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Nob the Hero!

Tags: Torebras,  Nob,  Bolosi

Short Summary: Some impromptu sledging near Bywater's The Water almost ends in disaster. Thankfully Bree's assistant innkeeper is there to interrupt his vacation ...
Date (real-life): 2011-06-01
Scene Location: Village of Bywater
Date (in-game): January 3053 (1453 SR)
Time of Day: Morning
Village of Bywater

Hobbits from all over, and a great many travellers passing through the Shire along the Great Road as well, flock to this charming little township for shelter, fine brew, idle talk, and general merry-making. All of this takes place at the Green Dragon Inn or its longtime competitor, the Ivy Bush across the street. Some say Bywater is the last place in the West to get a decent beer before reaching The Sea, and certainly it's the place to find out the very latest rumors in the Shire and beyond. To the north is the Bywater Pool, which is merely a wide section of the small river, The Water. An ostler stands in the middle of the street, ready to move horses into the stable if they are left here too long. Even though it's daytime, you can hear the sounds of merriment and good fellowship coming from the Green Dragon.
The morning is mild, the dazzling sun shining brightly. A gentle northeasterly breeze cools the day air, and stirs the few clouds which float slowly across the sky.

Obvious exits:
 Green Dragon leads to The Green Dragon Inn.
 Ivy Bush leads to The Ivy Bush.
 Bywater Pool leads to Bywater Pool.
 Stable Path leads to Stable.
 South leads to South Lane.
 SouthEast leads to Great East Road at Bywater Road.
 West leads to Hobbiton.

================================= +SHIRE TIME =================================
RL (Arizona) Time is Wed Jun 01 14:14:08 2011 (+time).
IC Time is 10:42:24 on Wednesday, Afteryule (January) 25, 1453 S.R.
IC Weather Conditions:
The morning is mild, the dazzling sun shining brightly. A gentle northeasterly breeze cools the day air, and stirs the few clouds which float slowly across the sky.

It is a rather beautiful morning. The blue sky arches overhead clear and free of clouds, and sunlight catches glints off The Water. One could almost call it balmy - save that a thick blanket of snow covers the ground, and icicles fringe The Water's edge.

Of course, hobbits are never folk to pass up any occasion for jollification, and today is no exception. Many of the local worthies have emerged to take the air, whilst a group of Hobbit youngsters slide on tea-trays down the shallow hills.

Strolling through this pastoral scene is one Torebras Bywater, the collar of his coat turned up and his hands deep in the pocket of his greatcoat. Thoughtfully, he puffs on a long-stemmed pipe before halting near the edge of The Water to admire the scenery.

[Nob(#16122)] And also here, but not sliding down tea-trays! - is Nob of Bree. On holiday, it would seem. He is standing, hands in pockets, well-muffled, watching the children sliding. As Torebras nears, he says, without looking round, "Morning, Mister Bywater."

Torebras starts, and the long-stemmed pipe falls from his mouth. He bends to pick it up quickly before sticking his hands back in the pockets of his greatcoat. Seems he's forgotten his gloves.

"My goodness, Mister Nob!" he remarks. "I didn't expect to see /you/ here. I do hope you're enjoying your visit? The Shire has a wonderful atmosphere, you know," he remarks airily, as though he were a tour guide.

Across The Water, one small girl gives a whoop of glee as her tea-tray bounces suddenly. "Bumpy!" she exclaims.

[Nob(#16122)] "Indeed," Nob says, graciously. "Nothing like a little visit to the Colonies... It's a beautiful day, too!" He adjust his muffler, and chuckles at the child across the way. "I thought it was time for a vacation, and where better to go, (if a person wants to go anywhere at all)?"

Torebras smiles indulgently as he watches the small girl complete her slide. "Quite," he agrees. "The Shire is very restful - you know, Mister Nob, I'm sure if you fancied a change of the scene many of the tavernhobbits would be delighted to have a hobbit of your experience ... Take the Dragon, for instance."

Down at the bottom of the snow-slide, a childish argument seems to have erupted.

"Now you've gone and spoiled it."
"No I've not!"
"Look, that patch is all sunken, see?"
"Nothing wrong with it. Just you wait and see."

And the small girl snatches back her tea-tray and starts trudging up the little hillock again.

[Nob(#16122)] "Oh, I hardly think I could do /that/!" Nob says, sounding half-shocked, half-horrified. "Why, Mister Butterbur wouldn't know how to go on, without me!"

"But you're right. It is a very restful place. You've been living here for a while now, haven't you?"

"Well, not here, exactly," Torebras qualifies hastily. "I own a little house in Newbury, over in Buckland. But I do wonder if it is perhaps a /little/ near the Road. There are a lot of strange folk about these days, you know."

[Nob(#16122)] Isn't all of the Shire the same as all the rest of the Shire? Nob looks wonderingly at Torebras, but only nods. "Are there?" he asks. "I hadn't really noticed... then, I've been away from the Pony for a month nearly, now. One gets out of touch."

At that, Torebras looks quite startled. "Do you mean to say-" he begins, and then glances round and lowers his voice. "I mean, last summer ..."

The little girl has by now reached the top of the hillock, and eagerly lowers herself down onto her tea-tray again.

[Nob(#16122)] Nob blinks at him. "What about last summer? It was a very nice summer; I grew the largest vegetable marrows I ever have! And on the same plot as always!"

"Did you now, Mister Nob? That's very interesting," murmurs Torebras, clearly not in the least interested. Obviously Brandebras has failed to include the little detail of the misunderstanding about vegetable plots in his letters to his brother. "Actually, it was the summer before last, now I think of it. Here in the Shire there were some," he glances round furtively, "Troubles, you know." He lowers his voice still further, barely more than a whisper. "Ruffians!"

Meanwhile the little girl is sliding across the snow, pigtails flying and eyes sparkling. Then, all of a sudden, the makeshift sledge hits some unseen bump and ... sticks.

Whoa! The back of the tea-tray tips up and the young hobbit tobogganer is catapulted face-first into the icy embrace of The Water.

[Nob(#16122)] "Trouble?" Nob looks horrified. "In the Shire? What.. where... when..." He stammers to a halt and stays there - mouth hanging open as the child plunges into the pond. "Oh, dear. Dear me." He looks around for help, then begins determinedly to divest himself of coat and muffler and gloves and hat and undercoat and...

Torebras gasps as the accident happens; the long-stemmed pipe falls from his mouth and he doesn't even notice. "Oh dear," he stammers at last. "I suppose we should do something, and-" His gape only widens as he sees Nob stripping. "No time for that," he announces crisply, perhaps revolted at the thought of seeing an Assistant Innkeeper in his smalls. "You dive in, there's a good fellow, and I'll wait at the bank to give you a hand."

The child's hat bobs up to the surface of the water. "Oh! Oh! My baby!" a shrill female voice shrieks, but the aghast mother, who'd been standing chatting outside a pastry shop, is too stricken to actually /do/ anything.

[Nob(#16122)] But Nob continues, methodically, until he is in shirtsleeves and trousers. Then he wades into the water, teeth chattering on the instant a furry toe hits the frigid liquid. When he is at the approximate place the child went in, he begins to feel about under the surface.

"What is it?" enquires Torebras, standing at the edge of the bank and gingerly holding on to a bush. "Have you found her?"

Beneath Nob's reaching fingers is nothing save swirls of icy water. A little downstream, however, one might note a 'v' of ripples starting to form.

[Nob(#16122)] "N-n-nothing," Nob answers, moving downstream - towards the V though he hasn't yet seen it. Then he does, and his face brightens, even as his lips turn blue. "M-mayb-be, sh-she's here..." He gropes about.

"Where?" asks Torebras. The bush he's holding onto creaks, and with a gasp he takes a step back from the riverbank. Collectively, the watchers hold their breath.

Then Nob's groping is answered by a sudden kick, and a moment later the little hobbit-girl's head breaks surface up ahead of him. She is spluttering, but still manages to gasp hoarsely, "Help! A monster's got me!" Panicked, she struggles to free herself.

[Nob(#16122)] Nob reaches for the girl - grabbing her hair, first of all, then managing to get hold of an arm. He pulls, stepping backwards, and reaching for Torebras... who surely is waiting to help him, as promised!

Nob is rewarded for his efforts by a few flailing kicks - the child's struggles are weakening, though, she's too busy coughing and spluttering.

Torebras is, of course, too far away for Nob's reaching hand to make contact. He gapes at the spectacle and then, nerving himself, shifts his hold to a new branch and reaches out with all his might.

[Nob(#16122)] The blindly groping hand finally touches something, and Nob grabs hold with all his strength, using whatever he had latched on to pull himself, and the girl, back out of the water and onto the shore.

Torebras lets out a yell as his hand is grasped rather more firmly than he would like. So startled he is that he loses his grip on the branch and is jerked toward the water...

But wait! All is not lost. Torebras' charcoal-coloured greatcoat has caught on another branch, and now holds him fast (just as well he paid for extra cloth thickness!). "H-help!" he sputters out feebly to any bystanders.

[Nob(#16122)] Nob scrambles dripping up out of the water, thanks to Torebras' branch-held assistance. And after a moment of shocked immobility, several of the bystanders realize that helping out now will require no getting wet - and rush forward to grab Torebras, Nob, the child... anything handy.

"Oh ... oh!" Torebras gasps as he is hauled to safety. He himself is scarcely wet, save for the toes of his furry feet, but for all the fuss he's making you'd think that he and not Nob had been near-drowned in a winter river.

The hobbit-mother rushes forward to take her child from Nob's arms, still babbling, "My baby, oh my poor baby ..."The little girl is still coughing.

Carefully, Torebras frees his coat from the bush and then steps forward to cover the girl as magnanimously as though he had been her rescuer. Poor Nob doesn't get a single word of thanks yet.

[Nob(#16122)] Nob, shivering, blue, begins to wrap himself up again - not bothering to take the wet clothes off before putting the dry ones on over. At last, he has his overcoat on, and - still shivering - wraps the muffler about his neck until it nearly obscures his face.

Wrapped in a thick coat, and swaddled in her mother's arms, the child begins to revive somewhat. "There was a hole, Mama," she tells her mother urgently. "A /hole/." And she bursts into tears.

Torebras, looking none too warm himself, suggests to the hobbit-matron, "Perhaps if we were to adjourn to the Green Dragon they could serve us something warm? On my tab, of course." Turning to Nob he adds, "You too, Mister Nob! Why, you're quite the hero!"

[Nob(#16122)] "W-w-warm," Nob agrees whole-heartedly. He starts to walk, quite fast, towards the Inn.

The Green Dragon?" the hobbit mother repeats, sounding quite horrified. "Certainly not! Come along now, my lamb, lets get you washed and dried and tucked up in bed." Ignoring the little girl's protests (and still keeping Torebras' greatcoat around her daughter's shoulders), she hurries the child away.

Torebras frowns after her, then turns to put a solicitous arm around Nob's shoulders. "Never fret, my good fellow. We'll soon see you right as rain," he announces pompously.

Across on the hillock someone has gone to fetch the abandoned tea-tray, and now comes a soft whistle and sounds of exclamation. "Well, now. Looks like there /was/ a hole. Animal tunnels or somesuch."

[Nob(#16122)] "Th-thank you," Nob says, and sneezes. "I th-think," he says dolefully, "A hot t-t-toddy would j-just hit th-the spot."

     The sound of clapping hooves begins to grow louder upon the cobbled road; and from around the bend, appears a wagon led by a muscle-wrought pony of dull brown. Its wheels bounce and rock on the road, and a sturdy creature drives out; even from a distance, his long beard and stocky physique betray him to be a darf. Another dwarf, hooded and cloaked, walks alongside the wagon; he is identical to the first.

     However, as the wagon draws closer to the cluster of damp Hobbits, a voice which belongs to neither can be heard, droning on in the background.

 " ... Don't you tell me its the cobbled road, Hormor, you've never been able to drive a cart with anything resembling competence! I've been bouncing about back here like a Hobbit an a muffin queue! How far is the Green Dragon, Formor? You're not sure? Well, why don't you stop and ask these young gentlehobbits? Ever thought of? Of course you didn't, nitwit...."

     The cart draws to a halt, and a withered face poes out the back of it. A beard of snow white hair flows from it, and the eyes are milky and pale. The ancient dwarf peers down at Nob and Torebras.

 " Excuse me, young sirs!" He croaks, eyeing Nob, "... You've not been playing water-hockey, have you? Been a long while since I've seen a Hobbit play water-hockey. Been playing long?"

Torebras briefly turns his head to the conversation on the hillock. "Dear me," he murmurs. "I was unaware that Bywater suffered from any infestations ... A hot toddy it shall be!" This to Nob, with rather more fervour.

Their unsteady progress toward the Green Dragon is halted by the approach of the cart, at which Torebras blinks in bemusement. "I fear, my good sir, that I have never heard of such a game," he responds, bowing despite his greatcoatless state. "I can, however, direct you to the Green Dragon. It is where we are going ourselves. Come, this way."

[Nob(#16122)] "What?" Nob sneezes again. "N-no," he says vigorously. "Wh-whatever it is w-w-we're n-not doing it!"

     " Hear that, Hormor? The Hobbit knows where it is..." He eyes the pair for a moment, squinting to make them out, "... How about you lads hop aboard and show good Hormor here the way?" He gestures to the driver, "... He's a dense one, our Hormor. I think he was dropped on an anvil at birth."

Torebras moves a step away from Nob at that tremendous sneeze. What if his companion is sickening for something? "Now then, Mister Nob," he says soothingly, "I'm sure we weren't being asked to do anything."

The ancient Dwarf's next words prove him wrong. Shaking his head, he tells the oldster politely, "Oh no, Master, there's no need. See, it's just here along the street." He has been keeping Nob walking the meanwhile, and by now their furry feet have almost reached that welcoming green door.

[Nob(#16122)] "Kn-know where wh-what is?" Nob asks. He eyes the door eagerly, but is too polite to turn away from the dwarves quite yet.

Torebras has no qualms such as Nob. "Here we are," he says brightly, and reaches out for the doorknob. "In with you, Nob dear fellow. I'm sure they'll have a hot toddy whipped up in no time!" To the ancient Dwarf he offers politely, "You're welcome to join us, sir. Your driver too, once he's stabled your conveyance."

     Bolgrin hrmphs, but wags a finger towards his escorts anyway. " Come now, help your great grandfather down from the cart. Expect me to manage myself?"

 The dwarven twins proceed to offer their elder a hand down, and with many a huff and puff, he eventually sets both feet on the ground and begins to make his way towards the inn. Slowly, and certainly not surely, he toils on, leaning on his stick.

[Nob(#16122)] Nob, seeing them come, waits no longer, but hurries into the heat of the Inn. Inside, they will find him with his hands wrapped around a very large, very hot drink, and his nose buried in the same.

Torebras, once he's seen Nob into the inn and spoken to the Innkeeper ('and mind you use extra honey in the toddy! He's very particular, our Nob is!'), pats Nob on the shoulder and excuses himself to go and collect his greatcoat. Which is a hard task, given he doesn't know where the hobbit-lady who's got it actually lives! He will hopefully be back ... sometime.

Date added: 2011-06-09 15:54:21    Hits: 77
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