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An evening in the library

Tags: Witman,  Frodo,  Paladin

Short Summary: Paladin, Frodo, and Witman have a brief chat in the Took family library.
Date (real-life): 2011-08-04
Scene Location: Great Smials Library, Tookland, The Shire
Date (in-game): Wedmath 4, 1453 S.R.
Time of Day: Evening
Weather: Rainy, humid
Logfile from Elendor.

Great Smials: Library
Several well-placed lamps provide enough light to read by, but not enough to chase away the shadows that dart hither and thither in the corners and behind furniture. What light there is reveals a sizeable room, carpeted in thick reds and dark blues, in which several tables and a few desks clutter the floorspace. But it is the bookcases covering each wall that are the true focus of this room, often nearly shadow-hidden as they are. Yellowed and hardened scrolls vie for position with leather-bound volumes in varying states of age and disrepair. Scanning through the titles on spines and scroll-heads, you notice that many, perhaps most of the writings tend to deal with genealogies and familial descent, though some histories and legends can be found, largely tattered and worn. The desks are covered in spots with scrolls and occasionally books from the shelves, and various works-in-progress (family trees) can be found on a few desks. But the most pervasive, if not obvious reminder that this room is devoted to lore and learning is the dusty, musty, peculiar undercurrent of paper-scent all around.

A large book, bound in yellow leather, rests on a pedestal in the middle of the room.
White Tower Puzzle
Adalbert Took (Librarian)
Question List
Obvious exits:
 Out leads to Great Smials: Great Hall.

Standing at nearly two and a half feet tall, Witman is short, even among hobbits. Thick, chestnut curls frame his pudgy, slightly red face; a light peppering of grey above the ears shows his age. The hobbit's clothes are clean, but slightly faded, and well-worn - both knees of his chocolate-brown trousers have been patched at some point. A pair of hairy ankles - leading to even hairier feet - are visible below. A white shirt covers his portly frame, the sleeves usually rolled up to the elbows, while an olive-green waistcoat struggles to stretch over the top of it. The waistcoat is missing one of its brass buttons, but the remaining three are neatly polished.

======================== +SHIRE TIME =================================
RL (Arizona) Time is Thu Aug 04 20:06:00 2011 (+time).
IC Time is 04:18:00 on Friday, Wedmath (August) 4, 1453 S.R.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------IC Weather Conditions:
Night; clouds are dotted about the sky, keeping the heat in and making the Shire stiflingly hot. The only respite comes from a cool, gentle breeze blowing lightly from the southeast. The sky is veiled in cloud, hiding any trace of the moon.

Frodo comes in from the hall.
Frodo has arrived.

There aren't many hobbits in the library this evening, but the few who are here sit around here and there with a book. The majority seem to have nodded off, but among the conscious are the librarian and Paladin, sitting near the main desk. Paladin seems to be thumbing through a very old tome, bound in what appears to be wood, with ornate designs. He lifts his eyes, puts his hand up to his mouth, and yawns lazilly.

A young gentlehobbit, unusually tall for one of his kind and thinner than most, who appears just out of his tweens. He has rather fair skin but, despite its color, it is not the delicate skin of the nobility in other lands but rather firm and taunt as befits a hobbit. He has a small, pleasant dimple in his cheeks and light blue eyes, somewhat sunken as if to distance themselves from others; yet, in counterpoint, warm and curled brown hair long enough to cover his ears seems to ground his demeanour firmly in the present.

This hobbit is clothed in the Shire's finest, plain in comparison to the greater places of Middle-Earth but nevertheless woven with great care. His attire begins with a deep brown pair of breeches that end a few inches above his ankles and a clean white shirt. Over the shirt is a yellow waistcoat and over the waistcost follows a tan jacket with gold buttons. He wears no additional adornments of any kind -- rather, the only other remarkable thing about this hobbit is his large, fur-covered feet, which are visible due to his lack of shoes.

Across Middle-earth, Aleswyn shouts, "Quick everyone! Copy and save everything here that you hold dear and store it off-site. Talvo is RPing, so Elendor must surely be dying!"


    A gentlemanly hobbit, Paladin Took. He is at a respectable old age, yet still carries an air of importance wherever he goes, although some might say that he projects it subtly. His curly hair is a solid shade of light gray, but seemingly kept well-groomed; the wooly hair that crowns the top of his feet is much the same. His eyes are rather sharp, though sometimes seem very tired as well. Lines outside the corners of his mouth indicate that he has been fond of smiling and laughter for some time.
     A white, cotton shirt is worn under a finely-made waistcoat of dark green with a gold-embroidered checker design. The stem of a pipe protrudes from his one breast pocket, which resides on his left side.
     Draped over his shoulders is a thick, green cloak meant to keep the chill of winter out. It is held shut with a fine brooch of silver.
     Trousers of a dark brown color adorn his lower half. A belt of black leather has been wrapped about his waist. The cuffs brush the top of his curled foothair.

Barely audible, someone knocks gently on the library doors, and a moment later they swing open on well-oiled hinges, admitting a middle-aged hobbit. Walking with a slight limp, the hobbit glances around the room before making his way, slowly, towards Paladin and the librarian, a simple wooden cane tucked under one arm. "Begging your pardon, sir," he stage-whispers, upon reaching the Thain, "but you wouldn't be.. Ridimbus Took, would you?" Patting down his pockets quickly, the hobbit retrieves a small silk pouch, adding, "I've a delivery for him, see, and was told he'd be in here."

Almost immediately after the middle-aged hobbit makes his entrance, a tired-looking young gentlehobbit follows, pushing the door open while rubbing his eye. "I think you've gotten the wrong hobbit. Ridimbus is away on business tonight; I heard he would be back by tomorrow afternoon," Frodo explains before actually looking over towards the hobbit initially addressed by Witman. "In fact..." Nodding towards Paladin, his voice trails off.

Paladin marks the place in his book with a piece of red cloth, which protrudes from the top of the spine. He closes it carefully, and looks over at the newcomer. "No sir," he says sleepily, "I am Paladin, at your service. But you have come to the right smial, I'm sure." He takes a moment to stretch his limbs from where he sits, and heaves another yawn. "Excuse me!" he says. "What was that name again? Ridimbus? It sounds familiar..." As Frodo enters, Paladin pauses and gives him his attention. "Good evening, Frodo," he says with a warm smile. "I wasn't aware that you were in the area just now."

"Tomorrow? Well, aint that just.." Letting out a sigh, the middle-aged hobbit lowers his voice again, and manages a smile. "Well, what's done's done, I suppose; won't kill me to stay in Tuckborough 'til noon tomorrow, I can still be home in time for supper. Sorry, sirs, where are my manners? Witman Twofoot, at your service." After a brief bow, Witman straightens up again, leaning his weight on his cane as he returns the small silk bag to his pocket. "I wasn't really looking forward to setting off home at this time of night anyway, so I can't complain too much."

Frodo offers a sympathetic nod. "I'm sorry to hear that you've come this far just to be disappointed, Mr. Twofoot. I gathered that Ridimbus hadn't quite planned on being absent tonight and it was a bit of misfortune that called him away when you came here. I did hear him say he expected to be back around eleven or thereabouts, but no later."

Turning to Paladin, the gentlehobbit nods again. "And a good evening to you also, Mr. Took. I hadn't rather expected to be here this evening -- but, seeing as it was raining earlier, I ended up staying longer than I had intended and Pip proposed that I stay the night."

Paladin takes a moment to get to his feet, and offers a bow. "Well met, Mr. Twofoot," he says, sitting down on the edge of the desk. He begins to search his waistcoat for something. "And, this is Mr. Frodo Baggins of Bag End, all the way up in Hobbiton! He's a good fellow--my son, Peregrin, always says so." He finally finds what he had been searching for, and removes a simple, briar pipe. "Mr. Twofoot," he says, focusing his eyes on him again, "Wouldn't you stay with us tonight? There is not much sense in wandering the roads when you can hardly see where you're going--it gets dark with all those trees about."

"Ahh, Mister Baggins, of course." Witman smiles warmly to Frodo. "I'm from up your way myself - I work for Mister Bunso Baggins, the silversmith," he explains, patting the pocket with the silk pouch. "He made something for Mister Took's daughter's birthday, I gather, and sent me to deliver it." Turning his attention back to Paladin, the hobbit frowns for a moment as if in thought, and his eyes widen as he replies, "Stay here? Oh, that's very kind of you, your Thainship, sir, but I wouldn't want to be no bother to you. Quite a nice night out, for the time of year, I'd be fine sleeping in my wagon."

"Oh, yes...old Bunso." Frodo returns the smile, though his eyes flash a certain annoyance when Witman first mentions the name. Rubbing his eye again, he studies the lower class hobbit again for a moment, focusing in particular on Witman's weaker leg. "Mr. Twofoot, I do agree with Mr. Took that you should stay here. It was raining earlier and it's started to get rather cold, at least for this time of year, and there's no reason to be outside tonight when you can be warm and dry here. I encourage you to accept."

Paladin holds up a hand and chuckles good-naturedly. "Call me Paladin, please. Of course you wouldn't be a bother to anybody. I am certain we have several empty rooms..." he tsks, "Er, Frodo, would you have a bit of Longbottom with you by chance? I seem to have left what I had somewhere upstairs." Moving back to the former topic as if he had forgotten about it, he says, "I won't have it any other way, Mr. Twofoot--we love having guests around here, you know."

"Well, if you're sure it's no bother, Mister Took, then thank you," replies Witman. His weak smile is unable to hide the blushing that occurs when Frodo notices his injured leg, however. Before Frodo can answer Paladin's question, the Twofoot slides a hand inside his waistcoat and pulls out a small pouch of plain, worn leather, offering it to Paladin. "Not Longbottom Leaf, I'm afraid, sir - only Southlinch - but you're more than welcome, if you'd like a pipefull. The least I could do, with your kind offer."

Frodo moves to check the pocket of his waistcoat for the requested pipeweed and begins to pull out a small silver case when Witman preempts him. He smiles, shaking his head slightly, and allows the case to slide back into the pocket. "It seems I've also left mine upstairs," he explains apologetically, looking over at Paladin and offering a wink.

Paladin clears his throat a couple of times after the pipeweed is offered--he seems to be covering up his hesitation, but with a painful look toward Frodo, as if he knows the contents of the Baggins' pipeweed pouch, and simply doesn't want to be rude, he nods his head slowly and smiles. "Why, Southlich... thank you..." He takes a small pinch out of the pouch and nods his head as he packs his pipe with it.

Witman's smile warms more, now, and he nods his head in response to Paladin, "Not at all, Mister Took, sir, not at all. Would you care for some, Mister Baggins?" Turning slowly, each small step followed by the muffled clack of the cane banging onto the carpeted floor, Witman offers the scuffed pouch of pipeweed to Frodo. "Came through Waymeet on my way down and refilled, sir, so you're most welcome. Enough to last me a good two weeks, out in the wagon, now."

Having had time to prepare for the offer, Frodo nods graciously and extracts a pipe from a pocket within his coat. "Certainly...I appreciate your kindness." Reaching, the gentlehobbit takes a normal-sized pinch of the pipeweed and drops it into the cup of his pipe. "It must be difficult -- living out of a wagon and traveling all over the Shire to make deliveries."

Paladin produces a handkerchief, and wipes his hand discreetly. Placing it back in his waistcoat, he then pulls out a flint-n-steel, expertly producing embers in his pipe. Paladin draws on the pipe, and exhales immediately. The old hobbit looks away with a scowl on his face. He cross his arms, shifting positions a couple of times, and finally settles again on the edge of the desk, listening to the exchange between the others.

"It's not as bad as you'd think," replies Witman, while Frodo takes a pinch of pipeweed. He then gently leans his cane up against his leg, freeing up his hand so he can extract his own pipe from inside his waistcoat. Tamping a few leaves down into the scratched briarwood bowl, he then replaces the pouch inside his waistcoat. "I mostly deliver close to home, so I don't often spend the night out. And I've family in most of the Westfarthing, so there's usually a bed free somewhere. I'll tell you, though, a couple years back I made the trip to Buckland - big job, it was, old Mister Baggins had made pieces for.. oh, who was it, now.. Dinto? No, Dinpo. Dinpo Baggins, his daughter had married a Brandybuck and moved out that way, and he wanted a wedding gift. Strange folk, over that river. It was a pleasure to get back in my wagon and come home, it was." Shaking his head at the memory, Witman places the pipestem in his mouth and puffs gently before realising that it is, in fact, not lit. "Oh! Pardon me, Mister Took, would you mind?" He gestures to Paladin's flint with the pipe.

Frodo just smiles at Witman's comments, nodding at the right moments, but does not move to immediately light his pipe. "I see. I seem to recall hearing about that wedding gift -- was one of rather special magnificance, if my memory hasn't failed me yet? It must have been something of an inconvenience to carry all those pieces that far." His look turns to one of sympathy as he taps his pipe against his lower lip.

Paladin nods, "Certainly." He leans over to hand Witman the requested item. "Now, now," he says, "those folks over in Buckland aren't so bad--they are just misunderstood, especially the Brandybucks." He nods his head in agreement with Frodo, "I would hate to have to make a journey like that as often as that."

"That it was, Mister Baggins. Thankfully, most of what Mister Baggins does is small - jewellery and the like, for the most part. Though, that one was a nasty one - a whole bunch of oak furniture that Mister Baggins had made silver handles and inlays for. I took a couple of my young nephews along for that one, does them good to have something useful to do. And, well," he adds, tapping his leg gently with the end of his cane, "I'm not really up to the heavy lifting on those kinds of things. Truth be told, I've seen smials smaller than that bloody wardrobe was." Chuckling, he extends the pipe towards Paladin as the Thain lights it, nodding his head in thanks. "Much obliged, Mister Took, thank you. Oh, I meant no offense - they were kind enough, don't get me wrong. But queer, nonetheless. Pleasant, but different. Half of them wore boots! Can you imagine such a thing?"

Frodo's face lightens with the Twofoot's comments as he lowers his still-unlit pipe from his mouth. "Certainly can. Spent a number of years in Buckland, myself." Then, stepping towards Paladin, Frodo also presents his pipe to be lit. "If you don't mind also, Mr. Took. Pippin borrowed mine earlier and he's forgotten to give it back /again/." The last word is spoken with bemused annoyance of a kind reserved for good friends.

Paladin picks his pipe up from the desk, noticing that it has gone out, and sets it burning again. He nods and leans forward to strike a few glowing sparks into Frodo's pipe, afterward putting the tool down on the desk beside him. "It certainly is different, I will agree with you on that," he says with a chuckle to Witman. "But, that's only because they live by that River. Just look at those folks in the Marish area--good people, overall, with strange preoccupations... such as boot-wearing. But, to be honest, I sometimes wonder if I wouldn't resort to using footwear if I, too, lived in such a muddy place."

Paladin adds with a grin, "Mrs. Took gets awfully angry when there's mud inside the Smial!"

"Oh," replies Witman, the colour again rising in his cheeks. The hobbit runs the fingers of his left hand through his hair, remaining silent for a few moments before a slightly nervous smile returns to his lips.
"Well, I suppose it's something you'd get used to seeing, then. Only time I've been out so far east, see, so it's all new to me." Apparantly at a loss for anything else to say, the hobbit places the pipe into his mouth and puffs gently. At Paladin's words, the Twofoot nods - perhaps somewhat gratefully - and agrees, "Perhaps so, Mister Took, perhaps so."

"Thank you, sir." Frodo nods greatfully at Paladin. Putting his pipe to his lips, he takes a tenatative puff; while the pipe remains up to his lips, he frowns but the smoke helps conceal his expression. After he lowers his pipe, he purses his lips momentarily and looks down at the floor, allowing himself a moment of silence before he returns to the present conversation.

Paladin takes a short puff on the pipe and nods with a smile. "It just takes a little time, that's all. After a while, you find out that most of them have a lot of good hobbit-sense." He takes a look at a nearby clock and stretches a bit. "Well, it seems to be getting rather late. If you will excuse me, I believe I may just retire. I will have a room made up for you--and you, Frodo, although I'm sure Peregrin has already shown you to the usual one..."

"I'm sure it does," replies Witman, though he sounds anything but. "Thank you again, Mister Took, it's really very kind of you. If it's been raining since I came indoors, as Mister Baggins said, then I'll be glad not to be outside again tonight. Have a good night, sir." Turning his attention back to Frodo, the Twofoot smiles, taking another puff on his pipe and attempting a change of subject, "I do like a good pipe in the evenings, especially after spending a day travelling. Don't you agree, Mister Baggins?"

"Certainly do, Mister Twofoot; I find a pipe calms the mind and that helps me sleep." Immediately after his comment, Frodo takes another puff on the pipe, this one more direct and honest, and he manages to do it smoothly without any apparent dissatisfaction. He then turns to Paladin and nods. "Pippin said he'd have the usual room prepared. It wasn't ready yet when I last checked and that's why I'm here, but I think it should be ready rather soon. As always, I am grateful for your generous hospitality." A slight bow of his head in thanks follows.

"You spend much time in Tuckborough, then, Mister Baggins?" inquires Witman, clearly relieved to be away from the subject of the Brandybucks and their ways. "I've only been a few times, myself - when I travel for Mister Baggins, it normally takes me to Waymeet or Michel Delving, sometimes up to the North-Farthing. Not much demand for his work here, it seems; I suppose the Tooks have lots of heirlooms that go around instead." The hobbit takes another puff of his pipe, shuffling slightly to adjust the weight on his cane.

Paladin tucks his pipe away, and smiles, looking over toward Witman. "Not at all, Mr. Twofoot--we're all happy to have you, and stay as long as you'd like. I recommend not letting Frodo keep you up too long, sir--he knows a lot of tales. You won't want to miss breakfast tomorrow, and neither will you, Frodo!" He nods and makes his way to the door. "Goodnight."

"Goodnight, sir." Frodo offers a nod as Paladin moves to leave the library. Then, after a moment of puffing on his pipe, which he again manages to do despite the lesser quality pipeweed, he nods thoughtfully at Witman. "As often as anyplace else. I rather enjoy walking -- but given the length of the day and the heat, that means I mostly stay around Hobbiton and Bywater. But one of my dear friends is the son of Mr. Took so I do spend some time here -- perhaps more than I ought to, I admit -- and I do enjoy my time here. It's very comfortable and I expect you'll sleep well inside, much better than in your wagon."

"I shall certainly try," Witman assures Paladin with a chuckle, "though I've never been known to turn down a good tale before, I must admit." Noodding his head, he adds, "That's very kind, Mister Took, but I really couldn't stay any longer - I've deliveries to make. I do appreciate you putting me up for the night, though. I dare say you're right, Mister Baggins. It's not a bad little wagon - I've spent a good few nights in it, or under it - but I daresay one of the Took's feather beds will be softer. Mister Baggins is nice enough to pay for an inn, when he needs me to stay a few days somewhere, but I couldn't expect him to do that every time I'm away from home for a night." Another deep puff of the hobbit's pipe follows, the orange glow in the bowl only fading when the pipe is removed to blow a slightly shaky smoke ring. "Goodnight, Mister Toook!"

Frodo listens as Witman explains his sleeping arrangements. "I'd imagine that the bed will prove much more comfortable for you and I hope it proves to be so." To this he smiles and then the gentlehobbit yawns suddenly, an unexpected interference with his apparent wakefulness, and rubs his left eye. "But, I'm afraid that I too must retire now. Mr. Took says I know stories, and I do because my uncle used to tell them to me when he was here. But, I apologize -- I do not think I could be a good storyteller tonight." He pauses, taking a small puff puff on his pipe. "If you would like, I could tell you some in the morning before Ridimbus returns."

Smiling warmly, Witman nods his head, "I would certainly like that, Mister Baggins, thank you kindly. I shall be sure to seek you out in the morning, before I leave." Taking another puff of his pipe, the hobbit takes a few steps over to the desk where Paladin sat earlier, leaning first himself and then his cane against it. "I shall wait here and finish my pipe before bed, I think, though I must admit the thought of that bed is getting more enticing every minute. Good night, Mister Baggins; it was a pleasure to meet you."


Date added: 2011-08-05 09:00:42    Hits: 57
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