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No place like home

Tags: Bifty,  Nob,  Naerchil,  Nurenhir,  Sulgirion

Short Summary: There are many surprises outside of home, and many strange and scary things as well.
Date (real-life): 2010-05-19
Scene Location: south of the Shire
Time of Day: dawn

[Nob(#16122)] It's dawn, just as the sun is brightening the morning mists that are puddled in the hollows of the hills just south of the Shire. It's not so far south, either, but far enough to be quite a daring adventure for the young hobbit lad who is curled up under an oak tree. He yawns and stretches as the sun hits his face, then stands up and looks around. He is (of course!) well supplied with food, but water wasn't quite so high on his list of things to remember... and he has forgotten to bring any! But surely there is a brook or a spring somewhere near.

Where there is water, there is also a song, soft and muted by the morning fog. By a little brook sits a cloaked figure, which the hobbit may spot if he looks very, very closely. By all means, it appears to be a rock, but grey rock-sides ought not to be embroidered with red thread, and sparkling faintly in the sun...

[Nob(#16122)] Standing perfectly still and cocking his head to listen, young Bifty (as his friends call him) hears it! The sounds of water, trickling musically and enticingly over the rocks. He turns eagerly, and his face falls. The promised brook is at the bottom of a rather steep and quite brushy slope! But there is nothing for it. Fortifying himself with a boiled egg and a handful of mushrooms, he starts down bravely, emerging at the bottom red-faced and panting, with twigs in his hair and leaves down his collar. He doesn't see the elf at all, but makes a bee-line for the water, only to stop in dismay at the edge - empty handed.

At the sounds of crashing and twigs snapping, the singing thing grows very still, bent as if a tree toward the trickling water. Grey eyes peer curiously through a curtain of coppery hair, although the creature does not speak to the twig-crowned hobbit, or sing.

[Nob(#16122)] Bifty stares at the water disconsolately for a minute, then says aloud, "Well, that wasn't the smartest thing you've ever done, now was it, my lad? Going off without a thing to fetch it back in!" He looks over his shoulder at the hill rising behind him and sighs. His eyes slide across the 'boulder' with its red tracings of lichen.

The water trickles by. The mist swirls brightly, damply. Naerchil stares back at the hobbit, lips parting to speak. Then he straightens, coughs a soft, needless cough.

[Nob(#16122)] The hobbit has turned back to the water, and is kneeling down to scoop some up in his hands. At least he can get a drink after all his trouble! The cough startles him almost out of his skin, and he leaps to his feet, whirling around, eyes wide. His hand darts to a small dagger at his side, but he has no other weapons. Clearly, he wasn't expecting to need them.

Dangerous things to be found outside the comfort of the Shire. But this thing, though mail glimmers like fishes' scales beneath his cloak, appears not to be one.Naerchil holds out both hands, empty, to the hobbit, two leather gauntlets rising out of the lichen-covered rock shelf. There is a slight smile upon a fair face, though hooded.

"Do you ... need a flask?" the rock asks gently, the lilt fair yet unmistakably the tongue of good common folk.

[Nob(#16122)] Bifty goggles, open-mouthed, as the 'rock' - nice, solid and familiar - metamorphoses into a... being. A man? As if suddenly aware of how he must look, he snaps his mouth shut and turns bright red, and bobs a little bow. "Beggin' your pardon," the hobbit says. "I - er - I forgot to bring a bottle or bucket or anything!" He holds his own empty hands out helplessly, and recovers himself enough to laugh ruefully at himself. "Tis just like me, too, to go off for the night Out Of The Shire even, and forget a waterbottle!"

Is that a chuckle? "That isn't a problem," assures the rock-spirit mildly, one hand retreating into the grey folds of his cloak. It re-emerges with a silver-traced flask, which is tossed towards the red-faced youth. "You may have this." The hood tilts, surveying Bifty, and Naerchil stoops so as not to tower over the hobbit.

[Nob(#16122)] One hand flashes out automatically to catch the flask that arches towards him. Whatever else Bifty may be bad at, he is clever with his hands. He smiles, "Thank you, good sir. Tis a ...." Brown eyes have gone to inspect the bottle, and lift again horrified. "You can't give me this! It's ... it's much to nice! Probably worth a pretty penny, I'd say! I'll bring it right back, I will. Just straight up the hill to my kettle and back down again." Despite himself, he looks a little forlorn at the thought of having to climb up that hill and back down and back up again, all in such short order as he has just promised.

Naerchil's head cants, regarding the hobbit curiously. "It won't be necessary," he concludes with a curling smile. "After all, you are on a very important trip, and it wouldn't do for you to carry a kettle about every time you search for water, would it? Consider it a gift in return for startling your efforts." The figure stands straight again, neck-achingly tall, the height striving to dismiss any further protest.

[Nob(#16122)] "But...!" Bifty looks aghast, and secretly pleased. An important trip! However - he holds out the flask, shaking his head determinedly, and regretfully. It is a beautiful flask. "It's far too much," he protests, and his mouth drops open again as the being stands to its full height. Up and up and up...

"Really, now," smiles the other, glancing up the steep ravine-like slope. "I have no need of pennies. And you ought to get quickly back to your kettle, before something snatches it away -- strange creatures live in the wild lands, you know, master hobbit!"

Even as the Elf speaks, a new breeze sways the tips of the trees, and sends the grass rippling. A sound rises above the trickle of the stream, and the voices; it is a faint whoosing, and high in the heavens something moves, dark against the sky. It looks to be a bird, though far beyond double the normal size of the song birds that flutter about in the Shire. Feathers gleam brown and gold.

[Nob(#16122)] Strange creatures.... wild lands... Bifty looks around nervously. "Well," he says uncertainly, "If you're sure." He looks at the flask again, and smile involuntarily, lost for the moment in the beauty of the carvings. A wind rises, ruffling his hair... the shadow of a cloud blows over and he glances up. It's not a cloud. After a bare moment of hesitation, the hobbit dives for the cover of a bush. After the elf's warnings, it is much too easy to assume that monsters might fly the skies as well!

"Ah!" says Naerchil, parting the underbrush after the hobbit has left. "You came from that way ..."

Sighing helplessly, the elf sits back upon the stream-bank, fingers running under the water. "A messenger of Sulimo, was it?" he says to the morning mist.

[Nob(#16122)] But the only sound is that of Bifty scrambling frantically through the brush, AWAY, as fast as he can go. Alas that his good manners and gratitude have so been forgotten as to leave the hapless elf to the dubious mercies of whatever Horrible Beast flies the skies!

The monster in the sky lets out a shrill avian 'scree', still sailing slowly toward the northwest. But then there is a slight shift in the creature's motion, and angling a tail, the great feathered thing turns a circle overhead. Sharp elven eyes should have no difficultly in discerning it as the form of a Great Eagle. As the circle is completed, Sulgirion begins to descend.

It is the elf's turn to be dwarfed, and Naerchil blinks slightly as the very large avian's shadow grows even larger.

Standing up, he takes a step back so that he is not en route to being flattened by the landing, and vacates into the trees away from the streambank.

The wind kicks up, battering trunks and whipping about branches. The giant bird continues his downward spiral, until the last minute where he pulls up sharply, majestic wings spreading wide from side to side. There is a loud splash as Sulgirion touches ground in the midst of the running water, and he stoops he neck a little to drink while tucking those vast feathered arms against his body.

If the messeger of Manwe senses he is not alone, it does not show upon the stiff avian countenance; rising, the eagle stands still, watching contentedly as the stream pours over his submerged talons.

Naerchil has scaled, quite carefully, a tree. Wrapped in its branches, even he is not spared from the buffetting winds swept up by Sulgirion's landing. The elf picks leaves and twigs out of ruffled coppery tresses, raising his voice reluctantly. "There have been not a few that came to drink by this stream, windlord," he says, "yet I think you are the strangest thus far."

At the faceless voice, the raptor's head turns from side to side, first peering about with one bright amber eye, and then the second. A few feathers on his crown ruffle; but at last the eyes move upward in the direction from which the words come, and the eagle's form relaxes. "Is that so?" Sulgirion replies, and a sound that resembles an avian chuckle emerges from his throat. "Strange I may be, to you, but not dangerous -- unless you bring ill intentions. You need not hide up there." Then he seems to frown. "Unless, of course, if you are playing a game? Or searching for something in the branches?"

"No, windlord," says Naerchil, gracefully slipping from the branches to stand upon the ground. "That is, I heard your coming, and then ..." the elf looks, but does not point: where he was standing a few minutes ago is now a comfortably hobbit-sized gouge in the ground.

Sulgirion peers down, following Naerchil's gaze curiously. For a while he is silent, and the eagle clacks his beak together once or twice. "You were digging for something, and my landing interrupted you? I am sorry," the avian bobs his gold-tipped head.

"That is not so," corrects Naerchil courteously, bowing. "It was my lord Eagle that did the digging, and I that have interrupted you -- I am sorry. I ought to take my leave now."

The answer causes a slightly deeper furrowing of his brow. "I did the digging? Splashing, yes, for I landed in the water, seeking to quench my thirst."

Still casting his bright curious regard groundward, the eagle receives the Elf's bow with one of his own. "Farewell then, and may your eyries welcome you at journey's end." He stoops he neck again toward the stream's current.

Smiling, Naerchil disappears in a whisper of grey.

Date added: 2010-05-19 23:20:55    Hits: 86
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