents, either for them or for their guests. It would be either presents or being able to pay the rent for the next month. But she would try to have some entertainment instead - and she would make a simple cake. She had asked Gandalf if he knew of any new silly games to play, to entertain the children, and he had promised to come up with something.

He hadn't told her in advance that he had had a word with a couple of dwarves who had passed by - so when his entertainment had proved to be some small fireworks, it had been greatly appreciated, and Will had been proud to point out to anyone who didn't know, that the extra fireworks had been in honor of his birthday.

If only it would be as easy to solve the other problems that were arising during this very cold winter ...

From: Rivendell | Registered: Feb 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Hamfast Gamgee
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The evening was dark, windy and cold in Tookborough. Not only that but it was starting to snow yet again, in large drops as well falling upon the weary Hobbits oblivious to the sighs and shakes of fists the snow was receiving from them. But there was still a cheery light in the Inn and Timbo stepped over the slippery wooden step to the welcoming warmth inside, sighing and hanging up his coat on the coat-stand. Beer happened to be one of the things that was still plentiful in Tookborough, 'I can't believe its snowing again, will this ever let up?' he complained as he drank a mouthful.

'Well, don't say I didn't warn you, that little thaw was only a blip!' snapped Dan.

Grumpy Dan of course was at the bar. So to was Trevor seemingly more fogetful than normal. 'I think I can fortel the next weather!' he cried.

'No-one can do that!' Dan disagreed with him.

'Might be worth hearing him, though!' Mary suggested.

'Very well, this could be good!' Timbo agreed.

'The future will bring....... Snow! With sleet, possibility of snowdrifts!' Trevor foretold, helpfully.

'Yes, but when were, how much and what types?' Timbo asked.

'Snow, sleet, possibility of snowdrifts,' Trevor repeated with a smile on his face.

'So much for weather forecasting! That's not very useful!'

'Definetly not, Mary, oh well!' Timbo rolled his eyes. It seemed to be the usual crew at the bar, with Mary serving in a comfortable yellow and blue outfit. There were about 4 Hobbits at the bar and a few were scattered around on the tables. A log-fire was burning by the wall the wood crackling happily. Margot was next to Timbo.

She asked him, 'Ferdy not down here tonight then?'

'No, not this evening my dear! He said something about being tired after work and he would rather just spend the evening in. Apparently Gandalf and Primula are with him. Gandalf is telling him one of his tales about olden tales, something about Elves fleeing the city of Gondolin been chased down to the coasts. Rather dramatic tale but a bit sad. But then most of those tales of the Eldar days seem to be!'

'Well, that's Elves for you! Don't trust anyone with pointy ears, that's my motto. Oh, and Timbo, I hope you are going to stay for your Snowwatch tonight. Remember we agreed. As things are getting very dangerous we all have to look after each other and to do our bit. We have seen cases of people dying in the cold, just because a little thing has gone wrong. So, we all have to have a few hours walk aroung the local homesteads just to check.'

'Dan, do I really have to, it's cold, I just want to go to bed!'

Mary answered Timbo firmly, 'Yes, you do! Everyone is going to have to do this. It's the only way to check things properly in this weather. Your friend Ferdy went out on one last week. It's your turn. Oh, and guess who your leader is going to be on this one?' It came as little surprise to Timbo to find out that it was Dan.

With a little reluctance, Timbo agreed. He did see the need for helping his fellow Hobbits, but the prospect of going out in the snowy night was not an appealing one! He settled down upon his stool, appreciating the warmth of the Inn even more. 'But how longer is this cold going to last for, seriously? I'm fogetting what warm weather is even like!'

'We just have to cope where we can! It shows the need to look after each other all the more. People are dying as we know. And to cap it all I hear they have had problems with the Big people away in the Southfarthing. All in all, its a big problem for the new Thain to cope with. But a shame about the old Thain dying. He was a good old boy!'

'A chip of the old block. We'll miss him. We won't see his like again. I hope that the new Thain can live up to his father,' commented Dan with a tone of voice that suggested that he would be very surprised if the new Thain would do. 'That young varmant! I once had to beat him for dashing upon the mushroom fields in my younger days!' Dan finished.

'Well, I suppose we all have to go sometime. He was old!' Timbo replied, drinking more of his ale and wiping his mouth with one of the napkins at the bar. Ferdy was also a little upset at the death of his grandfather, but not to surprised as it was expected. The old Thain had been ill for a while. Timbo looked around, but there was no time for any more ale, he had to go on Snowatch duty!

From: Bagshot Row, Hobbiton, The Shire! | Registered: Sep 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Roll of Honor Varnafindë
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”I’ve thought so much about that story you told us yesterday, Gandalf,” Primula said, talking to him over lunch. “The one about Gondolin – it was such a sad story. There they were gathered for a great festival, and because of one Elf’s treachery, that’s when the enemy decided to strike. And instead of celebration, there was utter ruin.”

She shook her head, looking thoughtful.

“But I like Idril,” she added. “A resourceful woman – well, I suppose it’s easier to be resourceful when you’re a Princess, but even then it’s not a given that you would be generous enough to care for all the others. If she hadn’t insisted on building that secret tunnel, there might not have been any survivors of the Fall of Gondolin at all. I’m glad there were some.”

“Yes, Idril was a good woman,” Gandalf mused. “She did save many – not least many of the next generation. There were many children – and mothers – on the flight down the river Sirion.”

“But you told us about one mother who didn’t make it,” Primula said. “The one who had made it nearly to the tunnel with her little boy when the Orc caught up with them – and who sacrificed herself by trying to fight the Orc while the boy ran to Idril’s husband and to freedom. I’ll never forget her love for her child. It’s great that there would be women like her as well in the Elven city.”

“She was not the only one,” Gandalf said. “The women of Gondolin were every bit as brave as the men.”

“Who told you all those stories, Gandalf?” Primula asked. “Have you read them in books? Or have you met Elves who were old enough to have lived in Gondolin?”

Gandalf smiled.

“Most of my stories come from books,” he answered, “Rivendell has a library with many books of great antiquity. But I do have other sources as well. That little boy who was saved by his mother – I know him. His name is Rameldir, and until last century he lived at Rivendell, where I’ve met him. He was too young when he left Gondolin to remember much of it – but he remembers that moment when his mother died.“

“He would,” Primula murmured.

From: Narnia, also connected with Norway | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Loremaster
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Hobbits truly were amazing, Gandalf thought to himself. He really hadn’t expected what he was witnessing this terrible winter. He well knew that Hobbits were generous in their hospitality, but he had only seen that generosity in times of prosperity, and he had wondered what would happen to it when it was put to the test.

He had – he admitted this to himself, if not to anyone else – rather expected that these complacent creatures would hoard for themselves those last, dwindling supplies they had left. That they would be ‘each one for himself’ and try to keep their private supplies intact for as long as possible.

And instead they showed pity for those in need, and looked after each other. And not only by sharing their supplies of food. Take this Snowwatch duty, now – the Thain had suggested it, and people had taken up the idea, not only in Tuckborough, but as Gandalf had heard, even in Hobbiton and in other parts of the Shire.

There had been several cases where the Watch had brought firewood to remote houses that had run out, thus avoiding casualties. But he also knew of a case where the Watch had been too late, and an old, childless widow had been found frozen to death. He feared that in areas where the Snowwatch hadn’t been established yet, there might be more such cases. The duty could also take some courage – on some days the weather conditions could make it dangerous, and require that the Watch took extra care, or even went two together.

And the Hobbits didn’t complain, either (at least, most of them didn’t). They just took the days as they came, allowing their courage to help them face the next day as they had faced the previous one. Even this relentless winter didn’t seem to crush their courage. They trudged on, watching out for each other, sharing food and firewood, and never giving up. It seemed that times of hardship got out the best in the Hobbits’ hearts.

Gandalf was truly impressed to see how much they cared for each other. They had pity for those who were in trouble, whether the cause was lack of food or lack of firewood, and they were willing to help. If they – as a people – were to survive this winter, it would be by their pity as much as by their tough uncomplaining courage.

But something needed to be done. He had talked to the Thain about it yesterday – perhaps there might be more food available further to the south. Grain would be the most effective food to buy, if any town there could spare some – it would all depend on the crops in the different areas. If the crops had been good, and had been harvested before the frost and the snow destroyed them, then it might be possible for the town to sell some supplies.

The Thain had promised to pay, if anything could be found to be available for sale. And Gandalf had offered to travel to the south to investigate and to buy whatever he could find. He would ride Bill, his new horse, and Bandobras the Bullroarer had offered that he might take Bella along as well, so that he could carry more goods.

“You should ride one horse and lead one with you as a packhorse,” Bandobras had said. Gandalf was pleased to see him finally beginning to work together with his brother, sharing some of the responsibilities of the Thain’s office. Precisely for those reasons, Bandobras couldn’t come with Gandalf himself, as there was no telling how long the expedition would take. But he could offer horses – “and if you can get more people to go with you, I can lend you spare horses for them, too,” he had said.

Now, who might be willing to join Gandalf for such a mission? Gandalf had a good mind of asking Ferdy – he might be reckless enough to enjoy it as an adventure, if he could be kept in check. But Gandalf wouldn’t just ask Ferdy on his own, it would be even better if a couple of his friends could come along as well – three or four people with six or eight horses could carry a reasonable load. It might be best if he could talk to them together. And where would he find them together? That wouldn’t require three guesses …

The next evening found Gandalf enjoying a beer at the Inn of Tuckborough, watching Ferdy, Timbo and Dan enter and buy themselves drinks. He greeted them, and waited until they had tasted their beer and had expressed their satisfaction with it.

“I wonder,” he said, “whether any of you might be interested in a small adventure in the snow? I thought of making myself useful and go somewhere down south – to Tharbad, perhaps, and further if needed – to buy some more grain for those who are running out. And two people can carry more than one can – and even more people would be even better!”

He took another sip of his beer before adding casually, “Any of you interested in joining me?”

From: Rivendell | Registered: Feb 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Hamfast Gamgee
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Ferdy took a surprise look at his friend. He did owe the Wizard a favour at least Ferdy thought after Gandalf had saved him from a freezing death in the snow. But he had to confess to himself that he hadn't too much idea of were Tharbad was. He should know it, he thought. 'We certainly do need more supplies,' he replied to Gandalf glancing at the Wizard.
'I'll come too if we're going,' cried Timbo with a degree of excitment which did suggest that he wasn't quite aware of any possible dangers involved. 'It shouldn't take much more than a day should it? And you might need someone of sense!'
There was an odd cough from Dan. 'If Gandalf needs anyone of sense, I would imagine that you two would be the furthest from his mind! More than a day! We are talking about nearly a hundred miles you know. And back again!' He looked at everyone in the grim manner that he had. He even gave Gandalf a piercing look as though wondering what plans the Grey Wizard had in mind.
'Now, now, there is no need to be grumpy just because we beat you at Darts yesterday! We certainly could do with more supplies, not necessarilly that much more really, just different ones. But Gandalf, could you expand a bit?' Ferdy suggested.

From: Bagshot Row, Hobbiton, The Shire! | Registered: Sep 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Loremaster
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Gandalf just managed to stop himself from sighing when Timbo spoke. He gave a small, but satisfied nod at Dan's words, and a small chuckle at Ferdy's.

"Oh yes, I mustn't just drag you along without having you realize what you're letting yourselves in for!" he exclaimed. "I'm afraid that Dan is closer to the correct distance than Timbo is. Let's get a map."

He borrowed a map of Middle-earth from the Innkeeper and spread it out on the table in front of him.

"Here's Hobbiton," he said, pointing to the small dot on the map, "and Tuckborough is too close to it to be even mentioned in the map. Over here is the Brandywine Bridge, and all the way down here is Sarn Ford, where we'll cross the Brandywine. If you compare these distances, Timbo, it should give you a better idea of what we are talking about."

He allowed Timbo a few moments to stare wide-eyed at the map, before he went on.

"But I'm not asking you to walk that far. We'll ride. I guess you ride ponies? If we need spare ones, then your father, Ferdy, has promised to lend us some. And he will lend us horses as well, to carry the supplies."

Pointing, he bent over the map again.

"Down here is Tharbad, with the old bridge crossing the Greyflood," he said. "With luck, we'll get everything we need right there - if not, there's no telling how far south we need to travel. But we'll hope for the best.
And we do need the most basic supplies, Ferdy. Some different ones as extras if we can afford the space, perhaps - carrots, kohlrabi, other root vegetables like that - but more than anything else we need grain. Wheat, rye and barley, perhaps some oats - but the basic need is for bread and porridge, and wheat is what we need above all.
If each of us can carry some on the horse or pony we ride, and then lead with us a pack-horse each without a rider, loaded with supplies, then I think it would be a journey worth-while."

He sighed.

"In this snow it won't be easy," he admitted, "and we will have to be prepared for trouble. Wolves, Orcs, robbers. The more people we are, the better. So it's not just for fun that I would like to have company."

From: Rivendell | Registered: Feb 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Roll of Honor Varnafindë
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When Barufiniel came out of The Lost Inn, she felt rather bewildered about the time. For how long had she been there? She couldn't really tell. She just shrugged and walked back towards Tharbad. It might be time for dinner - or at least a late lunch.

After a few minutes she turned her head to see if she could still see the Inn. She couldn't, which wasn't too surprising - but she couldn't see the two hills it had been between, either. The brook was still there - but it didn't seem as if it was coming from any hills.

Had she dreamt the whole thing? She ought to ask Lóridrê about it - but she felt embarrassed to mention it unless the other mentioned it first. She decided not to tell Alcaira about it at all.

***

Over dinner in the evening Alcaira told her that for the third time this week, some more refugees from the war in the south had arrived in the afternoon. There was still room for them in the Inn, but the inn-keeper was very glad that he had Alcaira to help him in the kitchen.

Tom Butterbur and his wife Heather came over for a drink. They noticed the new arrivals and commented on it to the innkeeper.

"We're renting that house we're at for the whole of December - and it's available for January as well, if we need it," Tom said. "If you run out of beds, I'm sure we could put up three or four people in the spare rooms. Just let us know."

The next day another refugee came and got one of the last rooms. When Barufiniel was helping with the book-keeping that afternoon, the inn-keeper told her to work out the cost of having some of their guests staying in Tom and Heather's rooms. They might as well have the paperwork ready, as it might be necessary to accept the offer.

[ 06-13-2011, 09:03 PM: Message edited by: Varnafindë ]

From: Narnia, also connected with Norway | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Roll of Honor Aikanáro
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Yavandië hadn't realized how exhausted she had been until she had collapsed on the bed in her small room at the top of the inn. It must have been several hours before she woke, for when she did it was late afternoon and the skies were beginning to darken. The days were still short, and she found herself in the strange position of not quite knowing what to do next. The inn was a place of relative safety and comfort, at least by comparison with the perils of the winter road. She would stay here a few days at least, as they had been kind enough to find room for her, and then think about moving on.

Once she had arisen, she took the time to arrange her few possessions carefully around the room, keeping concealed those she held to be of value. The weapon she had carried all this way with her, alike to a long spear with a curved blade, she slid carefully under the bed. Next it was time to make herself presentable, after such a long time on the road.

A little later, Yavandië made her way carefully down the narrow steps. It was obvious that all was not well with her; she was thinner than she ought to be, and the weariness showed in her eyes, but she had put on a simple gown and braided her hair, and so she felt ready to leave her room and face the world.

Downstairs, she took a seat close to the fire, holding out her hands and relishing its warmth. She sat there, deep in thought, casting her mind back to those she had encountered on the journey, the different paths they had taken. She hoped she had made the right choice, in heading here, to Tharbad, but she knew that only time could prove that, one way or the other.

From: Mar Vanwa Tyaliéva | Registered: Jan 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Roll of Honor Varnafindë
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Barufiniel finished a draft for a contract in case the inn-keeper would rent rooms outside the inn itself. She yawned. Book-keeping took a lot of concentration - it was tiring work. She would go down to the common room now and have some tea, then perhaps rest a little before dinner.

Alcaira wouldn't be with her tonight - she had gone over to visit Tom and Heather, and Elyaliel - and she wouldn't see her until breakfast tomorrow.

She opened the front door and peered out. It seemed to have just stopped snowing - there were no footprints in the snow under the dark sky. And it was getting colder again. She went in to sit by the fire.

An unknown woman was sitting there. One of today's or yesterday's arrivals, probably - she was of the Second-born, like almost everyone around here.

Barufiniel smiled at her.

"It's good to have a good fire in such cold weather as this," she said. "Have you just arrived - and have you travelled far?"

From: Narnia, also connected with Norway | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Roll of Honor Aikanáro
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Yavandië smiled back at the elven woman who had addressed her. 'I'm trying to chase the cold from my bones,' she said, shaking her head. 'I didn't know the winters were this bitter in the north.' She had never seen such heavy snows, so encompassing that one struggled to make out the point on the horizon where white-blanketed land met clouded sky.

She paused a moment, leaning back in her chair, before explaining, 'It makes travel difficult. I came from Rohan, from Léohtford, which is a small village not so far from Edoras.' Or at least it had been, she thought to herself. 'I had to leave - the day came when the troubles of the realm reached our doorstep, and it was the only thing left to do.' If she was defending her choice, it was to herself rather than to her companion, and Yavandië decided to say no more about what had befallen her. She had long since grown tired of relating her misfortune to strangers.

'I arrived here this morning,' she said instead, 'and the kind people here gave me shelter. It seems a welcoming sort of place - is it your home?' she asked then. 'Or are you too a visitor here?'

From: Mar Vanwa Tyaliéva | Registered: Jan 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Roll of Honor Varnafindë
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Léohtford? Barufiniel thought. My parents mentioned that name - but in what connection?

In Rohan - it could perhaps be the small village they had lived close to, in a little house all on its own, where they could be private when people didn't feel comfortable around them. Some people got used to being with Elves and got friendly with them, but most preferred to keep their distance.

She wasn't sure, though, and decided not to comment on it.

"I'm another visitor, and they've been welcoming to me, too," she answered.
"I came with a group from Rohan, mostly people running away from the war there. Most of them have decided to settle down here in Tharbad, but some of us will go on to the north as soon as this winter is over. They say that it has come earlier than usual and that there is more snow and more frost than usual. Early December shouldn't have been this bad. I only hope that it will stop earlier than usual as well."

She sighed. Then she shrugged and smiled a little apologetically.

"I guess there's nothing we can do about it," she said. "Anyway, I ought to introduce myself. I am Barufiniel, daughter of Rameldir. I'm on my way to the north, to Rivendell, to meet with my kinsmen there."

From: Narnia, also connected with Norway | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Roll of Honor Aikanáro
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Yavandië gave Barufiniel a small smile. 'My name's Yavandië,' she offered in return, 'and the truth is that I'm not quite sure where I'm heading to, not just yet. I...I suppose you could say I left my life behind in Rohan, all of it. Now I've got to figure out who I am and what I'm going to do without it.' She shrugged, semi-apologetically. 'I suppose most of those people you travelled with were facing the same thing.'

She was silent a moment, staring deeply into the curling flames of the fire. That was one of the cruelties of war, it made the tragic commonplace. There was no time for real grief, no community to turn to for comfort. Yavandië had found within herself a desperate sort of strength, the sort that resisted the urge to lay down upon the cold ground and give herself to frozen sleep. She had made it this far, and it seemed to her now that the worst was over.

Looking back at Barufiniel again, she turned her thoughts back to what the woman had said. 'I have heard that Rivendell is a beautiful place,' she told her. 'I hope for you that that is true, even in a winter such as this.'

From: Mar Vanwa Tyaliéva | Registered: Jan 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Roll of Honor Varnafindë
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"My parents said that it was indeed a beautiful place," Barufiniel said, a little wistfully, "and much of its beauty lies in its architechture and its many works of art indoors - so the winter wouldn't affect all that.
But otherwise, winter affects it. It's not a place of magical eternal summer. It is sheltered, though, in a narrow valley, so there are many winds that will not reach it.

"Or at least," she laughed a little, "that's what I've been told. I've never been there myself. My parents lived there for many years, but lately they have lived in Rohan - and last month they left for the West. I have ... I have lived elsewhere, so I only know what they have told me."

She suddenly realised the implications of what the other had said. Most of the people she had met, didn't know about Rivendell, or if they did, then only vaguely. But this woman ...

"You have heard about it?" she asked. "Most people around here haven't."

From: Narnia, also connected with Norway | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Roll of Honor Braeden Fireheart
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What was it her father had said? Always on the move, never settles... Those were his words about her as a child. During their short time together in the mysterious inn, Lóridrê realised she’d continued in that fashion all of her life. She had found homes in many places in Middle-earth, but nothing would satisfy her completely.

“It’s no surprise, though. You were born to it. Your mother’s people – who quickly became my people – were wanderers. They may’ve had a homeland, but their hearts were always on the move. They’re wrongly called the Nandor; at least, those of your mother’s blood are. The Laiquendi kept on going until they reached the sea. They didn’t turn back, Lóri. They just stayed.”

Lóridrê smiled, “Stayed and wandered?”

“However illogical my argument may be, if it weren’t for them I would’ve died as a child.” Naróbe clasped her hand resting on the table. “And you, my dear.” He blinked and let the tears slip down his cheeks. “Whatever is coming up for me, I can take it. Just knowing that you are here still after so many years will be enough for me. Presuming I will remember all of this after I leave the inn.”


Lóridrê sighed and stroked Áramuilë’s nose, “If I remember, then he remembered. He mustn’t have told mother about it; or maybe he did, and she just didn’t believe him.” Lóridrê let her shoulders droop. “As much as I’m thankful for seeing my father, I wish Kelvatano had been there. He had, you know,” sitting on the stall floor, Lóridrê pulled her knees towards her chest. “I missed him by a few hours. He spoke to my father. Neither gave their real name, but father’s description of him fits that image in my soul.” Closing her eyes, Lóridrê wept. Her hair flew across her face as a brisk puff of air rushed past. Lóridrê looked up to see Áramuilë’s nose hovering above. She tapped the horse’s chin, “It’s time for your walk.”

Áramuilë knocked her front left hoof against the floor three times. Lóridrê turned to see the Rohirrim man, Folcmund, gazing down at her. His horse, Grimfola, also peeked over the gate. Áramuilë stepped towards the stallion.

Lóridrê got to her feet and smiled at the man. “It’s been a while since we’ve spoken. How are you?”

Folcmund nodded, “I am fine, my lady. How are you?”

Deciding not to cover her emotion, Lóridrê shrugged. “A little nostalgic; it’s nothing of great concern.”

“Tears are not always worrisome.” Folcmund patted Grimfola’s shoulder, “We’ll be taking a tour around the town soon. It’s one of my new duties as a Town Guardsman. It’ll be good to have some company while I get paid. Why don’t you join us?”

“Oh, I—”

Folcmund opened the gate, “You must tell me where you went yesterday. I was there, at the northern gate, upon your return. You seemed quite dishevelled; I didn’t realise it was you until you spoke. Such windswept hair and weary eyes...” He shrugged, “I must say that is not what I expected to see in an elf.” He stepped back as Áramuilë walked towards him, “Your horse is willing to join us.”

Lóridrê sighed. “As am I,” she smiled.

[ 07-04-2011, 01:34 PM: Message edited by: Braeden Fireheart ]

From: Mnemosyne's loft | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Roll of Honor Aikanáro
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'About Rivendell? Oh, yes,' Yavandië told Barufiniel. 'Although I haven't been there, either. I hadn't been further away from home than Edoras before...well, before all of this happened. I suppose it's not the sort of place one usually hears about.'

Yavandië would never have known more than the name of Rivendell, either, if not for the presence of a couple of the more unusual members of her community. 'I have known about Rivendell since I was a girl,' she explained. 'My parents knew an elven couple. They did not live within Léohtford itself, I think they preferred to be set apart a little, to have that space. They were well-liked, though, and my parents would visit theim on occasion. Before I was old enough to go with them, my mother used to tell me about the wonderful places the elven woman, Glaerien, had seen. She and her husband lived in Rivendell once, very long ago.'

She smiled at Barufiniel suddenly. 'That is a coincidence, is it not, that both your parents and our Glaerien and Rameldir lived first in Rivendell and then in Rohan! Tell me, whereabouts in my country did your family make their home?'

From: Mar Vanwa Tyaliéva | Registered: Jan 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Roll of Honor Varnafindë
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Barufiniel stared at Yavandië, her eyes wide.

It was their village. It couldn't be otherwise. And thinking more closely about it - yes, she remembered now, they had told her about going to the market in Léohtford, about meeting friendly people in the market stalls.

"They lived right outside Léohtford," she almost whispered. "They lived in a small house of their own, getting a little space, staying off if there were those who didn't like them all that much.
There is no coincidence. Your parents knew my parents."

From: Narnia, also connected with Norway | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Roll of Honor Aikanáro
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Yavandië looked back at her, equally surprised by the revelation. 'I suppose that they must have!' she said incredulously. 'And with no knowledge of that we have met each other.'

Something did not seem right, though. The elven couple had lived just outside Léohtford for as long as anyone could remember, before Yavandië's parents themselves were even born, and yet nobody had known about this daughter of theirs. This full-grown daughter.

'They did not say that they had any children,' she said, and regretted her words almost instantly afterwards. No doubt Barufiniel would be hurt to hear that her parents had not spoken of her to the others in the village. That, or they were not themselves on speaking terms, for in all that time she had never once visited them. It was a shorter time to an elf, she knew, but still it was enough.

Trying to cover her thoughtless words, she amended: 'That is, they did not tell me about you, or my mother and father. I didn't know that they had a daughter. Now that you say it, I can see the look of them in your face.'

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Roll of Honor Varnafindë
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Here we go again, Barufiniel thought. I've tried to avoid this issue with most people I've met - but with this woman, I need to tell her the whole truth.

And to hope that she will believe it.

She might, of course - Alcaira was willing enough to believe it - but then again, I sort of proved it by knowing some important facts. Also, Alcaira is younger and very eager to make friends with people. I don't know whether Yavandië will be quite as open to strange new concepts.

Only one way to find out.
She took a deep breath.

"Now, this is a bit difficult to explain," she began. "Would you be able to imagine other worlds than this? Not just lands far away, but other worlds, which you cannot travel to, but just might be pulled into by some kind of good magic? And worse, worlds where time itself runs differently from time in our world?

"Because that is what happened to our family. Less than two months ago, my parents fled from Léohtford because the Orcs were about to attack. I was not yet born. During their flight, while they were still in Rohan, they were pulled into another world.

"They settled down in that world, in a land called Narnia. I was born there, and we lived there for five hundred years. Then they were sent to the West, not using a grey ship like Elves usually do - and I was sent to this world, to Middle-earth.
To the same place they had left from.
And to the same moment they had left from."

From: Narnia, also connected with Norway | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Roll of Honor Aikanáro
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Yavandië listened, her forehead creasing a little as she tried to understand what Barufiniel was telling her. It was rather far-fetched, she thought, and yet there was no denying that Barufiniel was the daughter of Rameldir and Glaerien, or close kin at the very least. What reason would she have to lie? Yavandië had come across more than one person who had been hiding the truth of their past on the road to Tharbad. There were ways of telling, in some cases. Without exception, however, the false histories they invented were almost too dull and mundane to be believable. If Barufiniel had something to hide, she would be doing better at it than this.

That left the explanation that it was true. 'You are saying,' she said slowly, as if confirming her comprehension, 'that when your parents left - and I remember that, it was only a short time before we all left - they went not to board the Elven-ships, but to another place entirely. There you were born, and spent hundreds of years, until one day you returned, to the very day your parents had left, as if no time at all had passed.'

Yavandië then decided there was nothing for it but to state her opinion plainly. 'I can imagine it,' she told Barufiniel. 'I do not know that I can believe it, not yet, but I think that if it is true, you will know how it sounds to me and understand why it is difficult.'

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Roll of Honor Varnafindë
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At least Yavandië hadn't called her an outright liar. The one time that had happened, had made Barufiniel even more cautious about telling about her past at all. With people who knew nothing about her parents, it was much easier to just be vague about having lived far away, in the south somewhere, and therefore not knowing Rohan very well.

Of course it would be difficult to believe. It was difficult enough to explain it. Sometimes she wondered if it had been better if Aslan had sent her five hundred years into the future - it might have explained the gap better. But if she was to be a part of Middle-earth, somehow it felt better to pick up right where her parents had left, and not have her own gap of events that she hadn't even heard of.

"It's difficult even to explain," she replied. "I would have thought it impossible, if it hadn't happened to my own parents and to me. I appreciate that you at least can imagine it. If you can believe it later, that will be even better, of course.

"As you say, they didn't go to board the Elven-ships. They didn't even mean to leave Middle-earth. They wanted to go back to Rivendell, where my father had lived since the very day his kinsman Lord Elrond founded it, and where my mother had lived since they got married.

"They were crossing the plains of Rohan, when they saw a small hill with some silver birches growing on top of it. They were hoping to get a better view, and perhaps see where they could cross the River Isen, so they rode in among the birch trees. Two of them stood close together, almost opening an archway for them to go through. And when they rode through that archway, they suddenly found themselves riding in a dark forest, densely filled with fir trees. That was how they began to see that this must be a different world."

She stopped, not really knowing whether she should have added this information to the overload she had already given Yavandië. Then something struck her.

"You said that you can see them in my face - so you didn't merely hear about them from your parents? You have met them as well?"

[ 07-09-2011, 02:01 AM: Message edited by: Varnafindë ]

From: Narnia, also connected with Norway | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Roll of Honor Aikanáro
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Yavandië nodded. 'I have,' she said. 'I did not know them well, but we had met on a few occasions.' She smiled to herself at the memory, and then felt that she should explain. 'My mother used to visit them, as I said. She was a very neighbourly sort of woman, it was important to her to be on good terms with everyone in the village. Léohtford is small enough that I think she managed it. Her visits to your parents were only occasional, but she spoke very highly of them, and then I went with her a few times. I was only young, then, but I remember I asked your father about Rivendell, because my mother had already told me the stories she had heard of it. That is how I know it is such a beautiful place.'

'And then,' Yavandië continued, 'my mother died in birthing my brother Ceolred, and after that I did not go visiting anymore, but after I was married I used to see your parents sometimes when I went to market, and we would exchange greetings in passing.'

She was saying altogether too much about herself, Yavandië thought. More now to this woman than she had to all the strangers she had met on the long road from Léohtford. Somehow, though, it didn't bother her as much as she had anticipated. What were the comonplace details of the life she had left behind compared to the fantastic notions Barufiniel had shared?

'Your parents,' she said then, 'once they realized they were leaving this world, didn't they want to turn back? Didn't they try? Rivendell would have been safe for them, far from the war.' It would have seemed the sensible thing to Yavandië, upon finding yourself in a dark and unfamiliar forest, simply to go back the way you had come.

From: Mar Vanwa Tyaliéva | Registered: Jan 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Roll of Honor Varnafindë
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Yavandië had lost her mother? Her mother had died in childbirth?
There was more behind her than just losing her village, then - the other woman had some painful memories in her past. And she mentioned marriage, but she was not travelling with her husband - had she lost him as well? In the war?

Barufiniel wanted to find out, but she didn't want to ask and cause the other even more pain. She would wait until some better opportunity opened itself.

Yavandië's question was a very sensible and reasonable one. Barufiniel thought back to talking to her parents about their first days in Narnia.

"They told me that they did think about going back," she said, "but my father was wondering whether they had somehow got into the West, to the forests of Valinor where his friend had gone hunting with Oromë the Vala - and if so, he didn't want to go back. Anyway, they decided to take the adventure that was sent to them - and soon they met the one who had sent it ..."

Barufiniel smiled.

"Do you know about the naming customs of the Elves?" she asked. "Do you know the significance of the name that the mother gives her child? And do you know the meaning of my father's name, given him by her mother - the meaning of 'Rameldir'?"

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Hamfast Gamgee
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The next morning which dawned cold, a little snowy though not like some of the big snow storms that had taken place recently, Ferdy, Timbo and Gandalf met outside the road. Bill was going to be the beast of burden and a whole variety of supplies for the journey was laden in the wagon he was pulling. He was wearing in sharp shoes appropriate for the conditions they were going to encounter. 'So where's Dan?' asked Ferdy.

'Maybe the grumpy old ninnyhammer's not coming after all!'

'What a shame. Still I haven't seen him this morning. We can't wait all day, can we?' So after a while the 3 started on the journey along the icy road with all of the Shire in white snow around them.

But after half a mile or so a voice said, 'Ar, there you are, what kept you? Come on, move up!' and there was Dan on the roadside waiting for them. 'I've just been out collecting firewood. I knew you two wouldn't have bought enough,' and he climbed aboard the cart as Ferdy and Timbo exchanged resigned glances.

The first two days were peaceful if cold with the snow falling in showers of varying strengths. The road was quiet and indeed many of the usual lanes that flowed onto it were cut of due to snowfalls. There wasn't much wildlife the odd Robin or snow Thrush fluttered and sang but otherwise the land was under a foreboding snowy silence. In the nights, the Hobbits huddled in blankets as the weather dropped. Gandalf and Dan insisted on keeping a watch though the other two probably wouldn't have bothered them been in the Shire after all.

One evening they were riding near to the Shire borders of the Brandywine. Dan looked in amazement at the river that always in his life had flowed happily and freely was frozen up and he reckoned could possibly even be walked across as he told the others, though possibly only he of the party was aware of the danger that might cause for the Shire, as the Brandywine had always served as a natural defence for the Shire against invaders. As night fell, he called out to the others, 'Look!' and they saw some lights of another party of travelers on the road on the other direction. They wondered as it would be the first they had seen for a day.

From: Bagshot Row, Hobbiton, The Shire! | Registered: Sep 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Loremaster
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"Perhaps they can tell us about the weather conditions further south," Gandalf said. "They might even know whether food is scarce or not. If we're really lucky, we might not even have to travel as far as to Tharbad - although I don't know of any other town between here and there, only some tiny villages."

He knit his brows and stared into the darkness, as they approached the other party.

"They won't be Elves," he said, "there wouldn't be such a large group of Elves here. I only know about two Elves down that way. And I don't think there would be such a group of Hobbits either - I guess they are Men. Better be careful - we don't know where they're from or what their business is."

He patted Bella's neck - he had borrowed Bella and rode her now that Bill was pulling the cart. They were leading two strong ponies along, who were sharing some of the burdens, but mostly being ready to carry more burdens on their way home.

Suddenly he gave a low whistle of surprise.

"Another group I wouldn't have expected down these parts," he said quietly. "I see them now - they are Dwarves."

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