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Three Horses and and Ass TP: Hobbit-rolling

Tags: Brandebras,  Menelglir,  Hraefengar

Short Summary: Something is stirring in the compost pile. Young Menelglir, eager to be of service to the community, almost causes a diplomatic incident. Fortunately Hraefengar is there to calm things down .. after a fashion
Date (real-life): 2009-11-16
Scene Location: Bree, Dirt Path
Date (in-game): June 3048
Time of Day: Evening
Weather: Clear
Dirt Path(#29481Rn)

This narrow dirt path cuts perpendicular to Bree-hill, just above the Prancing Pony. To the north, one can find the primary path which winds along the top of the Hill. If one were to follow it south, they would find themselves at the back of the Prancing Pony. About midway along the path, it widens and leads to a large hole which further inspection might reveal to be a compost pile of sorts. The compost pile is mostly a heap of food scraps, but there is a little gravel and some stones mixed in as well.

Obvious exits:
Up and Down

================================== Bree Time ==================================
Real time: Mon Nov 16 14:47:47 2009
Bree time: Nighttime <00:23:21> on Highday of Summer - June 17,1448
Moon Phase: Full  Moon

Breelands Weather
The nighttime summer air is very hot and dry around you. The sky is near black and studded with hundreds of stars.

It is just past twilight on a warm June evening - one of those pleasant summer nights on which anyone might fancy a stroll. Although the path up the hill behind the Pony, leading as it does past the compost heap around which tiny specks of midges dance in swarms fit to rival the stars overhead, is perhaps not the most pleasant place to take it.

Someone or something has braved the midges, however. From behind the compost heap comes a sudden furtive movement - perhaps a very large rat? There it is again ...

Coming down the path, as it happens, is the youngest of the group from Gondor, who, by the looks of his sweat-soaked hair, has been up on the hill practicing his sword strokes. Menelglir thumps downhill, attempting to sheathe his sword as he does so, though at this rate he is more likely to slice open the palm of his hand than sheathe the weapon. But then....an enemy is sighted or at least what passes for an enemy in this area. Slowing his steps, he creeps downhill toward the fetid compost heap and the 'rat' (so it seems) furrowing in it. Sword is held ready, though in deference, perhaps, to the training session so recently concluded, the youth holds the sword so as to attack the enemy with the flat of his blade.

As Menelglir's thumping footsteps approach there is a rustling and a pile of grass clippings fall off the top of the heap, half covering the shadowed figure below. There is a wriggle, and a muttered "Bother" and a curly head emerges - just in time to see the Gondorian's sword poking toward it. A sudden, loud shriek pierces the air and the rotund hobbit-figure of Brandebras Bywater goes flying backwards and starts tumbling down the hill. Left behind him is a small, nearly empty hessian sack.

Coming up the path is an older man, dressed strangely, richly, one of the travellers, this one from Rohan. He leans on a wooden staff, and a grey-coated silky wolfhound pads at his side. As the small figure tumbles down the hill the dog whuffs, leaping forwards, and the flaxen-haired man bounds towards the hobbit, kneels and reaches out to try to stop the tumble.

"Wait! Stop!" Menelglir shouts, equally startled by the sight of the hobbit and the shriek that it gave. In one fluid motion he reaches down to scoop up the hessian sack and then run down the hill after tumbling hobbit, waving his arms to try to get said hobbit to stop rolling or panicking or both. Of course, there's still that sword in one hand and now the sack in the other, so the sight can't do much to calm the scared short person. Fortunate, it might be, then, that the appearance of Hraefengar onto the scene causes the youth to draw up short and try to compose himself, though he might be only feet away from the hobbit when he manages to do so.

The tumbling figure of Brandebras halts its motion, fetching up against Hraefengar's knees. The hobbit lies whimpering for a moment, then opens his eyes and stares upwards - straight into the hairy features of a very large wolfhound. Another shriek emerges, and the hobbit scrunches his eyes tightly shut again. He is trembling like a leaf. "G-g-get it away f-from me!" he mumbles, though whether the direction is to Hraefengar, dog or Menelglir is unclear.

The sack Menelglir holds is really very light, with two or three small roundish objects resting in the bottom.

Hraefengar speaks softly in the Eorling tongue to the dog, and she backs away, sitting down behind Hraefengar. The scop looks up, and he frowns. "Menelglir, sheathe your weapon," he says quietly, now speaking in heavily-accented Westron. "And go slowly. There now." He reaches one hand down to the hobbit, to rest on his shoulder if he may. "Rest easy. All is well. None shall harm you, not I nor Menelglir nor Hund here."

"I...uh..." the Squire now looks, a bit bewildered, at the blade in his hand, and, abashed, quickly sets it back in its scabbard. "I...uh...the hound won't harm you," he directs to the quivering hobbit. "I...uh...have your sack. I mean, I thought there was a rat there and there's little enough practice as it is..."

The hobbit's round brown eyes open at Hraefengar's touch - the poor little fellow really looks quite terrified. "There - there was a sword," he stammers, his gaze focussing first on the blond braids and then on the staff the Eorling holds. "And a w- wolf."

Menelglir's words pull his attention away before he can register the fact that the 'wolf' is still there, sitting right behind Hraefengar. He turns and blinks at the Gondorian, noting the sword. "It wasn't me!" he blurts out. "I didn't do it!" He makes no effort to reclaim his sack.

[Hraefengar(#30729)] "Calm," he says softly. "Rest easy, lad. No one is accusing you of anything. There is no wolf, only a wolfhound, and that is a kind of dog. Are dogs kept in Bree? She is a good dog, a help to me." He sighs softly. "Menelglir was, I assume, practicing with his sword, and thought to practice on a rat." He shakes his head. "Squire, I have fought with sword and spear. A rat is no fitting target for either, not even for practice. You risk damaging the blade."

"Damaging the blade?" Menelglir protests to the Rohir first. "If it can't cut through rat flesh without harm then it's not good steel to begin with, no sir?" he asks, casting a quick glance back uphill. "Though I guess it was not a rat after all and things could have been much worse..."

At this he directs attention back to the hobbit, hefting the light sack. "But I have your bag that you dropped..." As proof, he shakes it gently, the contents announcing their presence. "You dropped it when I scared you."

Brandebras looks back toward Hraefengar - the man's manner is, after all, quite soothing. At the words 'wolfhound' his gaze slips from the man to the dog sitting obediently behind, and his round face is furrowed with doubt. Isn't that the same as a wolf? "We have dogs," he stammers out, clearly trying not to offend. "Just that one's .. uh, awful big. Like a p-pony."

He takes several deep breaths to calm himself, and when nothing Awful happens he turns to face Menelglir - whose words, alas, are not in the least soothing. "K-keep it if you like," he falters, staring miserably at the little sack. "Just d-don't cut me in two." And at that terrible thought, tears begin to trickle down his rather dirty face.

"And you risk hitting a rock, among other things, striking at a rat. Nor is it good practice, unless your aim is to attack people's feet. And..." Hraefengar shakes his head. "And it is shameful to kill something just for practice. Is it a vermin rat? Then kill it, I suppose. Or let Hund here eat it. But just to kill it?" The scop sighs. "Give the lad his sack, Menelglir. Just set it down." He glances at the hobbit. "She is a large dog, but then, I am a tall man. And sometimes I am ill and I must hold onto her for support, or even warmth. So, you see, I need a large dog, hrmm? But she is much, much smaller than my horse. Now..." He sighs. "Were you doing aught wrong, whatever you wrre doing up the hill, that you are all trembled over it?"

The Gondorian youth frowns, but obediently sets the sack down without even looking at it, leaning forward to place it a foot or more in front of himself. "Likely you're right," he glumly concedes to Hraefengar, though to Brandebras, his tone is brighter. "Why should I want your sack? Do you think I mean to rob you? Or even threaten? Look.." he gestures to himself, "My sword is not out and even when it was it was never intended for use against you. So why you would not claim your sack, rightfully yours, is puzzling."

Eat? Brandebras, who'd almost started to relax in Hraefengar's presence, starts to edge nervously away from the man and dog at that suggestion. What if the foreigner dog decides hobbits taste better than rats? A few steps away he pushes himself up off his behind to a rather wobbly standing position. "Ouch," he murmurs, rubbing at his posterior. "I wasn't doing anything!" he protests to Hraefengar indignantly. "Just - just looking for mushrooms." The confession comes out in a rushed murmur. "I figured Mister Nob finds them here, though he won't say."

Menelglir's query brings a jerky, nervous nod. "You have a sword," he explains, starting to shake again. "I /saw/ you and another man fighting each other, too - in the Pony. I was looking out the window." His little sack is given a longing glance but he's clearly too scared of Swords to reach for it.

[Hraefengar(#30729)] Hraefengar gives another soft command to the dog, and she gets up, moves towards Menelglir, and picks up the bag in her mouth. She pads back towards Hraefengar, then at another word and a gesture, she darts towards the hobbit and drops the bag at his feet. Then she bounds back to the scop and lies down at his side her tail wagging merrily. "So. Mushrooms." He nods. "Well, there they are, in the bag. I will leave it to you and your own conscience if you have done wrong or right. I do not know whose mushrooms they are or if they are free for the picking. But I would say, if you have done no wrong, stand taller, and do not slink or skulk. Be bold in what you do right, lad, and then all will see it and know you are a ma-- ermm.. a hobbit to trust."

"Me? Fighting with...oh...you must mean Findon!" Menelglir says, figuring it out mid-sentence. "Well of course we were fighting. How else are we supposed to keep in practice? Especially if we go on the road again and soon--I heard it gets much more dangerous from here," he says matter of factly. "A mighty hound, that one..." This is said in response to the wolfhound's maneuver with the sack.

The hobbit takes a couple of steps back as the dog pads forward, but at least has the sense not to try to run. A couple of long, quavering breaths and then he picks up the little sack, opening it slightly as though to check that Menelglir has not palmed the contents. A light, earthy odour rises into the twilight air, and he inhales deeply. "I - uh, thank you," he mumbles in Hraefengar's direction, pulling his shoulders back so that he stands all of his three feet high. "You're the one they said told stories?"

He doesn't wait for an answer before turning to blink at Menelglir. "You shouldn't go around fighting people," he tells the squire, a quiver in his voice that might be either outrage or fear. "It's not decent." He glances worriedly at the dangling sword - even sheathed, it's still there.

"I tell stories, sing songs, teach histories, yes," answers Hraefengar. "I am the memory and culture of a people-- I hold it for them, to teach it to those who are still learning, or have forgotten. I inspire, and I remember. I am Hraefengar son of Hrothgar, of the land that is called Rohan in the Westron tongue, and I am one of the senior bards, one of my King's bards, indeed." He sighs softly. "It was not a 'real' fight, lad. It was a practicing, so that they might not forget how to do it properly. As for it being decent..." His head lifts a little. "It is by swords and fighting that you are protected. Would you like dark and hungry things, dark and thirsty things, to creep into this village and kill everyone? Drink their blood and eat their flesh and set a fire burning in the very heart of the village? No? But if you do not, then some of us must do indecent things that you might hunt for something as harmless as mushroolms."

"It's not indecent!" Menelglir starts to protest, but then the bard explains it and the youth simply shuts up for a moment, glowering at the hobbit. "It's bad enough I can find little enough room to practice fighting on horse, then now I also get criticized for sparring in an empty innyard," he mutters.

Brandebras listens to Hraefengar's explanation with a slightly dazed expression on his round, innocent face. "Things like that don't happen round here," he says, rather uncertainly. He eyes the foreigner doubtfully, then takes a deep breath. "I don't mind hearing stories about them, though." His eyes are bright with a hesitant eagerness.

Menelglir's glower awakes something in him, though, some tiny seed of courage he had not known he possessed. "But you don't need to fight," he protests. "Why don't you just settle down and ... grow potatoes? Or mushrooms, they're nice." He clutches his little sack of booty fiercely.

[Hraefengar(#30729)] "This is not our home." Hraefengar sighs softly. "Our home is near the Black Land that we know as Mordor, and near to the southern parts of the Misty Mountains, and fell creatures come from both. We fight so that others can grow potatoes or mushrooms and not have to fight. But the creatures, they don't care if people don't want to fight. If a troll wants to eat you, he'll eat you, unless someone fights him to stop him."

"This is not my home," Menelglir says, quietly echoing the Rohir's words. He shakes his head. "I cannot stay here and pretend that beasts from the Enemy aren't trying to wipe out my home. Or that raiders on the seas, from the south, seek to invade us. I have to fight."

Brandebras' eager face falls somewhat at the mention of the Black Land. He may not know what it means, but clearly the hobbit has heard /something/ about it. "I- I might have seen a troll once," he volunteers, but his tone is hesitant. Somehow his Great Story no longer sounds so great in the face of all this talk about fighting and enemies."

He looks from Rohir to Gondorian as though seeking a way out - but between them, men and hound block both the 'up' and down' exits. He clutches his little sack of mushrooms and starts to edge sideways across the hillside. "If you have to fight," he says primly in Menelglir's general direction, without quite looking at the youth, "you should do it somewhere else. Not in a town of /decent/ people."

Date added: 2009-11-17 08:45:12    Hits: 140
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