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News in the Night

Tags: Witch-King,  Paladin

Short Summary: Tomlin (Witch-King/Lo) comes ringing the doorbell at the Took smial past midnight.
Date (real-life): 2011-08-24
Scene Location: Great Smials, The Shire
Date (in-game): Monday, Winterfilth 3, 1453 S.R.
Time of Day: Late at night
Weather: Foggy
Logfile from Elendor.

The round door creaks open and a hobbit with sleep and grogginess in his expression, leans out to see who is hanging on the bell. He pokes a glowing lantern out with him. "Yes? Who's there?" asks the Thain.

Meadow, Before Great Smials
The Stock Road ends here in a large area, cobbled for the most part, and surrounded by a field brightened with a flower garden and an old green bench. There are trees all over the meadow, stately oaks for the most part, their branches stretching out to provide shelter and shade. Surrounded by endless rolling hills, the scenery is enough to cause one to lose their breath.

But far and away the most impressive thing about is right before you: a great round doorway is carved straight into an enormous hill. The door itself is stout, oaken, and ancient, bearing the scars of many years' peering out onto the hills. A blackened iron ring is set in the centre of the door. On either side, the hill is spotted with round windows, allowing glimpses of hallways and corridors and bedrooms.

A thick blanket of colourful leaves covers the broad expanse of the meadow, and the trees are painted with all the colours of the season: reds, golds, browns, purples and oranges. Scattered across the meadow are huge piles of leaves.
Witch-king (Playing Tomlin)
Pony Cart
Egg Dueling Field
Obvious exits:
 Door leads to Great Smials: Entrance Hall.
 Carriage House leads to Great Smials: Carriage House.
 Garden leads to Great Smials: Garden.
 Road leads to Stock Road, Outside Tuckborough.

To the right of the door, suspended from an elaborate looking iron hook, is a pretty silver bell hanging with a cord. You might RING the BELL and let the Tooks know you've arrived.

================================= +SHIRE TIME =================================
RL (Arizona) Time is Wed Aug 24 11:42:17 2011 (+time).
IC Time is 03:06:51 on Monday, Winterfilth (October) 3, 1453 S.R.
IC Weather Conditions:
The world is veiled in a thick, choking fog. The air is cold and damp, most unpleasant to be out in. The dark fog is stirred softly by a westerly wind. The moon is hidden below the horizon.

A standing in the pool of porchlight is a most bedraggled hobbit indeed; hugging himself nervously and fidgeting profusely. "Go- good evening, sirs. Am I at the right place to seek the head of the Took family...?"

<OOC> Witch-king says, "And standing*"


    A relatively tall hobbit who has lived many decades, judging by his appearance. Thick, curly hair of various shades of white and gray cover his head, and hair of a similar color and consistency grows from the top of his feet. His eyes, although the skin droops slightly around them, seem to be quite sharp somehow, as if a pool of experience or intelligence, lies beneath them. His nose is somewhat thin, with nostrils which seem to be naturally flared outwards, but not to any extreme. His ears appear to be slightly larger than they probably were in years past. He carries a respectable weight, but could probably do to put on more. All-in-all, he appears to project an aura of confidence, and perhaps even the slightest bit of pride.
     On his head, he is wearing a long, floppy sleeping cap. It is colored a light blue.
     Over his body, this hobbit wears a bed-shirt, meant to be slept in. It is colored a light blue, and has dark stripes running up and down the length of it. Thin red ones run the opposite direction, criss-crossing the others in several places. Little, wooden buttons run down the length of the article.
     He wears a pair of smoewhat baggy trousers--actually, they appear to be the type used for sleeping. They are colored a light blue, with dark red and blue stripes running lengthwise and widthwise. The ends fall down over the tops of the curly hair of his feet.
|Paladin is looking at you.|

Paladin pushes the door open and steps forward. He holds out the lantern and looks the hobbit over carefully. Then, he lifts his eyes and looks around the meadow a time or two. "Good evening," he says sleepily. "Or, good morning. Yes, and you are speaking with him--I am Paladin Took. And who might you be, and how might I be of service?"

Paladin lights Small Lantern.
[+LIGHT] You create a light source named "Small Lantern" in your inventory with 883 minutes of fuel.
<OOC> Paladin feels good inside as he uses some torch fuel

Clearing his throat, and squeezing tight his eyes for a moment the dishevelled hobbit replies: "Pleased to meet you, Master Took, and sorry to bother you at such an hour, but... my name's Tomlin Halfhedge, and I've been sent to bring you some horrid news."

He gukps then, and opens his eyes, still fidgeting anxiously. "You were weaiting, I'm told, for a delivery of linens from the distant Breelands...?"

"Is there a problem, Uncle?" comes the light voice of a lass behind the Thain. "No, no," he says, glancing over his shoulder. He stretches out and yawns. "There is a visitor, and I happened to be up having a mid--er... uh, go back to bed, I will take care of the visitor!" He turns back toward the outside, and clears his throat. "Now then, pardon me. What did you say your name was? Er, Halfhedge? I am not familiar with that family... are you from the other side of the River?" He taps his foot, "Well, news, horrid or wondrous, cannot be told on the doorstep at the wee hours of the morning. Come inside," he says, stepping out of the way and extending an elderly hand.

Following along, still nervous despite the kindly manner of the Great Took, Tomlin Halfhedge swallows and answers the question asked of him. "Me, sir? Why yes, my family and I have dwelt across the water for almost seven generations now," he says with a touch of pride, though now inside the residence of the famous Took clan his eyes drop to the floor a little self-consciously.

"But, that's why it was me who was sent to bring the news, sir..."

You open the massive door and make your way into the entrance hall of the Great Smials of the Tooks.
Great Smials: Entrance Hall
This is the well-appointed and neatly paneled entrance hall to the Great Smials. A defunct grandfather clock, clearly an antique stands proudly to the side of the hall with its richly-colored wood. The Took coat-of-arms is displayed grandly above the doorway, and a small glass table with rare bottles of brandy is displayed nearby. On your right is the stout door leading to the residence of Paladin Took, Thain of the Tooks and of the Shire, and his wife Eglantine, the Mistress of Great Smials. Directly ahead is a wide archway through which can be seen a vast hall. At your left side in the dark it looks like there is a tunnel leading off into a darker area.
Obvious exits:
 Great Hall leads to Great Smials: Great Hall.
 Thain's Residence leads to Thain's Residence.
 Side Tunnel leads to Earthen Tunnel.
 Out leads to Meadow, Before Great Smials.

You +shout, "Don't be shy, Mr. Halfhedge--do come in. We'll head for the drawing room!"

Witch-king comes through the door.
Witch-king has arrived.

Paladin follows Tomlin into the entrance hall, pulling the huge, round door closed behind him. He doesn't bother to lock the door, and turns back to his guest, shifting the lantern into his left hand. He moves the top of the floppy sleeping cap out of the way of his eyesight, and hems, "I hope you'll excuse the night-clothes--I wasn't expecting company." He waits for a moment while the younger hobbit takes in the interior of the Smial, which, by all appearances, may just have been dwelt in for many more than seven generations. After a few moments, he pats Tomlin on the shoulder, and heads for what appears to be an even larger hall. "News cannot be discussed in Tookland, lad, without a soft chair, a pipeful of good Leaf, a drink, and perhaps a seedcake or two. Come, let's go into the drawing room, so that we will not wake any of the younger folks, or," he glances nervously toward the Thain's Residence, "or Mrs. Took!"

Nodding dutifullly to all this and more, as they move within the great Smials of the Tooks the poorer hobbit's eyes grow wide as saucers. Clearly so grand a warren has never met his gaze before, and he shuffles along inspecting every detail he can without seeming rude.

Leaving the airy Entrance Hall, you pass through the arches into the vast Great Hall, and wait a few seconds for your eyes to adjust.
Great Smials: Great Hall
This is an enormous hall (from a hobbit's point of view, certainly!) with several doors leading off it. There's a fire blazing merrily in a gigantic fireplace: its stone mantel is carved with the Took coat-of-arms. Before the fireplace stands a round wooden table with many armchairs set around it, and with a large candelabra set in its center. The room is distinctly dim, since the room has no windows. It is for this reason that candles are always lit here, despite the time of day. The hall is crowded with Tooks-- eating, drinking, and engaging in animated conversation. Through the swinging door in on the west wall, you can hear the sound of food being prepared. Hanging on the wall, you notice a prominent painting of the Took family.
Obvious exits:
 Archway leads to Great Smials: Library.
 Swinging Door leads to Great Smials: Kitchen.
 Drawing Room leads to Great Smials: Drawing Room.
 Old Took's Room leads to Old Took's Room.
 Entrance Hall leads to Great Smials: Entrance Hall.

The heat radiating from the fireplace warms you.

Witch-king walks into the room from beneath the arches.
Witch-king has arrived.

You pad off into the drawing room.
Great Smials: Drawing Room
A luxurious chamber serving as a formal reception area for Great Smials. There is a fancy fireplace with brass tongs, shovel, and poker, as well as a well-polished piano which takes up nearly a quarter of the room. The carpeting here is a plush deep vermillion, and there are plenty of places to sit. A round tea table and a well-stocked bar with a few barstools make this a good place to carry on a pleasant conversation. Otherwise, there is a green and white plaid loveseat facing the fire, with two matching wing chairs on either side. On the south wall is a large glass cabinet containing the various accoutrements of the Thain. A large window allows an extensive view of the Great Smials gardens and beyond, the Green Hills of Tookland.
Oak Cabinet
Obvious exits:
 Out leads to Great Smials: Great Hall.
Witch-king arrives from the Great Hall.
Witch-king has arrived.

Oak Cabinet
A sturdy looking cabinet, made of solidoak. It seems to hold many of the accoutrements of Thainship. It has glass paneling allowing a clear view of what's inside.
Suit of One Thousand Lights
Great Oaken Staff
The Dress of 1000 Stars
Thain's Orb
Thain's Sash

Paladin wanders into the drawing room. On a little table near the fireplace, an old book lies open next to a plate of seedcakes, and a wine-bottle labeled, "Ol' Winyards, 1408." He moves around to the front of one of the chairs, sets the lantern down, raises the flame, and lowers himself into the cushions of the seat. "Well, have a seat, lad," he says, using the great breath that gushes out of him as he falls into the comfort of the chair. "Help yourself to the Winyards--there's another glass over on the mantelpiece."

His fingers are busy fidgeting within his pockets, but at the mention of the Winyards Tomlin's eyes open even wider, and a blush comes to his cheeks as he nods eagerly. "Oh, thank you sir!" says he, seemingly forgetting his anxiety in the face of so special a brew, and shuffling his way over to the table he does indeed pour himself a glass.

A frothy mustache is left upon his lip as he takes a sip, which he them wipes clean with his sleeve ere he appears to remember himself, and coughs lightly.

"Well, Master Took, not a hobbit on this side OR the other side can say you're not a fine host, sir."

Paladin chuckles, "Oh, it isn't much, but even an hour past midnight, we cannot turn away a visitor. And, please! Call me Paladin!" He reaches for a seedcake and takes a large bite, looking down and brushing crumbs and seeds from his lap. "Now," he says, once his mouth is mostly empty, "What urgent news brought you all the way to Tuckborough?"

Hushing down slightly and nodding to Paladin, Tomlin hugs his glass to his chest as he looks downward, and when he replies it is in a quiet voice. "Maste-- I mean, Paladin," says he, "I am sorry to tell you that the delivery will not be coming. It seems that somewhere between Bree and the Eastfarthing.. it disappeared. Well, disappeared, I say, but only the people, and the delivery itself vanished; the empty wagons were left upon the road..."

He swallows anew, before looking up to meet with the great Took's eyes. "And we found a club lying on the road too, with a nasty nail sticking out of it..."

Paladin pauses briefly in the act of polishing off the rest of his seedcake, and swallows with a loud 'grup.' He brushes a few seeds from the corner of his mouth, and looks over at Tomlin. "Why," he begins, "that's terrible news. And all the way from... you say Bree? Yes, I know of that town. Filled with uncouth people, by all accounts. But my young cousin, Berredan, always used to say that some of the hobbits over there are very friendly, indeed." He takes a sip from his own wine glass, and sets it down, looking into the fire. Then, after a moment of thought, he shakes his head, and looks back at Tomlin: "What shipment, lad?"

Squinting at the Took until his manners catch up with him, Tomlin sniffs and fingers the rim of his glass. "The delivery of linens, sir? I was told by the keepers of the Eastern gates that it was bound for the Great Smials of the Took family..."

Paladin strokes the sagging flesh around his chin momentarily. "I see. Well, you know, I don't interfere much with that department of life here in the Smial. I have much to worry about with my own time--this North-farthing incident, for example. I am sure I could pass on the information to the proper hobbits, however." He nudges the plate of seedcakes toward Tomlin, giving him an urging look.

Taking a sip of the beer, and reaching for one of the seedcakes, the Halfhedge lad coughs and nods hastily. "Oh, I wouldn't know your business better than you sir. I was just asked to ferry alogn a message to you, as it was figured that you'd want to know. It's not the only strange happening that's been taking place on the road of late, of course. Some folks that have been expected, never came, and some that went off to find them never came back..."

Taking another sip of his beer, it seems the bedraggled hobbit is greatly disquietened by all this.

Paladin nods his head, "Yes, I am glad that you've come to tell me. What interests me the most is that our linens are coming in from the Outside, but that is a matter I will take up with Mrs. Took." He lifts up the cover of the open book, revealing a short pipe. Leaning back, he puts it to his lips, and strikes a flame to it with a flint-n-steel. Smoke drifts up and forms a cloud between the hobbits. "It seems a bit strange that there would be a club--with a nail, of all things, stuck in it. Are you sure it wasn't simply a broken fence-post, lad?"

A shudder at this, and the other hobbit shakes his head. "Not when it's got a handle and is rounded, Maste-- I mean, Paladin. It were a nasty sight, let me tell you. Not seen anything so harsh in all my life, and I shudder to think at the sort of person who might use it!"

Paladin pounds the arm of his chair lightly. "Well," he declares, "that decides it, then. No more linens from Bree-town! I am going to, er, inform Mrs. Took in the morning." He takes a long puff on his pipe, looking into the fire again. After a long, thoughtful exhalation, the old Took grips the pipe by the bowl, his elbow resting on the arm of the chair. He begins to cross his legs, but apparently, a case of the creak-joints prevents it, judging by the grimace on his face. "It's dangerous outside the Bounds," he says gravely. "Come to think of it, Mr. Boldibad Bolger was spreading a story about some kind of monster, which he claims smashed his wagon--a few years ago, I think. I didn't think much into it then, but now, I wonder..."

The Halfhedge near drops his glass and the seedcake trembles within his hand. "A monster??" he echoes, almost incredulously. "Surely not! There are no monsters left in the world, my old father says, and mighty glad I am of that!"

Paladin waves his hand dismissively, "He called it a 'troll.' A troll of all things!" He chuckles a bit, "Your father has good hobbit-sense, then: A fairy tale, obviously--but -seomthing- happened to that wagon. The poor fellow, and his companion--Thasto Proudfoot was the name, I believe, and that was -before- that little feud of theirs, they were stuck in Bree for some three months! Can you imagine such luck?"
Paladin waves his hand again, "The rumors flew all around the Shire."

A wringing of his hands might take place, were it not for the fact that they are occupied, and Tomlin sips anew at the beer; perhaps grateful for a lifeline such as the ale. "I should not like to spend more than a day in Bree, let alone three months! And that is even if I was forced to go at all! They have too many Big People, my father says, and who can argue with that?"

But all the same the Halfhedge seems to relax a little as Paladin dismisses the notion of a monster, and nibbles upon the seedcake. "But, what do you think is going on, Master Took? Could it be a band of Big Folk, banditing and causing mischeif?"

Paladin smiles, "That they do, lad. Er, so I hear, anyhow. There are rumors that I have visited that land in my youth, but you just can't trust gossip!" He chortles, but suddenly, the voice of Eglantine Took comes from the Great Hall, searching for Paladin. "Er, that would be Mrs. Took. I suppose I should return to bed--she tends to think I am somewhat useless in the daytime if I haven't gotten enough sleep! And I've a lot to do tomorrow. I suppose you will be staying with us tonight, Mr. Halfhedge?"

Eyes widen at this, and Tomlin looks shocked. "Me? Stay here, sir? Oh, my, oh, but I couldn't! These smials are far too grand for the likes of me, and you've already been so kind..."

With a small struggle, Paladin gets to his feet again, and plants a firm pat on the shoulder of Tomlin. "Nonsense, lad! We have plenty of rooms available. Why don't you wait in here, finish up the seedcakes and wine, and I'll have a bed made up for you." With that, he pushes the nightcap out of his eyes again, and makes his way to the door, suppressing a yawn.

Paladin douses Small Lantern.
Paladin's Small Lantern flickers and goes out.
[+LIGHT] You put out Small Lantern and reclaim its unused fuel.

The end.

Date added: 2011-08-24 21:59:26    Hits: 31
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