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Author Topic: A Short Tale - in full
Roll of Honor Varnafindë
Guard of the Citadel
Citizen # 4097

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Here's the full text of A Short Tale. Last updated 9 September 2016.

The sophisticated young lady, dressed in peculiar garments, had only discovered half of her true heritage. It had taken nearly a year for her to delve this deep mystery, and now resolve was still unattainable. Ignoring this proved a disruptively difficult experience, but despite frustrations she acknowledged the truth; that proving anything would be a dangerous proposition, perhaps even fatal, was her assessment.

Now that others were following the same path, she needed a guide who would be able, without fail, to show her the path that would not lead (even though dangers were inevitable) straight into trouble. She met an old ogre (fierce-looking and tall) who appeared to look hungry. Though his heart was worm-ridden and almost wholly eaten up entirely by greed, he was not about to attempt something against her, for she was his only recourse. A problem, greatly involving the way they were heading. This conflict would endanger all but those who had armour.

However, when it became dark, she ventured forwards in the wild. Suddenly, nothing quite managed to happen the exact moment it was clear from the creeping shadow that fell over her. Swiftly, her thoughts tumbled and she felt as though something had slipped from her mind. Yet she knew that it might just be her freakish brother Haldirion, who enjoys playing with mewlips and rebecks.

Somehow she found that that pesky (although, everything considered, endearing) brother could be something that did come with the essence of a delightful and benevolent ruler. As anyone would have noticed a couple certain dark looking but friendly men, they were fighting with a large amount of fierce diplomacy. It would be very interesting to see whether the first diplomat from lonely life could bring his sister to the place known as Imladris. Not that any fight could be as terrible as the uncertainty of not being able to understand her past.

Therefore she traveled on to the great city called Bree (which was definitely the best place to hide), so that she could try to find a piece of advice. She then passed by some strange looking barkeepers that were standing by the "Prancing Pony". She looked at them in a suspicious way, because one of the smallest barkeepers was holding a large book smeared with blood. He was not particularly surprised when the woman looked at the book. There was also a weird ornament that was dangling from his book-mark; nothing other than the smallest, most detailed engraving on a thin golden amulet. Scarcely a less reassuring talisman had ever been openly displayed.

Uncertain about how dangerous her position on this meeting would be, she quickly looked for some support. Startled by a sudden sound behind her, she took a large stick and disturbed the ugly barkeeper with a gimpy pair of fingers.

Grinning visciously, the short flea-ridden barkeep dropped his book, which contained broken pages that seemed purposefully disturbing, yet it confused her as much as too much smoke might, so she picked up her stick and glared at the shrunken features of (the) unusually ugly men.

The breeze was blowing away the long-lost pages from the book, which was falling into the outstretched hand of the young lady.

Realizing that this could start a new discovery about the mystery surrounding her heritage, she clutched the book and quickly tried to open the first page. She couldn't, though, so she gathered the pages that had blown down toward the stables and put them into the large book.

Staying out of the reach of the barkeepers, she hurried across their path and up towards the group, shaking like a small furry rodent beneath a raptor's talon.

"Look!" she exclaimed, raising the bloody book high for all to see. "This old tome is filled with many strange spells of ancient and powerful wisdom from the lost kingdom of Angmar. What shall we do to further the search for my old secrets?"

Organizing such dimwits as those she was surrounded by would try her patience, but nevertheless she picked up her courage and tried to convince them that the old book must be studied intensively. They decided to hold a meeting immediately. Entering The Prancing Pony, they anxiously looked for the best place to discreetly browse through the old book, searching every inconceivable corner inside the Pony. When they had found the quietest, unswept corner, they stealthily gathered round the cluttered table and uncurled the old book's pages so slowly they crumbled somewhat. They then made an attempt to read the runes that covered the pages. Fortunately, big draughts were served by Butterbur the absentminded inn-keeper, so they happily consumed several pints.

When they had drunk all the beer in their mugs, they felt a lot of enlightenment was to be found from more studies of her mysterious texts. Therefore, they decided to concentrate on the eldritch amulet, which, contrary to recent public outcries from local authorities, could give protection from the powers of darkness. Taking up their magnifying glasses and scrutinizing the engraving, they soon realized that the runes resembled Tengwar except for the moon letter ciphers. However, it appeared slightly anomalous alongside the Images of evil things depicted on the reverse side. Much deliberation would be needed to interpret the overall message of the golden icon, so they tried to find some references to the most obscure genealogies in the book which included a brilliant illuminated frontispiece.

Eventually, the realization that everyone was deprived of their full list of resources, caused a worried consensus throughout the huddled group to retire into the bar. However, they were soon eager to try poking about among the texts of the many-leaved book that she regretted having partly forgotten. Delving into the ancient tome that they religiously had opened, they carefully studied the facts which undoubtedly were rather unexpected, because the mysterious calligraphy showed that her background was an obvious case of falsehood.

Shocked, all of them gathered closely around the table, murmuring that without any assurances from her reliable, though somewhat nefarious, brother, who had inquired about mermaids from tales to his ancestral archives, they couldn't be sure that her previous existence had entered on a new path.

Shadows were spreading sinisterly from the deadly hands of the ugly Images that were scrawled on the cover of the book. The last chance for cracking the infernal conundrum which through centuries had overshadowed many fates, was almost too thin to be seized.

Howls could not be produced without considerably dimming hope, but reptilian movements would soon allow almost everyone to appear desperate. Thus they chose not to go the most serpentine path.

Suddenly, every person in the room began to feel encouraged without fearing anything that could threaten their safety. So, they all curled up beside the table with renewed will to dilate their pupils, to sleep better.

While they were asleep, someone opened the door to the inn. The silhouette of an intruder was visible in the doorway. A gust of wind blew through the open door, causing the candles to flicker.

Then, with a tremendous bang, the nearly unbreakable flower-pot ... broke. A more sinister sound, reminiscent of the shriek from past times, had calmed none of their nerves. To their utter dismay, a second later the intruder entered the inn. He moved carefully toward the group, maneouvering between the tables.

"Out!" shouted the young intruder, "You all have too few sharp weapons!" Saying this, he approached the small group and held a blade threateningly in front of them. "See this sword? I never had such, even though I come from places where the dwarves forge them. Why do you think that I tried to warn you, you poor wretches?"

The young lady, feeling rather unsettled, began to draw her own dagger and said: "We fight with sharper blades than you do. Alas! This is not the best place for discussing which of the swords is sharper. This gathering has survived only by using our sense of acute mental awareness."

The night grew thin and the tension simmered down. When the hands of the clock reached their complete nadir, the sunrise, which now seemed imminent, began to color the eastern wall.

When light grew to a full morning, the young lady turned to the window and said, "Now that we seem to have reached a better understanding of the problem, I think ..."

She suddenly broke the news that the intruder, who was also standing nonchanantly by a window, had told her that the only thing he knew about her heritage, was that she was not a real descendant of the original Elf-friends from Númenor. Indeed, her ancestors were only the extended family of the great and ancient men who came from Ancient Eregion.

Thus, the intruder had unwittingly revealed how the truth had affected how the balance between two rival peoples had initiated. Assumedly, on several occasions, the Eregion-dwellers had tried to dominate the more northern neighbours that were living close by. However, since they never succeeded, it was merely a matter of time before the Eregion-dwellers had stopped trying.

Immediately, a calm man who belonged to one of the reader-groups, began to say that according to its historians, the ancestors had found only one of the lost connections between the Elf-friends and the Eregion-dwellers. This would imply that the young lady could only be a descendant of the first Elf-friends indirectly. Could they have found, amid some of the remaining connections, a long-lost Ring or Ring-bearer?

[ 09-09-2016, 12:00 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 Varnafindë
Guard of the Citadel
Citizen # 4097

posted      Profile for Varnafindë   Author's Homepage   New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post 
Instead of including the ever growing full text of A Short Tale at the top post of every page, we can now just include the link, and the last couple of sentences or paragraphs. The rest can be read here.

It's easier to read now, because I could include blank space between paragraphs.

I promise to update ... []

Edit:
Wow, I've been at this for a long time! [] I found my first entry in the third paragraph above.
From the printable version of the Tale itself:
quote:
Posted by The Laurenendôrian (Citizen # 106) on 15 March, 2004 11:06:
Swiftly,

Posted by Barufiniel (Citizen # 4097) on 15 March, 2004 11:54:
her

Posted by Indil (Citizen # 4434) on 15 March, 2004 16:22:
thoughts

Posted by Andreth (Citizen # 1613) on 15 March, 2004 16:53:
tumbled

And the thread was started by The Laurenendôrian (Citizen # 106) on 26 April, 2002.

[ 03-29-2008, 06:39 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 Lugbúrz
Guard of the Citadel
Citizen # 867

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What an effort putting this together! Bravo!

It's funny how powerful beginnings are... the tale still strongly surrounds the the first sentence! I fear the lady will never know herself unless we help her out soon enough.

From: Middangeard | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Roll of Honor Varnafindë
Guard of the Citadel
Citizen # 4097

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We are trying to help her out - sometimes we trip over our own feet while doing so, but at other times we manage to move forwards, if only in small steps.
From: Narnia, also connected with Norway | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Roll of Honor Varnafindë
Guard of the Citadel
Citizen # 4097

posted      Profile for Varnafindë   Author's Homepage   New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post 
This time I've updated the story even before we reached a new page, just because it might be necessary to read things in context in order to try to work out some possible logic in the tale. []

I also wanted to bump this thread, which is mostly just edited and doesn't get many posts ... []

From: Narnia, also connected with Norway | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Roll of Honor Varnafindë
Guard of the Citadel
Citizen # 4097

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Another bump - after a hiatus of some years, the story has moved again and we have finished another sentence. Will the young lady have the riddle of her heritage solved soon?
From: Narnia, also connected with Norway | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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