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A Summer Farewell (Three Horses and an Ass TP)

Tags: Arathis,  Hraefengar (Theoden),  Thulion,  Menelglir

Short Summary: A summer day in a garden; the Gondorians break with their Rohir company.
Date (real-life): 2009-11-19
Scene Location: Garden, Bree


Summertime has settled comfortably on the Bree-lands. This small garden tucked away behind the Stone Houses of the Big Folk and down the hill from South Row is a testament to the hard work and care shown by the garderners who tend it. This garden has been divided up into small parcels, and really it only serves as a means of growing one or two plants for most of the gardeners. Most of the plants here are crops, like radishes, carrots or cabbages, though there are some decorative flowers also.






Obvious exits:

 Toby Appledore's Back Door leads to Main Room.

 West leads to Stone Houses.

 Up leads to South Row.



Here the airs have softened, mineral fragrances a-float: sweet yellows, many-headed whites, and heavy violets perfume the garden of Bree.


Among the midday admirers is Arathis, bent by a row of cabbages. He is alone, without his armors.



Into the garden from the west walks Hraefengar, and his grey wolfhound pads beside him, her nose pressing ever and anon into his hand. The man himself treads slowly, his paces even and steady yet slightly dragging. He blinks slowly, glancing about him-- though his eyes are open and aware he has the air of someone who has just woken from a dream. He moves towards a bench and seats himself on it, letting his hands fall loosely into his lap.



It seems there is to be no solitude or respite from business this day for the Knight: Following shortly after the Rohir come quick steps of booted feet, Menelglir shortly trotting into view. "Sir," he calls as he approaches Arathis. "Thought I would find you here..." The left is not yet said as the youth is not close enough.



Another man comes alongside the Rohir, though his hair is dark and he, himself, looks travelworn as ever. He slows his pace and stops just beyond the green of the gardens to lean a shoulder against one of the adjacent walls, folding his arms loosely 'cross his chest as Menelglir comes hurrying into the quiet little square. His eyes narrow slightly, studiously, a glimmer in their depths as he surveys the odd gathering.


"'Tis a long way from the far south to admire the handiwork of gardeners," remarks he at length. "Skilled though they may be."



Arathis quizzes the coming squire, lifting a brow. “You thought you would find me among the flowers, Menelglir?” He pauses with an exhaled chuckle, “Yea, perhaps we are overstayed in Bree, then.


“And what of you, Squire?” Gesturing lightly to the cabbages, “In search of a bit more lunch?”


The coming of the Eorling and Ranger twain burden the knight's humor; and he says in greeting, "For the caretakers of life, sympathy comes with ease, wherever their allies might be."


[Hraefengar(#30729)] Hraefengar blinks, and he turns a slow, thoughtful regard towards Foxbrush. "It is a long way in the road travelled, and farther than that in the ways that really matter" he answers, his eyes distant. "I came for duty and I came for understanding. I was told the wisdom of the North was sought, though I know not clearly what it is. Some small piece of it can be found in gardens, maybe, though perhaps not this garden."



"No...I...uh..." Clearly the line of reasoning throws Menelglir off course so that the Squire stutters a half answer as he closes the distance to come to stand next to the Knight. "No...that is..sir...someone saw you walking in this direction and..." With a sigh, Menelglir shakes his head and gives up. "Lunch would be good but the innkeep asked me to give you a message that he needs to address a matter of a bill with you."


A glance is then paid to the cabbages, squire squinting at them in his best imitation of a professional gardener's manner before he lifts eyes from the ground to look on the Ranger and Rohir in turn--Hraefengar's comment resulting in Menelglir looking to Arathis for his reaction.



Foxbrush turns a faint smile towards the Eorling bard, regarding him understanding. "There are pieces of wisdom to be drawn from many things, if one has the sight to see it and a mind open to it... as I am sure you well know, son of Hrothgar." The Ranger's gaze does not lose its comprehending quiet as he looks again to Arathis, though something sharper glints there. "Guardians of life, too, come in many forms: many are the veils that men wear, and as with finding wisdom in a cabbage-garden, a first glance rarely betrays what lies beneath."



“Yea,” answers Arathis first, a hand to the squire’s shoulder, “he too will be paid.”


The knight saunters then towards the bench, and smiles slimly at the bard. His speech comes plain, upon an assured tone: “Yet the many leagues between Tharbad and here you have travelled without duty’s bind, Hraefengar.


“Be pleased that we of Dol Amroth are soon to depart for our destination; and so that our company shall no longer keep you from the gardens of your home; and your wisdom from the court of your gracious King.”


The same slim smile regards the Ranger’s words.



"My duty did not leave me, Arathis of Dol Amroth," answers Hraefengar. "For Theoden King always meant to provide you an escort to the very end. At any rate, he sent me here, and his intent was that I go with you. Be that as it may, how do you intend that I return to my home, Swanling Knight? Would you have me tread the ways of the tale-haunted, memory-haunted Road and brave the perils of an enemy land that I crossed only for your sake at the will of my king? I have guarded, I have hunted, and I have served you well along this journey. And bow... you would cast me aside as a leaf is cast from an autumn tree, to blow where I will, and wither where I lend?" He shakes his head, then looks to Thulion. "I see much, Foxbrush. But silence is often the greatest wisdom."



But a nod of response from the Squire, though a flicker of a smile lights his face at the Knight's words. Menelglir gives a small bow to the man, then once more starts down the path to the inn.



The smile remains as Hraefengar speaks. Again the knight answers, his voice not unkind:


“By what motivation you have chosen to remain with us, despite the departure of your countrymen at Tharbad, I am unsure, Hraefengar. I have thought to myself, and your heart does not sway me that its intent is not misguided:


“Perhaps you have come of curiosity, and esteemed yourself greater so than our need of secrecy, and so the success of our mission for the Free Peoples.


“Or perhaps you are wicked as some of the advisors of Theoden King, and aimed to design your stay with us perforce, so as to discover our plans.


“Alas, Hraefengar, I know not. But now you claim newly, after many months, that Theoden himself has bid you along. I wound find it odd, had he sent one with so little love of Gondor with us, and returned the rest of his Riders.


“You will understand that I value your life, as my own, not above the success of the Free Peoples; and that I trust the Valar shall guide you safely, as your steed is fast, and Dunland in ruin. Perhaps too this befriended Ranger shall take you, as his people shall too take us.”


[Hraefengar(#30729)] "I was there when you came to Theoden Cyning asking for help, for aid through the land of our enemies, and he sent twenty men and myself, only half of which must turn back at Tharbad, and the rest to journey North. And though necessity sent the full score back, Never had I the intent to leave you. Nor did I ever say that I would. Nor have you asked me before, nor much deigned to say much of anything to me." Hraefengar rises then, standing tall and fell, and his eyes glitter dangerously. "But have a care when you call me wicked, Swanling, for I take that ill and more than ill. I am no blackhearted traitor, nor one speaking orc-words nor one who deals with dwimmerlaiks nor who speaks the poisoned words of the Enemy, coating them with honey until they taste fair and sweet, slipping easily in and stilling the heart with shadow bit by deathly bit. Wicked? Little love for the Stoningland?! I am an Eorling, and by the blood of my people by the Oath I myself have chanted at festivals to recall the history to others, so I swear every day. And I have bled for Gondor... have you bled for my folk? My left arm is near-crippled, half-useless, and my pain ever-near for what I gave to your land." He spits on the ground. "But this is what I think of you and your honor. And where I go now... that is not for you to say. *You* have not, nor never have had, the power to command me."



“And what necessity bid your intent, which first you called the will of King Theoden? How is it you were meant to aid us, Hraefengar the Bard?”


The matter appears moot to the Lord Isilrim. “Nay, if you would aid us at all, you must depart.


“If you would hinder us, you may stalk us in our journey; but then we shall know your intent true, and how it is of little concern for our aim.


“I shall command you none, but I have said ere we left Edoras that our task is our own; and ere Tharbad that you cannot accompany us to our end.


“Alas, Hraefengar, if you have taken little heed.”



"And so the circle of ill trust goes on, and whilst we bite at each others' heels, the storm gathers," speaks the Ranger quietly, a weariness settling upon him that does not come from miles upon the road alone. He pushes himself away from the wall, and glances skyward, then sighs, looking between the two men.


Sadness, and just below the surface, a cringe of deeper shame casts a shadow upon his features. "Such is the wisdom of the south. But I shall say this much, Lord Arathis, if indeed you are to be guided through the wild by some who name themselves Rangers: If indeed they be as they say, in these lands those who walk together in the light are protected by trust, and care for each others' lives. Seeds of darkness you have sewn in this garden today."


Shaking his head once more, he begins to turn away, though pauses to rest a hand upon Hraefengar's shoulder. "I know well the wisdom of silence, aye, Hraefengar, Scop of the Mark... though oft I fear it is in silence that our doom shall be brought."


[Hraefengar(#30729)] "And I said before the gates of Tharbad that my time had not come to turn back, and that it was not you that determines my path. Nor... is it me, but what we call Wyrd. You may call it fate, or the will of the Valar... both I have heard. The songs of the wind guide me, so my heart-sister understood and told me, and there is wisdom in the words of those of the Golden Wood, though my folk trust them little. Yet I learned other lore, and I judge not anyone lightly." The scop trembles slightly, and his head lifts. "I am a loremaster, and much wisdom I can understand, and much I have studied. I will go where the wind takes me and the light shines." Again he trembles, though he turns his head to smile at Foxbrush. "And this fox-wise wanderer has his own path. It is not revealed to you or to me whence that path leads him, nor if yours or mind is set alongside it beyond the span of this garden's wise walls."



“Ranger, you speak many words for one unawares of our purpose and our fellowship. But I shall forgive you for them; and if you call yourself guardian in earnest, you shall perhaps not begrudge me so,” says Arathis calmly.


Smiling at the Eorling, he notes, “Your stay at the Pony shall be paid for, of course.”


With this, and a short bow, he departs.



"Forgiveness?" One brow arches as the Knight moves to take his leave. "I neither seek nor desire to be forgiven for what I have said, Lord Arathis, for I spoke no more and no less than what was needed. Knowledge, not suspicion, yet governs a few tongues here in the north."


After the Gondorian has been swallowed once more by the streets of Bree, he offers a pale smile in return to the scop. "I am sorry that I cannot linger now, Hraefengar, but we shall meet again soon. Until then, fare well." So saying, he finally does turn away in earnest, and makes his own way westward once more.



Hraefengar sighs softly, nodding to Foxbrush. Arathis is given no more notice. He sits slowly down again, and when both men are gone he allows his head to droop, and rests his chin in his hand. "I, though, ask forgiveness," he murmurs softly in his own tongue. "To you, my king, that I do not better understand your purpose. And to you, Faelwine, for the pain I know you must feel. May the wind carry my love to you." He sits for a time, then slides from the bench and sits huddled against it, his arm wrapped around the faithful wolfhound and his proud head bent.

Date added: 2009-11-19 03:44:21    Hits: 81
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