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Short Summary: On the trip, Gidon meets up with some elves.
Date (real-life): 2009-07-30
Scene Location: Eastern Moors
Road on the High Moors
This vast plateau slants up towards the Misty Mountains in the east. Long grasses, heather, and short shrubs grow all around in the thin soil, and the wind coming down off the mountains whistles through them. The cold wind is quite enough to bite through the thickest clothing.
The road is hardly worth the name here. It is barely visible, a trail of crumbling stones nearly sunk into the soil or overgrown with grasses.

The dust from the dwarven caravan settles slowly, and even though the sun has set and the sky is dusky blue overhead and bright yellow-orange in the west, the air still tastes of dust. Faint jingling noises, the crackle of fires, low talking and laughter - these betray the encampment. 
A little ways away, sitting perched on a rock that juts from the grassy land, a young boy sits, looking eastward. His feet dangle over the edge, and one arm is in a sling.

[Corunin(#31414)] To the keen ear, a faint rustling in the tall grass near the rock might be heard, but even most would write it off as the wind. An ethir of Imladris, out on patrol, silently watches the encampment from nearby. He makes no sound yet, but watches this boy, sitting off to himself away from the rest.

Gidon hears the rustling, and glances towards it, but idly. It's just the wind. He sees nothing in the bright evening but grass, and more grass, and long low hills with yet more clumps of grass. Restlessly, he stands up, rubbing at the arm that is held in its sling, but doesn't go anywhere. What's there to see, after all, but still more grass?

[Corunin(#31414)] The ethir stands slowly from his concealed position, bow drawn. He has an arrow nocked to the string. "What business does a boy have on the high moors?" he asks quietly, so as to not alert the boy's traveling companions.

Gidon starts, whirling around, his eyes searching the dusky for the source of the voice. At the same time as he is pulling a short knife out of his belt, he is backing away from where the voice seemed to come from. 
Just then, his eyes fix on the standing figure, drop at once to the bow with its drawn arrow. "Nothing!" he says hurriedly. "I wasn't doin' nothing!"

[Corunin(#31414)] "Keep your voice down if you don't want an arrow in your throat. And drop your knife. I won't hurt you; I see someone has already done that. I merely wish to know your errand on the moors, and with whom are you traveling?" the ethir continues, his bow still aimed fixedly at the boy.

There is fear in the boy's eyes and he backs up another pace (as if he could out-run an arrow!) His good hand opens, letting the knife fall to the ground. "We're goin' with th'dorves," he answers, trying to keep his voice level.

[Corunin(#31414)] The ethir loosens his bow slowly, but still keeps it aimed at the boy. "Where are you going?" he demands quietly.

"O-over th'mountains. To B'orning." Gidon's eyes are fixed on the arrow that is still pointed directly at his neck; he hasn't yet dared to look up even to see who speaks to him. The land darkens slowly, the sky slower still. But overhead the stars begin to come out, first in the east, one by one.


[Corunin(#31414)] The ethir lowers his bow warily. "You do not seem to be a foe, but it is always best to make sure. What is your name, boy?" he asks, his tone less harsh now.

"Gidon," the boy replies, as warily as the elf lowers his bow. As the arrow moves away from instant Death To Gidon, he dares a glance up at his ... captor's? ... face. And dares something more - "Can - can I get my knife?"

[Corunin(#31414)] The elf's eyes narrow. "What do you intend to do with it, Gidon?" His grip tightens again on his bow, but only slightly.

"Put it back in m'belt," Gidon replies. "Ain't got no other, don' want t'lose it." He glances down at his crippled arm, then up again. "Couldn't hurt you with it none, even did I want to," he says, and his voice is resigned now, not bitter like it has been in the past.

[Corunin(#31414)] The ethir considers this for a moment, then nods. "Pick it up, then." He puts his bow away to reassure the boy. "What happened to your arm?" he asks.

Cautiously, eyes trained on the elf in case he changes his mind, Gidon squats down and feels for the knife he has dropped. After a minute, his fingers find it, and he picks it up, tucking it into his belt. His face stills at the question, and he looks away. "It got broke," he says, his voice colorless. "By an axe."

Colby slowly walks from the mixed camp of dwarves and men. He's a Breelander in his mid twenties, not terribly tall but none of the folks from Bree usually are. They get to lord over the hobbits and that's satisfying enough. He notices the silouette of the youth by a rock and adjusts his direction to approach the boy, not yet noticing the elf.

[Corunin(#31414)] The ethir notices another approaching. He says quietly, "I'm not going to hurt you, now, so I expect this man to not hurt me either. Understand?" while ducking slightly behind the rock.

Gidon turns to see who is coming. He squints a bit in the dimming light, then his face clears as he recognizes Colby. "Is just th'healer," he says, loud enough for the elf behind him to hear. Slowly, while they have talked, his face has drawn tighter, and now he lifts his right hand to hold the left elbow in a slightly different position than the sling has it.

[Colby(#23332)] "Who are you talking to, lad?" Colby asks as he gets closer, glancing around once but the fading evening light isn't helping him any. "I thought I heard you talking..." The healer adds, then frowns. "Is your arm still aching? Can I adjust the sling for you, Gidon, that might help a bit."

Gidon says. "Him, back there." He jerks his head towards the rock jutting from the ground behind him, then nods unhappily. "Yeah. I been resting it, like you said, only it keeps hurting." He shifts the hold of his hand, moving his arm into still a different position.

Colby looks past Gidon towards the rock, obvious confusion on his face, but for the moment he tends to the boy first. "Here, let me help." The healer moves around behind the youth to untie the sling, then reaches to support the arm with one hand while he carefully massages the shoulder with his other hand. "You pushed it too hard. The muscles haven't healed enough, you need to take it easy. I can give you something to help you sleep if it's aching that much."

[Corunin(#31414)] The ethir takes his leave, masking the sound of his departure under the conversation between the man and the boy. He slips into the grass, staying low and out of sight.

Gidon turns around to point - only to find no one there to point at. Perplexed, he stares at the rock for a few minutes, while Colby adjusts the sling. "Thought I was makin' it strong faster," he explains glumly. For a minute, pride seems like it will win out, then the boy nods wearily. "Something for sleepin', that might be good."

[Colby(#23332)] "You've spent a lot of time out in the forest, right?" Colby asks, glancing towards the rock again but he still sees nothing. Maybe it was Brev. He continues as he massages the shoulder and arm muscles a bit longer, then begins retying the sling. "Imagine there's a sapling, and it got knocked over by some animal. It's still growing, but it's damaged. It needs time to mend, and will be strong again, but it can only grow so fast."

Gidon listens, nodding again. The new position of the sling eases some of the lines of pain from his face. Anxiously, he asks, "Can I still practice th'spear? I throw it with m'other arm..."

[Colby(#23332)] "You're practically a man grown, Gidon. It's up to you, I can only make suggestions. I think if you're careful and take it easy with this arm," he pats the injured shoulder gently, "then the rest of what you do is your decision." Colby looks back towards the camp, then asks, "Was it Brev that you were talking to?"

A man grown. Gidon listens to those words, sets them next to others Brev has spoken to him, and attempts to live up to it. He frowns a little as he tries to think carefully. "Just use this 'un for balance," he says at last. "Do that be too much on it?" 
At Colby's question, he looks again towards the rock, and shakes his head. "I think it were n'elf, maybe." he says after a minute.

[Colby(#23332)] "Is that what you were doing when the injury flared up again?" Colby could probably just answer the questions directly, but then he wouldn't be teaching Gidon how to take it easy and look after himself. He tucks his hands into pockets, looking towards the rock yet again. "An elf? They're slippery folk, but good. And, they know a lot about healing."

Gidon thinks back, then shakes his head. "Din' hurt much, not then. Some, but no more'n usual. Was after I tried skinning out that deer. Had t'use m'arm a bit, see? T'hold back th'hide." 
"I only seen a couple," he says. "This feller, he had a bow. Said he was .. looking for enemies or some such."

[Colby(#23332)] "Sometimes it won't hurt until later... kind of like how your legs get sore later in the evening after you've been running. Take it slow, don't try to do too much too quickly." Colby advises, then returns to the subject of the elf, "I've seen a few, not in a long time though. Did he say what kind of enemies? Was he friendly?"

Friendly. Gidon shivers. "Dunno," he says after a minute. "He never hurt me none. Scared me," he admits. "Asked where we was going an' who was in th'wagons." 
He nods to Colby's instructions about his arm, but looks a little wistful. "Wanted t'get good quick-like," he says quietly. "Guess it'll wait."

[Colby(#23332)] "I've never heard of a bad elf. Some aren't very social, but... I think that they don't all know our language, so I always figured that might be why they didn't have much to say." Colby isn't overly social himself. He talks to Gidon, but doesn't spend time hanging around gabbing in the camp with the dwarves. At the boy's lamenting the healer chuckles. "Let's go make you a draught to help you sleep, it's getting dark out."

Darkness, once it comes, comes fast. Only a few minutes ago, it seems, the air was bright yet; and now the stars are out. Gidon nods, and follows Colby back to the wagons.
**********************************************************

Road on the High Moors
You are standing at a point where the remnant of the Great East Road turns to follow a cliff. The crumbling stones lead off toward the west, and downhill, and also to the north along the cliff. Nothing but grasslands surround you, not even a shrub to break up the horizon line... well maybe one or two. You see the Misty Mountains rising in to the east. It looks like you could reach the nearest in a few hours if you go go that way. But more importantly, you feel the cold wind that comes blasting down from them.

The hot sun is directly overhead, beating down on the small dusty caravan that trudges heavily up the long slow slope towards the mountains. Distant they are, yet, but the wind is cold, and it is only the heat of the sun that keeps Gidon from shivering. That, and the exertion from walking always uphill. 
The boy is covered with dust, from his nearly-black hair to his tan-colored boots. His left arm is in a sling, and as the ponies bend to their yokes, he forsakes the road for the cleaner air in the grass alongside.


[Amruncrist(#14425)] From the high plateau, above the road, a chorus of voices may be heard approaching the caravan. They are the sweet voices of elven-kind, though the rocky terrain from whence they originate lends to them an even deeper mystery. Could echoes magnify their number? Perhaps. Whatever their original number, a pair of edhel are all that emerges, venturing down the road toward the motley caravan ahead.
Amruncrist, the taller of the two, turns to his travelling companion and speaks, in the common tongue: "Meglitor, is that not the motliest group of travellers we have seen in.."
The younger edhel, at his side, bedecked in the greens of the silvan elves, fills in: "Oh, days at least. Perhaps a season. A year?" He laughs a vibrant laugh while the two remain off to the side somewhat, careless as to whether their voices trickle down toward the group, but posed as if ready for action, should the need arise.

The dwarves, hearing the sound of voices, have reached surreptitiously for their weapons; but finding that they are elven, they don't take them up - rather keep them where they are easily reached. Which they would do in any case. Gidon looks up, himself, from where he is walking - notices how far he has gotten from the main group, and angles back towards them. There is a strange expression on the boy's face - wariness, curiosity, a little buried fear.

[Amruncrist(#14425)] The pair stand aside for a while, continuing their conversation, snippets of it floating on the wind toward the group beyond. Amruncrist finally turns to Meglitor, fair haired and light eyed, and encourages. "What shall we do then, with strangers such as these? Shall we harry them until they step aside from our road?" He laughs at this, a proud and booming laugh, but then he shakes his head. "Nay, nay," he sets a steadying hand on the younger elf's shoulder, whose hand goes too readily to the hilt of his sword. "Let us go see what manner of folk they are, then, mayhap, when we have the proof of them, we shall test them with our metal."
So saying, Amruncrist begins walking forward, in the general direction of the group, though perhaps the young man might interpret his course as directly intercepting his own.

There is a snatch of laughter on the wind, then a few words, but none that string together to make sense. Gidon's eyes go to the tall one who walks towards him, and he looks hurriedly over his shoulder - he is nearer to the caravan, but not as close as he would like for safety's sake. There isn't much point in running at this point, but he drops his good hand to the knife that is tucked into his belt, though he doesn't draw it.

[Amruncrist(#14425)] After a few lengthy strides, the young edhel who remains behind moves to catch up with Amruncrist. As they advance upon the party, they fail to announce their presence, rather coming within a few strides before pulling up. Noting Naugrim among the group, the elder edhel smiles to them, speaking to them in the common tongue of the good peoples of this land. "Greetings, Naugrim," he hales, and is echoed by Meglitor at his side. He waits for any further greeting, as patient as an oak awaiting spring.

The elves seem not so interested in him, and Gidon relaxes a little. He edges a little closer, to hear what is being said, but seems to hope that he will remain unnoticed. Absently, he rubs his left arm in its sling with his right, leaving his knife where it is.
The dwarves look up and a flurry of deep voices runs between them. Then they stop their ponies. "Greetings," says one, the closest to where the elves have stopped.

[Amruncrist(#14425)] Laughing at the comingling of their rushing baritones, Amruncrist turns to Meglitor, and in a silvan tongue speaks some long phrase which might mean anything, but sounds like music itself to those unfamiliar with elvish tongues. He awaits their communal greetings, but receives a singular reply, turning to look on the boldest among these stout folk. "Greetings, indeed," he switches fluidly to the common tongue. He lays a hand on the sword at his belt, leaning forward into a very subtle bow. "Master Dwarf. You must have grave need indeed to be travelling east in these dangerous times."

"Aye, need enough," the dwarf grunts. "We've seen precious little fighting, this trip though." He gives the elf a sharp look. "Perhaps we've Master Elrond's folk to thank for that." There is the slightest question in his voice.
Gidon edges a little close, his expression somewhat fascinated as a long string of liquid speech falls from the elf's tongue.

[Amruncrist(#14425)] "There is ample opportunity for confrontation, as one travels eastward," Amruncrist wisely observes. "Ah, but Master Elrond does keep a faithful watch. You find yourself on the very track into his blessed realm. I should think even a Balrog should not trouble him, save if he were spurred by darker magic indeed!" His manner is calm, if expressive. 
Meglitor, somewhat sullen at the lack of action, flexes his hand, grasping a short sword at his belt with an all too fierce grip, wishing he had cause to unleash it. He bestirs himself to look upon Gidon, the young man who expresses his fascination in so perilously obvious a fashion. It is not an unkind gaze - rather, a somewhat disinterested one - as if seeing a mere mortal were hardly cause for excitement to the fair haired edhel.

The boy, possibly hypersensitive to men with weapons, notices Meglitor's gasp of the sword at once. His dark eyes lift to the elf's face, and he takes a step backwards.

The dwarf nods once. "We've no time for visiting the elves," he says. "Tis late enough already, for crossing the High Pass. Twill be good fortune, if it be not snowed through." He looks at the elf again, his gaze shrewd and rather friendly. Elves and dwarves aren't enemies, after all. Most of the time. "Perhaps you've come from yon," he suggests, "And could tell us of the road?"

[Amruncrist(#14425)] "Oh come, come child," Meglitor encourages, his somewhat pitchier voice exposing his youth - at least as the eldar number years. "If we had cause to harm you, a thousand arrows would be for you a coat, and you a porcupine." He releases the grip on his sword, the reason for the boy's consternation. He offers what he perceives to be a gesture of consolation, waving a hand in permission for Gidon to draw nearer.
Continuing his conversation with the Naugrim, Amruncrist allows. "You may yet be fortunate, Master Dwarf. Though I have not so recently crossed that pass. There are many other more dangerous paths to take, if the snows require it. But long have I dwelt in Imladris. You could do worse than to seek Elrond's hearth and counsel." He points to the south. "We journey thence, to the lands of men beyond, though perhaps we could see you through any danger you might encounter. Have you often traversed that dangerous path? My friend, Meglitor and I are sometimes wont to serve as guides to those who have need of such a service. And lest you think we crave your gold, know it well that we will take nothing but the delight of your company for such a service."

The dwarf snorts, but quietly. "Extra swords be always welcome," he says. "And those who scorn aid along the way are lacking in wit. Tis not for lack of desire we stay from Master Elrond's home, but lack of time. We've a need to be across the heights before winter comes on."
 
Gidon looks easier when Meglitor lets go of the sword. "Aye," he says softly, coming nearer the step he had taken back, regret in his voice. "You haven't got a thousand arrows.. have you?"

[Amruncrist(#14425)] Meglitor casts a glance over his shoulder in the general direction from whence they came. "I have not," he says, as his gaze returns to Gidon. But there is the subtle inference that the two elves who have volunteered their position may not be the only ones lingering about.

"Indeed, Master Dwarf. There are always unforeseen challenges on any journey. Perhaps Elentiri smiles on you, this day, perhaps. I shall at least grace you with my own presence, though I will not volunteer my companion's services without his consent. What is the purpose of freedom, if it cannot be exercised, when duty does not compel?" It is an open-ended question, the sort that requires no answer. He shifts his stance, altering his attention to Meglitor for the time being. "Shall we then travel a little while, my friend, or has your heart grown too fond of Elrond's halls?"
 
He answers, "Nay, Amruncrist. You may go where you will, but I am pledged. I could not go without the leave of the Lord Elrond. I have so sworn to the keeping of the peace of his realm." The dark haired elf sighs, but relents, perhaps having already known his decision, but suffering him the opportunity to recant.
 
(scene faded) 

Date added: 2009-08-03 11:57:37    Hits: 65
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