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Mutual suspicions

Tags: Narthalion,  Brev

Short Summary: Narthalion and Brev voice their opinions of each other's race
Date (real-life): 2009-09-08
Scene Location: Anduin Valley (Village Crossroads)
Date (in-game): November 3047
Time of Day: Evening

Mutual fears

Village Crossroads

You stand at the crossroads of the Beorning township that is situated in this part of Middle-Earth. To the east lies the forest of Mirkwood and all the wonders that lurk within. To the west lies the mighty Anduin River and beyond the soaring peaks of the Misty Mountains jut skyward.

The night air is fresh and the breeze is cool here at the Village Crossroads. The Massive Oak tree tends to obscure the stars and moon from shining down, but many lanterns sparkle and provide ample light to see by. On one corner of the crossroads lies the Great Bear Inn. Sounds of revelry can be heard emanating from within, and the warm glow seen through it's windows is very enticing. Opposite the Inn can be found the stables. A lantern hangs upon it's door, suggesting that it is still open, despite the onset of darkness. As you gaze to both the north and the south, you can see that much more of the town lies beyond where you stand at this moment.

The sky is clear. The early night autumn air is warm around you. The moon is not visible.

Obvious exits:
 Northeast leads to Stables.
 Southeast leads to Great Bear Inn - Entrance Hall.
 South leads to Southern Village.
 North leads to Northern Village.
 East leads to Anduin Road, East of Village.
 West leads to Anduin East Bank.

Real time is: Tue Sep 08 14:17:23 2009 - Weather in the Beorning realm is: CLEAR
Elendor time is: Early Night <22:52:09 > on Monday of Autumn - November 22, 3047

Night has just begun to settle, a grey haze lying over the vales of the Anduin. Mist has begun to rise upon the river, chill and damp and shrouding the temporary inhabitants of the crossroads in obscurity. A pale moon floats above sketchy clouds, occassionally peeping out between them.

Far to one side a small fire dares break the cloying mists, a little beacon in the darkness. Within the limits of the fire a strange scene unfolds, though perhaps strange only to those unfamiliar with the Elven-folk. Entering within the light of the fire is almost like passing a gate into a friendlier world - the shadows glint in silver and gold, the trodden, brown grass underfoot twisting into sprays of amber. The air itself is warm and still.

Stranger yet the /feel/ of the little circle, at once breathless and free. Time is still, the events beyond the ring of light passing as muted shades, unheard and little seen. The whole seems to draw its light from the figure sitting near the fire, an Elf indeed. A silvery cloak is cast over garments of travel and the weapons of war, but even these wayworn garments cannot mar the beauty of his countenance, obscure the grace of his movements, nor dim the fierce light of his eyes. A fair, dark-haired creature, this, patiently watching a pitcher of wine set near the fire to warm.

Mist clings to the figure that trudges slowly back from the fishing hole, his hands empty of both rod and fish. Droplets of moisture flattens lank strands of dark curls against Brev's face, and he lifts a hand from beneath his dun cloak to push them away, irritably. "Where /is/ the lad?" he mutters, the words uttered in a sing-song Common.

It is then that the little circle of firelight captures his attention. Amber eyes peer warily in that direction - almost, the man turns away, but then he sighs. Reluctant steps pull him a little nearer, and then he calls out hoarsely, "Gidon?" He keeps his face turned slightly away from the full force of the uncanny brightness, and moisture beads his brow.

The Elf does not stir. After a moment he suffers himself to give an answer, a musical rendering of the common tongue, "He is not here." An instant later he turns his head, silken-black hair falling over his shoulders. A cursory glance is given Brev; perhaps in consideration, the Elf avoids ever turning his gaze fully upon the man. "If you are cold, take a seat," a slender hand gesturing to a smoothed rock opposite him, "Methinks all others have retreated indoors."

A sigh at those first words, and the corners of Brev's mouth turn down. "Figured as much. Though he's not in the Inn - off with his Da, maybe." The man lifts one shoulder in a shrug.

At the Elf's offer he freezes, as might a deer that scents the hunter. "I-" He glances back over his shoulder toward the Inn, perhaps debating flight; but then his jaw clenches and he moves stiffly towards the rock, leather creaking as he goes. When he stands beside it, he states bluntly, "You don't like me. Why?" His glance flicks up and away again - fearful, fascinated ...

Narthalion's brows fly up, and it is with something of a smirk that he motions to the rock again. When he speaks, his tone is measured, calm, "I do not like you? Maybe that is so. Say rather that I do not trust you. Deserved or undeserved, I read your kinship in your eyes, and as I know you not, it is with the judgement against your forefathers that I myself judge you now."

Narthalion looks never above Brev's feet, and it may well seem that the fierceness of his eyes is less than before. "Yet I may well turn your own question upon you. You do not like me. Why?"

Brev listens, his own gaze fixed on the flickering flames and not the gleaming figure beside them. Looking thus, one could almost believe the glow to be natural ...

When the first answer is done, his lips curve in a strained smile. "Wise not to trust strangers. I don't. Wish Gidon was as cautious." For a moment, at the mention of that name, his features lighten.

But something has been asked of him, in turn. His jaw tightens, and his voice is rough as he answers, tilting his head toward the Elf although still not looking at the other directly - does he realize those terrible eyes are now dimmed? - "I've heard tales of your kind. And ... I've met others like you. Your kind have power men do not - power to do wonderful things, terrible things. Things I can't understand. Figure to you we're no more than beetles - don't even notice we're there most of the time. How can I not fear that?" And then he does look up, trembling.

"And Men, also, have a power that we do not. A gift, yea, though there are few of the Younger Children whom ever I have heard name it so. We are akin, more nearly than you know. They are liars that say that the Elves have never and will never keep friendship and love with Men. As kindred long sundered we hold you, and though we have each our own gifts and griefs, you alone of all beings in this World share with us a Creator."

The Elf's eyes at turns flicker and wane, light and darkness intermingled. But still they do not rest upon Brev. "Yet one thing that you say troubles me. Wonderful things you ascribe to us, and yet terrible also? Of what do you speak, what tales have you heard? None among our kind have ever knowingly created aught to inspire terror, if that is what you mean by the word." And he waits, almost expectantly, for the answer.

For one brief moment, as he gazes on the mighty Firstborn, Brev's features are unguarded. Fear, aye, and longing - and puzzlement there is too, his dark brows knotting slightly at the words he does not understand. "You mean Kiern?" he murmurs softly at last. "Never thought about all that much. Life's too short."

But then comes the question, and with it the wariness returns. "I've seen your kind fall from a height and not break a limb, walk on ice and not freeze, take hurts that would kill a man. Is that not terrible enough?" He draws a breath, and his jaw sets. "But, since you would know - the tales of spirits say they never speak the whole truth. They lead men astray, turn them to their own purpose. So I'm left wondering what purpose you have in mind for me." His lips twist into a mirthless smile. "Especially since I doubt you or any could name my fathers. It's a crooked line."

"As to that," Narthalion answers, shaking his head, "I care not what names were borne by your fathers. Your own words give them names enough, for you speak with their tongues. Too late did we learn what was truly in their hearts, as regarded the Noldor...too late and with suffering did we discover their alliegance. Alas, then, that shadows of that loyalty are woven within your words, though maybe even you do not perceive them."

He turns now fully to Brev, studying him with minute attention, seeking out any trace of malice, craven fear, or even open acknowledgement of that Shadow of which he speaks. "You speak of our bodies, our resistence to hurt, as though it were a thing unnatural. But you speak only in ignorance, and there is no evil in that. I will speak openly, since you have done likewise. To us, it seems to me, you ascribe a desire of domination. What else could it be to turn others to ones purpose? You may not understand all of what we say, and by that and our lives - so unlike your own - you may make much of all that we have said but did not intend...if that could be leading you astray. But more I will say: and that is that domination, and the desire for domination, is the domain of one only, and he is the Enemy and our bitterest foe. In lies, deceit, treachery, and fear he holds power."

"If you, through either ignorance or fear, should /ever/ presume to ascribe to myself or any of my folk a delight in domination, I shall condemn you forever a servant of the Dark Enemy, for you are confounded with his lies and blinded by his darkness." Strong, low his voice, powerful indeed. But for poor Brev, more frightening yet might be the fiery gaze of one of Valinor's children, when an ancient hatred has been thus wakened.

Brev listens, his lips still twisted in that forced smirk, his jaw set in the stubborn defiance that serves as cloak and shield. To one of his own kind, perhaps, the illusion would be complete, but should Narthalion look into his eyes he will find there naught but confusion at the words of shadows and mastery. He cannot hold that burning gaze long, and his head turns away.

In the end, he spreads his hands wide. "I ascribe nothing." The words are low and halting, but perhaps the act of speaking gives him strength, for he continues, his voice steadying now as he watches the flames, "My folk serve noone. We have enemies enough in the goblins and the Forgoil. I do not wish to make enemies of your kind also."

Head tilting gracefully down, Narthalion leans forward and plucks the pitcher of wine from beside the fire. At his feet are two small silver bowls, ornately etched with floreate designs. Into these the wine is poured, and one steaming bowl is held out to Brev. It is a rich red wine laced with fragrant spices.

"You are right in one thing. We think seldom of your people, and pay them small heed. Neither friend nor enemy have you in me. At least until you answer me this - why come you from your home, here amongst these peoples who are no your own?"

Brev stares blankly at the bowl that is thrust into his field of vision. It is a long while before he moves, and when he does, it is not to take the gleaming silver, but to respond to the other question. His lips quirk in the beginnings of a smile that for a moment is not forced but genuine. "That's easily answered - got no reason to hide it. It was for Gidon. He wanted to find his Da. Needed company. Now he's got what he wants, I'll be off home with the spring thaw." Smile shifts into scowl, and he rubs at his cheek.

He glances down at the bowl and adds, almost off-handedly, "And since we're talking truth, I prefer to keep a clear head. Except no doubt that will cause offence too."

The Elf narrows his eyes and frowns, voice growing rough, "How dare you refuse a gift! That, surely, must be the greatest insult you have given me this night!" The very light about him and at his feet intensifies, and he half rises from his seat, grace leaving the wine unspilled. An image of just wrath...

Wrath that soon disolves into laughter. The playful waves of the sea, the storm-tossed leaves of a forest, these are contained within the sound, but most of all it is only the sounds of lyrical mirth. With a flashing grin Narthalion retakes his seat, setting Brev's bowl of wine near his feet, should he wish to take it. "If you have lived in the world as long as I and took offence at such things, you would never cease being angry."

The Dunlending's features blanch, but he stands his ground, chin defiantly raised - if, as ever, he does not look the other quite in the eye. "I wish no insult," he begins through gritted teeth ... When fury is replaced by laughter, he shakes his head and mutters simply, "Kiern." What other response can there be? He rubs tiredly at his cheek, then manages to mutter, "Some days it feels like the entire world takes offence at me."

[Narthalion(#31143)] "Perhaps," Narthalion answers, pausing to sip at his wine, "That is a trouble easily remedied. You meet others and expect that they will not like you, and so, I guess, you speak harshly or rudely to them, in expectation of a slight. Yet how, after being thus treated, could they do otherwise than slight you, or take offence? Rare indeed is one who befriends another who treats him with hostility."

"I don't-" Brev begins defensively, scowling into the fire, then stops, shaking his head. "I don't trust strangers. Suppose it shows." He manages a one-shouldered shrug. "But how else should I speak to them than with guarded tongue? Kiern, look what trust did to poor Gidon." At the mention of the lad he twists his head round, searching the shadows beyond that little circle of firelight.

His own bowl lies untouched by his feet - fear of elves or no, he has clearly resisted any compulsion to drink.

At length Brev rises to his feet. "I should check on the lad. If he's with his Da, that's one thing. If not ... he shouldn't be alone. I-" he pauses, swallowing. "I thank you for the fire." The bowl lies forgotten, and it is only fortune, perhaps, that prevents it from spilling as he moves away.

Date added: 2009-09-09 18:12:48    Hits: 79
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