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Minas Tirith Forums » The Green Dragon » Road to Rivendell (Page 16)
Author Topic: Road to Rivendell
Hamfast Gamgee
Guard of the Citadel
Citizen # 5528

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By an ill-chance the road was rather covered with ice and stones at that moment and was slow to travel. 'Don't be hasty, those wood-turnings on our cart could snap. Getting the right wood in these parts can be very time-consuming and we don't have it you two!' Dan had said, as Timbo and Ferdy helped with moving the cart.

But they were taking up the road. And sadly, they didn't notice the Dwarves looking on in impatience. There were 6 Dwarves, half on ponies with one for baggage and there simply wasn't room on the road for all of them. 'In your own time!' one of them.

'Just show a bit of patience will you lads?' said Gandalf kindly, unfortunately his words were swamped by Dan crying,

'Patience is what you Dwarves are good at. Since when were you lot in a hurry over anything? Unless you are at your own game. Swindling people is also what you bearded ones are good at, isn't it?' A rather unfortunate thing to say in the circumstances. Dan had had his own dealings with Dwarves in the past and it was a case of who would blink first in some of them!

But they weren't hurrying and the Dwarves grew more impatient. 'Just get a move on!' one shouted. Another started playing on a flute a Dwarven lay. The lay of the history of Moria. Gandalf smiled a little as he knew that this was one of the longest poems in Dwarven or indeed middle-earth history. In proper Dwarven tongue it could take 3 days to recite it fully. A long lay

But as it happened the Hobbits didn't understand a word and as the Dwarves never translated their language they weren't going to either! However, Gandalf got the general message. This Dwarf was saying they weren't going to be moving for a while.

It began to snow, hard, which made the situation tougher. 'Look, we can't stop here all night, come on lads we'll barge through!' said a Dwarf when it looked like the Hobbits weren't taking the hint and the Dwarves walked over to them and used what little space they had to try and barge by. But one barged right into Dan knocking him over in the snow.

'That was deliberate, bearded one! Why can't you just wait, this is our road after all!' cried Dan.

'This is not your road, we Dwarves have been using it as long as you rat-folk!' growled one of the Dwarves. One of the horses kicked out at one of the Dwarves causing something of a scuffle. One Dwarf brushed by Ferdy. Unlike Dan, he responded with a smile, but the Dwarves bag broke and something fell out, hitting Ferdy on his knee.

Ferdy picked it up. It was round, black, and very hard. 'Looks like a bit of rubbish to me,' he thought and threw it away. Unfortunately it hit one of the Dwarves and even more unfortunately caused the Dwarf to fall of his pony and landing on his pack.

There was more commotion between the parties. What Ferdy hadn't realized was that he had picked up the famous Dwarven bread. Baked the Dwarf manner it was one of the hardest things in the north of middle-earth. Cram was practically a delicay by comparison! Been hit by it can cause quite a nasty bruise. Not to mention breaking most things it hit. Such as this particular Dwarves's flute.

Ferdy stepped back at the look of dismay upon the Dwarf's face. 'That was my old flute. Made by me over many months costing many gold pieces over that time. You have to pay for that!'

'Well, I'm sorry, but we don't actually have that much money!' replied Ferdy.

'We'll be the judge of that. Lets see what you have got,' said the lead Dwarf and the Dwarves pulled out their axes and harrassed Ferdy aggressively. Now as it happened Ferdy could see a part of their argument and put up his hand in a willingness to negotiate. But Dan put matters into his own hand.

'Look, you bunch of lawn ornaments. You do not, whatever your grievances, come at innocent passer's by with threats and weapons. I will give you what for!' Unfortunately for him he marched into the Dwarves who grabbed him by the throat an put an axe next to his neck.

'And if you don't do what we want, we'll just take this friend of yours!'

'Tell you what you can keep him,' muttered Timbo who had been annoyed by Dan recently.

But Ferdy had a different point of view. In a rare and instant loss of tempter he roared at the Dwarves, 'Release my friend or you will face this!' and waved his sword at them. But it was only a wooden sword and unfortunately he dropped it and it fell right behind the Dwarves with a thud. The Dwarves looked at him with an odd impression and a glint in their eyes. 'Erm, excuse me, could I do that again?' said Ferdy in a little embarressment.

But in a way this lowered the temperature. The Dwarves all laughed at Ferdy's clumsiness. 'That is so funny!' said one. 'Well, all right, maybe you lot aren't so bad. If you could negotiate? We might release this fellow,'

Ferdy had a quick look at the Dwarves packets. 'I notice you have some spices and Chicken. We have quite a few old root vegetables. Mixed in with some apples. Perhaps we could make a nice meal of them together. I can cook quite well, you know. We have lots of salt. But no pepper. I have heard that you Dwarves often have some. Maybe...' he said with a look at Dan.

[ 01-05-2012, 10:18 AM: Message edited by: Hamfast Gamgee ]

From: Bagshot Row, Hobbiton, The Shire! | Registered: Sep 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Hamfast Gamgee
Guard of the Citadel
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'Maybe we can cook something together? I've also heard you Dwarves are a dab hand at spices. We could do with some spicy food, couldn't we? An exchange?'

Well, in general an agreement was reached and a nice meal was had by all. Even the snow relented, though it was still cold. Though they needed Dan or Ferdy might have done all the work himself. 'Those beard... erm, Gentledwarves can do some of the chicken themselves, you know!'

Also, Dan did manage to negotiate a mutually beneficial deal of exchange of goods with the Dwarves. If it was left to Ferdy or Timbo, they might well have gotten the worse of the deal. 'Oh, come on, you have to negotiate tough with these fellows at times, they won't respect you otherwise,' he grumbled. But anyway, under the circumstances a happy evening was spent. The Dwarves decided that whatever business they had wasn't so pressing to avoid a meal and some good deals. Gandalf looked on at the whole thing with interest. Hobbits and Dwarves did seem to get on better together than some species did, he wondered.

Gandalf did question the Dwarves about the road ahead, but didn't get much more concrete information than, 'It's rather snowy and cold,' but he did get the idea that matters were amiss in civilized lands in the south and Orcs were roaming more to the west than was usual. That morning they bade farewell, and after a few hours riding, came to the border of the Shire.

There was one snow-covered fence. It was still early enough for there to be no-one else around, a creepy enough sign for Dan, but Gandalf swung open the fence and all of the party rode through, over the frozen Brandy and for the first time in his life, Ferdy was outside the borders of the Shire in unknown territory for him.

From: Bagshot Row, Hobbiton, The Shire! | Registered: Sep 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
CrackinAndProudOfIt
Soldier of Gondor
Citizen # 11375

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Cirsolmë found herself standing on the bank of the river she did not know was the Greyflood. The Umbari adaneth peered across the rushing water to the ancient city across the precarious stones that apparently formed a ford over the swift stream. The dusk seemed to close in around her, bringing with it the further cold that even a fortnight in the wilderness could not make her accustomed to. A single snowflake twisted and twirled its way down from the heavens, landing briefly on her mud-coated olive skin before melting to leave only a spot of icy water. Cirsolmë shivered.

She had to get out of these diabolical elements: She had not set foot beneath a roof, a real roof, not that of the destroyed warship's hold, in months, and she knew the only shelter to be found was across the very rocks before her. Though she had long ago abandoned her homeland by necessity, fearing to pass through the hostile kingdoms of Rohan and Gondor, the crossing of this nameless body of water seemed somehow significant, to mean that she was finally making the last move that would sunder her (perhaps permanently) from all she had ever known and loved.

She glanced back over her shoulder, for the sake of doing so rather than that there was truly something present to look back upon. She sighed. A strong gust of wind blew, chilling her to the bone and startling her out of her reverie.

She turned her face once more toward the river, and cautiously, slowly, sadly, nervously, set her battered boot on the first stone.

From: Formenos, later Himring | Registered: Mar 2012  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
CrackinAndProudOfIt
Soldier of Gondor
Citizen # 11375

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By the time Cirsolmë had reached the opposite bank, leaping from the final rock onto solid ground, the wind had picked up considerably. It whipped her matted plait against her face and stung her flesh, leaving her skin seemingly burning. Her worn boots had hardly sufficed to keep out the water from her many stumbles, and her feet were soaked. 

Cirsolmë found herself observing the nearby city's daunting walls adjacent the bridge, but before her was a less intimidating sight: a simple wooden gate in a decrepit fence. She only hoped that this was far enough north that a Southron- at least who was female- would not be killed on the spot in the familiar name of war. She had no other choice but to take that risk, however; instant death in the city was at any rate better than prolonged death in the cold. 

Summoning the little courage that had enabled her to even apply for the position of cook and maid on that now-sunken warship so many months ago, she began making her way toward the gate. As she approached the dilapidated entryway, she could make out the word "Tharbad" painted on the gate despite the steadily-increasing snow. She recognized the name: that of an ancient Númenórean trade city. Her stomach began to tie itself in knots.

She still knocked, though, upon her arrival, praying despite her fear that someone would hear the feeble rapping above the howling gale. Her worries were assuaged when the gate slowly swung open, revealing a surly-looking guard with a lantern in his hand. He quickly sized her up before curtly asking, "What brings you to Tharbad?"

Cirsolmë made a careful study of her boots' lack of toes, trying to recall the right words in the Westron she so seldom used. "The weather," she replied simply, glancing up at the sentry. "I'd like to stay at an inn for the night."

The man sighed, a skeptic gleam lingering in his eye as he said, "Very well. Welcome to Tharbad, then. There's a good inn with a few vacancies having opened up just down the road."

"Thank you," answered Cirsolmë, and was off down the street before he could even shut the gate behind her.

From: Formenos, later Himring | Registered: Mar 2012  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
CrackinAndProudOfIt
Soldier of Gondor
Citizen # 11375

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Cirsolmë soon found her way to the clearly-marked inn on the opposite side of the street. Thankfully, it was but a short jaunt; after the few minutes it took, she was far from sure that she could have handled much more of the icy air and aggressive snowflakes than that.

She stopped beneath a small portico above the inn's front door. The inside looked warm and inviting: She could see a roaring fire burning in one corner, people sipping from steaming mugs, and plates of hot, hot food. She took a deep breath and opened the door.

She stepped inside, a gust of wind behind her slamming the door shut with a head-turning "thud". She lowered her eyes as she felt her face begin to redden from more than just the cold. It was crowded in the inn, and her pronounced arrival soon was neglected by the throng for conversations that rose once more to a steady hum.

Cirsolmë glanced around the room apprehensively. She saw a packed dining room with many tables, an equally-full bar, and what appeared to be an abandoned clerk's desk. How on earth was one supposed to find the landlord in such a hullabaloo?

She needed a room and a warm meal, that was certain, and she only hoped that she would be able to work for them. Perhaps she could be of use in the kitchen... -if they would hire, or even take in, a Southron, that was.

With that sobering thought in mind, she began looking about for someone who could give her the answer she needed. Moving away from the doorway, her eyes were involuntarily drawn to the hearth in the corner. Two women sat there alone, apparently deep in conversation; both looked almost as out of place among the locals, and even other travelers here, as she was sure she did.

Swallowing hard, she set off in that direction, weaving around a few tables and almost being mauled over by a hurrying waiter along the way. Finally reaching the other women, Cirsolmë spoke up. "Excuse me," she said, and the pair ceased their talk, smiling up at her politely, "could either of you tell me where I can find the landlord?"

[ 07-24-2012, 12:35 PM: Message edited by: CrackinAndProudOfIt ]

From: Formenos, later Himring | Registered: Mar 2012  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Roll of Honor Varnafindë
Guard of the Citadel
Citizen # 4097

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Before Yavandië had a chance to answer Barufiniel's question, they were interrupted by a woman who asked for the landlord. They both smiled at her, and Barufiniel answered.

"If he's not in his study, he might be in his flat," she said. "I could go with you to find him - if you don't mind, Yavandië? We should continue our conversation later, it was great to meet another person who knew my parents - but this newcomer seems to need a warm and dry place first of all."

Yavandië agreed and stayed by the hearth, while Barufiniel rose to greet the other woman, whose skin was a bit darker than most of those she had met here. Could she be from Calormen? No, that wasn't here at all, that was back at - that other place. The South in this world had a different name. More than just one, even.

"I am Barufiniel, daughter of Rameldir," she said, starting to walk towards one of the doors of the room, indicating to the other to come with her. "I have stayed at this inn for some weeks, and when the weather allows it, I'll be on my way north, to Bree, and further. Have you come far?"

From: Narnia, also connected with Norway | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
CrackinAndProudOfIt
Soldier of Gondor
Citizen # 11375

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"Yes, very far," replied Cirsolmë with an almost involuntary sigh at both the thought of the long distance lying between her and her home, and of relief that there was at least one kind individual here in Tharbad. More comfortable, she elaborated, "I traveled from my home in Umbar... by boat... as far as the Mouth of Isen, and then journeyed here on foot."

Cirsolmë glanced nervously around the room, eyes alert for a sign that someone had heard her speak the name of her homeland, most likely in the form of a pointed finger and drawn sword. She had heard horrible tales of the West-men's brutality.

She looked again at the woman beside her and could not help but notice an intangible aura of sorts, something she had never before sensed, of power, of peace, almost of age. Here must be a lady noble indeed- great among the West-men. She had not imagined such a one would be thus kind to her. "From what kingdom are you, lady?" Cirsolmë asked quietly.

From: Formenos, later Himring | Registered: Mar 2012  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Roll of Honor Varnafindë
Guard of the Citadel
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Umbar - yes, that was one of the names from the south. Her father had told her some names and pointed them out on a map he had drawn. But he hadn't told her much of their history - he probably didn't know much. He hadn't even told her very much about the history of Gondor. She knew about its beginning, about Elendil and his sons - her father had met them, and been with them in the Battle of Dagorlad, fighting in his usual postion as Captain of the Archers.

Later he had had more time to pursue his history interests as a scholar at Rivendell, where he had followed Arnor more closely than Gondor, having met all of Arnor's rulers. During his time in Rohan he had been to Minas Tirith and seen the archives there - but with" his limited time, he hadn't delved very deep in the history of the south. The name Umbar reminded her of something called the Kin-strife - but she didn't remember any details. Perhaps she had only been given the overview. Her father had been more interested in their own people's history anyway.

"Kingdom?" she said. "I don't know whether it counts as a kingdom any more - but my people were known as the Noldor. Gil-galad was the last High King of the Noldor, but we have no King after he fell. Elrond is Lord of Rivendell and of those of us who still stay there, and that's where I'm heading, as he is my kinsman. I've never been there before, though. I've lived ... elsewhere ... until now."

From: Narnia, also connected with Norway | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
CrackinAndProudOfIt
Soldier of Gondor
Citizen # 11375

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Cirsolmë felt her eyes widen almost involuntarily: here was one of the elves, that half-legendary race said to possess eternal life and powers beyond those of any mortal Man, the heroes of old myths, and a people generally feared by the Haradrim. A chill of terror- or was it merely a shiver from the cold she still felt?- went down her spine.

"Oh," said the adaneth, somewhat at a loss for words. What was she supposed to say: "Really? Well, I was taught that all of you were evil sorcerers."? That would assuredly not be a good idea, so she decided a subject-change was in order as she raised her voice to be heard as the twosome walked past the noisy bar. "What is your name? I'm Cirsolmë."

[ 05-24-2012, 11:52 PM: Message edited by: CrackinAndProudOfIt ]

From: Formenos, later Himring | Registered: Mar 2012  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Roll of Honor Varnafindë
Guard of the Citadel
Citizen # 4097

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Barufiniel saw the other woman's eyes widen in surprise. That had happened before when people suddenly realized that they were talking to an Elf. She wondered what the other knew about Elves, but chose not to ask about it, as she clearly changed the subject - in her surprise forgetting that Barufiniel had already told her her name.

She swallowed a sigh and made herself smile.

"My name is Barufiniel," she said.

And then the other's name registered with her.

"Yours is Cirsolmë? But that's a Quenya name!"

She smiled widely in real delight.

"You have a Quenya name! Do you speak the language as well? My name would be Varnafindë in Quenya - but there are so few who speak that language these days ..."

From: Narnia, also connected with Norway | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
CrackinAndProudOfIt
Soldier of Gondor
Citizen # 11375

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Cirsolmë lowered her eyes for but a moment, shaking her head. "Oh, no, I don't speak the language. My family just has a tradition of sorts with Quenya naming; we're supposed to be descended from some Númenórean lord, long ago."

It felt strange, having to explain such a thing to someone she had just met, especially someone who truly did know the elegant tongue she had been named in. But Cirsolmë doubted that there remained a person in Umbar or all of Harad still familiar with anything about the ancient language, save a few rare names using it, such as her own or those of famous Gondorian exiles of ages past. Cirsolmë in that moment regretted her lack of knowledge, however- so excited had this elven lady sounded upon realizing the origins of her name. 

She noticed that, now drawing toward the opposite side of the dining hall, they approached a wooden door somewhat distanced from the rows of crowded tables. "PROPRIETOR" read in fading black paint a sign nailed to it. 

Dodging a staggering man holding two sloshing beer mugs, Cirsolmë turned her attention from the door back to the elf beside her.

From: Formenos, later Himring | Registered: Mar 2012  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Roll of Honor Varnafindë
Guard of the Citadel
Citizen # 4097

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"You have some Númenórean blood?" Barufiniel said. "My father used to say that even though there was only little of it left, it still might run almost true in some people. You may have seen this yourself, of course."

She smiled.

"If you like, I could teach you some more words in Quenya ..."

Outside the innkeeper's study she sighed a little at the sign. She had offered to make him a better one, or at least to refresh it, but so far he had refused.

"There's no need for a more elegant one," he had told her. "This is an inn for ordinary people - if I change it, they may think that I'm beginning to aim more for upper-class people. The sign is good enough. I want them to recognize it."

So Barufiniel had let the matter lie.

Now she approached the door, knocked, and nodded satisfied at the answer from inside. She opened the door, went in and nodded to Cirsolmë to follow her.

"I've brought another customer," she told the innkeeper, who was sitting at his desk. "Are there still rooms left, or is it time to take up the Butterburs' offer?"

From: Narnia, also connected with Norway | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
CrackinAndProudOfIt
Soldier of Gondor
Citizen # 11375

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The innkeeper nodded slowly, thumbing through a stack of papers before looking up at Barufiniel once more. "I believe so," he said. "I just rented the last room to a Dwarf come down from the Blue Mountains."

  Dwarf? thought Cirsolme. Are all of the legends to come true in one day?

The innkeeper then turned to Cirsolmë, smiling almost apologetically. "I take it you're our latest would-be guest?"

"Yes, sir," replied Cirsolmë quietly. "But it doesn't sound like that's going to work out very well..." She trailed off uncomfortably, wondering what the aforementioned "Butterburs' offer" was. It sounded like an alternative of sorts to the inn, and shelter of any kind was a welcome relief. 

"Nonsense!" said the innkeeper smiling. "We've arrangements with a couple renting a home here for overflow guests to stay with them. How do you feel about staying in a private residency, Miss...?"

"Cirsolmë," she finished for him. "And any place with a roof and a bed will more than suffice," she said, forgetting that such roofs and beds typically required something in return.

"Excellent!" replied the innkeeper, turning to Cirsolmë's companion. "Barufiniel, could you start drawing up the papers for us, please?"

From: Formenos, later Himring | Registered: Mar 2012  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Roll of Honor Varnafindë
Guard of the Citadel
Citizen # 4097

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"Certainly," Barufiniel smiled and went over to the desk she normally used for her duties. There would be more work now because of the sub-letting, but she had it all prepared. Soon she could tell Cirsolmë what the cost would be for a week's stay.

"If you want to pay by the week, that is," she added. "I'm afraid I just assumed that like me, you would stay until the weather allows further travel, but this may not be the case. But if you want to pay by the week, there's also the question of how you will pay."

She spread her hands to indicate all the paperwork in front of her.

"Myself, I'm working here as my payment," she said. "If you should prefer something similar instead of paying cash, I'm sure there are tasks here that might be suitable. I'm not the only one to do so."

"For instance," the innkeeper added, "I seem always to need more people to serve in the inn in the evenings and to help in the kitchen. Just a suggestion."

From: Narnia, also connected with Norway | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
CrackinAndProudOfIt
Soldier of Gondor
Citizen # 11375

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Cirsolmë let out a sigh of relief that she had not been holding until the topic of "payment" came to the fore. She had needed no money aboard the warship, and the little she had managed to scrounge together for security now lay at rest amid the burned wreck of the vessel somewhere at the bottom of the ocean. 

And now she learned not only that she would not need it to procure lodging
for as long as she needed, but that she could pay for it doing the one thing she  knew best: cooking. It was almost too good to be true- but it was not. 

With a thankful smile at the Elf, she turned to the innkeeper, accepting his offer with a heartfelt, "Oh, yes, please- that would be perfect."

"Well, I'm always glad to help and be helped," returned the innkeeper genially. "If you're willing to take on a night-shift in the kitchen or dining room for the length of your stay, that I believe should cover your bill." 

"Thank you," said Cirsolmë once more.

From: Formenos, later Himring | Registered: Mar 2012  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Roll of Honor Varnafindë
Guard of the Citadel
Citizen # 4097

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Barufiniel finished the paperwork and had Cirsolmë and the innkeeper sign the documents in the right places. Then the innkeeper suggested that Cirsolmë should go and get settled with the Butterburs right away, and asked whether it would be convenient for Barufiniel to show her the way.

"Certainly," Barufiniel smiled. "I'll just go and get something warmer to wear."

As she fetched her new warm cloak, she thought with gratitude of Amananna, who had been part of their little group and who had helped them all get warm clothes for the winter. She had talked to her only yesterday - Amananna had been kept busy at the weaver's, with lots of orders for winter clothes.

With the frost, there was extra demand - and also, people were beginning to think about clothes for the New Year's celebrations. It was still early December, but Barufiniel and Alcaira had already been invited to a small party that Tom and Heather Butterbur would give, now that they had accepted that they were stuck in Tharbad for the winter. It would be nice to celebrate New Year with friends.

On their way to the Butterburs, Barufiniel pointed out to Cirsolmë some landmarks of the town.

"It used to be much larger," she said. "I was never here then, but my father has visited it while it was a great city, several hundred years ago. The bridge was a marvel then, great and beautiful, and there was traffic on it all day. When the trade diminished, the city became less important, and now it's down to today's small town. It's a bit sad."

Finally they reached the house which Tom Butterbur used to rent when he was on his yearly visit to Tharbad, and which he would now sub-let parts of. Barufiniel knocked, and Tom opened the door. She greeted him, and he called for his wife Heather to join them.

"Here's your first guest," Barufiniel said, indicating the other with her hand. "This is Cirsolmë, who will rent a room from you, since the inn is full now. The details are in the contract. Here's your copy. Cirsolmë arrived today - she comes from the South somewhere."

From: Narnia, also connected with Norway | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
CrackinAndProudOfIt
Soldier of Gondor
Citizen # 11375

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Try as she might, it was impossible for Cirsolmë to feel nervous before the brown-bearded man and his rosy-cheeked wife. Before even they spoke a word, the smiles on their faces and kind twinkle in their eyes put even the Umbari refugee at ease.

"Thank you both very much for having me," she said, meeting the couples' gazes and doing her best to return their smiles. Motioning, they bid Cirsolmë come in, and she was more than glad to do so. Barufiniel's conversation and knowledge about Tharbad had helped to keep her mind off of complaints about the weather on the walk to the Butterburs', but now the promise of warm surrounds reminded her of just how cold she was. From the doorway, she could see a merry fire burning in a parlor-hearth: delightful.

Once Cirsolmë was inside and standing between her hosts, Tom turned to Barufiniel, "Would you like to come inside for a minute out of this weather?"

From: Formenos, later Himring | Registered: Mar 2012  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Roll of Honor Varnafindë
Guard of the Citadel
Citizen # 4097

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"Oh, that's very kind of you, it would be delightful!" Barufiniel answered. "The cold is just getting worse - I think we're in for a full scale winter. I haven't lived here - not in this area, I mean," she stuttered, thinking about cold winters in a land a world away, "but I think that this is beginning to look like a winter of a more northern climate. So it would be lovely to warm up for a minute before going back to the inn."
From: Narnia, also connected with Norway | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
CrackinAndProudOfIt
Soldier of Gondor
Citizen # 11375

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"Then come right in!" Tom answered, ushering Barufiniel and Cirsolmë into the parlor as Heather momentarily excused herself upon an affirmative to the offer of something warm to drink. The two took seats by the fire, and Cirsolmë leaned toward it, rubbing her hands together- for a few seconds- until Heather returned with a kettle of tea to place above the flames.

"So, Cirsolmë, where in the South do you come from?" inquired Tom, taking note of his guest's dark hair and elvish name. "Gondor, perhaps? I hadn't heard that the war was displacing any from there yet- but here I am, making assumptions! You might well have other business entirely in Tharbad."

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CrackinAndProudOfIt
Soldier of Gondor
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Cirsolmë had almost managed to muster her bravery and answer Mr. Butterbur immediately with, "Umbar", but his additional comments about the war set her stomach at once in knots. Now that the matter had been called to mind, it seemed obvious to expect refugees to find their way to Tharbad, refugees who would certainly consider Cirsolmë to have been on the wrong side of the war. Doubtless, even the congenial Butterburs would think so.

Would it be safer just to nod the man a "yes" to her being Gondorian? Undoubtedly- and Umbar technically belonged to the Númenórean realm. She would not lie by any means.

"Yes to both, in fact," replied Cirsolmë steadily, treating his remarks on the war as an inquiry as to her purpose in Tharbad. "I am from South Gondor, but the war has brought me, as you can see, very far from home."

From: Formenos, later Himring | Registered: Mar 2012  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Roll of Honor Varnafindë
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Was Umbar a part of Gondor? Barufiniel thought. Hadn't there been a war - no, the Kin-strife would probably have been an internal struggle. And South Gondor probably reached that far south. The Numenoreans certainly had established Umbar as one of their greatest cities - that was about as much as she knew about it.

And they still - if only for names - used Quenya ...

From: Narnia, also connected with Norway | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
CrackinAndProudOfIt
Soldier of Gondor
Citizen # 11375

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Tom nodded. The young woman clearly did not care to share details of the circumstances that had sent her from home; who could blame her? In times like these, they could easily be too painful to speak of. Still, it seemed Cirsolmë had made a long and dangerous journey, strangely enough to lands far North of her own.

All he expressed was the following, though: "I imagine you braved a terrible amount of peril coming here, but we're glad you made it."

"Thank you," replied the guest cordially, dipping her head ever-so-slightly.

Heather rose and checked the tea; seeing it almost ready, she headed to the kitchen and brought back cups and saucers for all, pouring out steaming deep-purple liquid into each vessel.

Over tea, the foursome chatted for nearly another hour, Cirsolmë's questions about Tharbad drawing the conversation away from herself, except for a bit about her arrangement with the innkeeper, of course, and supplying her with ample information about her new (if temporary, she hoped) residence.

Once Barufiniel had excused herself to return to the inn, Tom and Heather showed Cirsolmë to her room, a low-ceilinged chamber the first on the right side of the hallway. It had two red-curtained windows, a now-cold grate for a small fire, and a small bed that looked all too inviting.

"You don't have any luggage?" Tom asked upon Cirsolmë's sitting down on the bed with a "thank you very much."

Cirsolmë shook her head and indicated the deflated bag slung over her shoulder. "I'm afraid this is all I escaped with," she said.

The couple nodded sadly; such stories of woe were not uncommon. They bid their guest good-night, then made off to their own chamber, leaving Cirsolmë to fall soon into the arms of sleep.

From: Formenos, later Himring | Registered: Mar 2012  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Roll of Honor Varnafindë
Guard of the Citadel
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[I'll keep a placeholder here for a post where Barufiniel and Yavandië can meet again and finish the conversation that was interrupted (fortunately, as they had been stuck for nearly a year [] ). If we find it's not needed, I'll ask the Steward to remove it.]
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CrackinAndProudOfIt
Soldier of Gondor
Citizen # 11375

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The next day, Cirsolmë awoke late to the bright sun of early winter on an inch or so of snow that had accumulated overnight. She soon discovered both that it was eleven o'clock in the morning and that her stomach was growling, leaving her five hours until she needed to be in the inn's kitchen and ready to work, but considerably fewer until- she was sure- she would starve to death.

With that latter thought foremost in her mind, she quickly arose from the bed and made a quick study of herself in the mirror she noticed was located behind her closed door. Tangled hair, battered, travel-stained clothes- she tried to smooth both out, wondering if there was somewhere that she could procure a simple comb or a dress in better condition. But, once again, the obstacle of finance blocked her path.

Someday, she thought, a bit wistfully, then with a sigh, headed out the door and down the hall toward the scent of what was more than likely lunch. Upon arriving in the kitchen, she explained to a soup-stirring Heather, "I cannot believe I slept the whole morning away... You wouldn't happen to have anything on hand that I could have between meals?"

She was soon offered ample food for a late breakfast, then returned to her bedroom to make the bed then rest some more before lunch. Over the noon meal, she almost inquired as to where she could get some more clothing, but changed her mind knowing there was nothing to be done about it at the moment.

The afternoon passed in much the same fashion, resting, exploring the house, resting, eating, with a welcome bath thrown in, until it was time to head for the inn at twenty till four.

[ 07-24-2012, 12:43 PM: Message edited by: CrackinAndProudOfIt ]

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CrackinAndProudOfIt
Soldier of Gondor
Citizen # 11375

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Cirsolmë had arrived, wearing a cloak gratefully borrowed from Heather, at the inn without getting (terribly) lost, had reported for duty first with the innkeeper, then with the head cook, and been introduced to her new colleagues, including one Alcaira, who knew Barufiniel as well. Now, she found herself hunched over a counter, methodically chopping the largest squash she had ever seen. 

Strange indeed is life, she mused, that I should somehow end up here, slicing vegetables in a Númenórean kitchen. But a few short months ago, she had been doing much the same, but beside her rheumatic mother in their home far away. 

"Mother?" Cirsolmë quietly prompted the woman sitting at the table behind her as she scraped a plate of sliced carrots into the stew-pot.
"Yes, dear?" was the weary reply.

"I'm going to be leaving soon," said Cirsolmë, continuing before the older woman had time to react. "I finally found work, just like I've talked about doing ever since..." Her voice dropped low. "we found out about Father." She elevated her tone again. "I'm going to be a cook."

"Oh, that's wonderful, dear," her mother replied earnestly. "Who will you be working for? Where is the establishment?"

"At sea, Mother," Cirsolmë answered, turning around to face the other with a stir of the stew. "Do you know the fleets being prepared to invade the West-men's kingdoms?"

The older lady nodded slowly, eyes wide with horror, and made as if to wring her hands, diseased though they were with the early-come ailment that kept her from working herself. She spoke no word, wanting simultaneously both her daughter to say no more and to elaborate.

"They are seeking women to cook and clean aboard the ships, and I was accepted to do so. It pays very well, and I have already made arrangements for my wages to come here to you in my absence," said Cirsolmë, taking a seat across the table from the merchant's widow.

"Not only at sea, but to war? Are you mad, Cirsolmë?" the young woman in question's mother vehemently replied. "I forbid you to do this! Were there no other positions open- anywhere?"

"None that I would enjoy as much, nor that would take care of you as well, as this," Cirsolmë stated.

"I need no taking care of." Her mother stuck her chin out almost obstinately; her voice strikingly resembled a child's.

"Oh, but you do," Cirsolmë answered gently, leaning forward to place her hand over her mother's, an affectionate gesture whose like was seldom seen in their home. "And I promised Father that I would. You would not have me break faith with him." The young woman's words were laden with tears.

Her mother softened at this, and Cirsolmë lifted the hand to caress her face. "I fear that was not intended to be such a dangerous charge," said the widow, smiling slightly.


A tear slid down Cirsolmë's cheek even now, thinking of the woman she would more than likely never see again. She brushed it hastily aside, scraping squash off her cutting board and into a pot.

You were right, Mother, she thought.

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