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A lesson on pipeweed, and the smoking thereof

Tags: Arduath,  Elladan,  Elrohir,  Giliath,  Jaithen

Short Summary: Arduath helps Jaithen try out pipeweed for the first time, which ends in disaster. Elladan and Elrohir offer lessons in pipeweed lore, while Giliath is momentarily distracted from his walk.
Date (real-life): 2013-02-02
Scene Location: Rivendell: Front Porch
Date (in-game): February 4, 3058
Time of Day: Early Night
Weather: Raining
Front Porch

This wide porch seems to run along most, if not all the house. Graceful columns, dimly seen, support the roof. A rail, just the right height, runs from column to column save where the stairs lead down to the yard. A few chairs and benches can be dimly seen in the light from the Hearth in the Hall of FIre, flickering through the windows from within.
Echoes of conversation and song float out from within the house. Winter grips the house and yard. Icicles reach down, glittering in the light of sun, moon, star, or the firelight reaching through the windows. Snow collects in corners of the porch, building up into small pockets of white.The great double doors of the house stand open, and from within can be heard the strains of song, or the music of elven voices speaking. Overhead, beyond the sheltering roof of the porch, rain falls from the clouds in the sky, silvery drops adding their sound to the music of the House.

[Imladris ZMO(#400)->Arduath] ================== Eldarin Calendar <in Sindarin> ===================
IC time is:    Early Night < About  9:33 PM >
IC day is:     Orithil <Moon-day>
IC date is:    66 Rhiw <Winter>
Moon phase:    Waning Gibbous <VISIBLE> 
Earendil:      Gil-Estel is not visible.
IC year is:    Loa 33 o Yen 22, Nelandran o Endor <TA 3057>
RL time: Sat Feb 02 13:31:22 2013

[+TIME] Middle-earth time is:
Early Night on Highday, Day 4 of February.
Execute the +TIMEFRAME command for year information.

Real time is: 13:31:25 MDT on Sat Feb 02 2013.

[Imladris ZMO(#400)->Arduath] 
A soaking rain falls into the valley from the darkness of the cloudy night skies above. The Misty Mountains are lost in the clouds and haze of rain.

Sitting on the porch, Jaithen has a curious device. It is small, wooden, a bowl on one end connected to a thin pipe. Most who have seen the Dunadan would recognize it as a pipe. He examines it, places the thin end in his mouth to test the feel of it, lightly chews on it, and then inhales. Nothing happens, as the bowl is empty. He furrows his brow, looking again at the pipe.

There is another seeking to enjoy the outdoors at night despite the rain. Arduath steps out the front door of the Last Homely House holding something akin to Jaithen's mystery object. The only difference is a longer, more curved stem. In his other hand he carries a short lit candle with a holder to catch the wax. "Good evening," he says.

From the small pouch at his side, he places a small quantity of pipe-weed in his pipe's bowl, and tamps it down with a small tool with a spherical wooden tip. He repeats the process a few times, then produces a twig from the pouch, sets its tip aflame with the candle, and touches it to the pipeweed. He tamps it down one last time, extinguishing it, then lights it again. Finally, he inhales slowly. The smoke comes out of his mouth as he finally speaks again. "Never have I seen one of the Firstborn with a pipe," he says, with a small smile.

[Elladan(#27059)] From the yard comes Elladan, son of Elrond. His cloak of grey is tightened with a broad belt from which hangs a quiver of arrows. In his right hand, the half-elven holds a finely crafted strongbow. "Greetings," he offers as he approaches the small gathering at the porch. He sniffs slightly at smoke and then says: "It is in fact a rare habit among the Eldar, but Bilbo Baggins is an avid consumer of pipeweed and that might have had affected some of us. And even great ones like Mithrandir the wizard have a liking for this kind of pastime." 

[Jaithen(#27880)] Jaithen nods a greeting to man and elf, and after Elladan's explaination, he shrugs. "Picked this up when I was last in the Shire," he explains. "I've always had a curious bone inside me, one of my many faults, though I admit I never learned how to properly... use it." He stares down the stem of the pipe, as though perhaps looking into it might provide a sudden insight. 

Puffing on his pipe with a thoughtful expression, Arduath removes it from his mouth to nod to Elladan. "Herion. I had heard such about Mithrandir; it is good to know it is a true story." He looks to Jaithen. "Would you like to try in earnest?" he inquires. He reaches back into his pouch while waiting for the answer.

Elladan sets down his longbow and regards Jaithen with an inquisitive look. Quite often he has seen young Dunedain try this and the result of Jaithen smoking his first pipe of leaf should be even more interesting.

Jaithen purses his lips, watching Arduath's hand. After a moment, he shrugs, "Why not? As they say in the south, 'you only live once.'" Glancing at Elladan, he adds, "Not entirely sure how accurate that is, but the expression fits." He rises to move over towards the man. "I know fire is involved, but I've never examined what it was they smoked. It goes in here, right?" He points to the bowl of his pipe.

Arduath's hand emerges from his pouch with a smaller pouch. From this one, he produces a small quantity of pipeweed, holding his hand out for Jaithen's inspection. He places the stem of his own pipe in his mouth to free up his other hand, then puts the pipeweed into the bowl, producing his tamper from the larger pouch. "You want to get it denser, but not too dense," he explains, before adding more pipeweed and tamping it down, too. "Take a sniff of it before I light it for you," he says, passing Jaithen back his pipe, and bending over to reclaim his candle from where he set it down on the porch.

[Elladan(#27059)] "It is a sort of weed that grows particularly well in the Shire," explains Elladan. "Some say that the great mariner of Numenor brought it to Middle-earth from the explorations, but that was in a distant past." 

A lithe shadow comes up the steps and slips onto the porch, leaning a lazy elbow on Elladan's shoulder. "For that, it is called westmansweed. But it is enjoyed east and west," says Elrohir.

Jaithen peers at the supplied tobacco and watches the application into the pipe. Taking back the device, he smells it. "Intriguing," he says. "A weed, with a curious odor. Is it treated with different spices to make it smell as such?" He looks to the newly entered twin and asks them both, "Have you ever enjoyed it?"

[Giliath(#9838)] The smell of the smoke drifts through the air, making Giliath's nose wrinkle as he passes. But it is the words spoken that stop him. He turns at the foot of the steps and looks up them. "The Shire?" he repeats.

"It is simply fragrant, I believe, though I do not know their methods," the Dunadan admits. "Now then." He produces the twig, its end slightly ashen from the previous lighting, and places it in the candle's flame until it takes it on itself. "We light the pipeweed evenly," he explains, "And now take a small breath through the stem."

Glancing up, he looks to Elrohir. "Herion," he says. He does not seek to detain Giliath, since his distaste is evident, but does nod to him when he looks back up at those gathered.

[Elladan(#27059)] "I have tried it once," says the son of Elrond. "But I am not very fond of it. I enjoy the smell much more than the actual sucking of the smoke." He nods a greeting to Giliath. 

"The same," says Elrohir, mulling over a smile as he slips a grass-stem between his lips.

Twins, thinks Jaithen, with a slight roll of the eyes. He holds the pipe to his mouth, then to the lit twig, then his mouth again, unsure if he's supposed to let it light, inhale while lighting, making it rather tricking for the weed to light. "Uh," he stumbles, waiting further instructions.

[Giliath(#9838)] "It smells like something that is heavy," Giliath comments, watching Jaithen without any expression at all on his face. "Not light. Why does one do this?" His gaze turns briefly towards the ranger.

A faint smile comes to Arduath's face. "Inhale lightly - now," he says, keeping the lit end of the twig in the bowl of Jaithen's pipe. "It is generally an acquired taste," he warns Jaithen, and partly answering Giliath's question. "Much like whiskey in that regard. But I have come to find it enjoyable, and it helps me think."

Elladan continues to watch the procedure with interest. He produces an apple from his pocket and takes a bite. 

"Why?" Jaithen asks Giliath, "Best way to find out is to try." He grins and sticks the pipe in his mouth. Raising a brow at the instructions, Jaithen breaths in deep. He almost immediately caughs, most of the wind blowing back through the pipe, and the weed explodes everywhere. After a couple more coughs, he asks, "As we *cough* supposed to *dblcough* inhale it?" He coughs a couple more times to clear his lungs.

[Giliath(#9838)] The coughing brings an amused look to Giliath's face. "And?" he asks Jaithen courteously. "You have tried it... " He glances up at Elladan and Elrohir, before returning his attention to the experimenter

"A cloying, sweet scent, like the wines of the East," offers the younger twin. "Partake of too much of it and..."

Elladan casts a glance at his brother and then he says to Jaithen: "I think you shall not inhale nor swallow the smoke. It is rather like a liquid that one uses to wash his mouth and then it is spit out again." 

Jaithen looks at Elladan, and says, "That sounds like a better idea." One more cough clears him lungs. Muttering to Giliath, he says, "I don't know, did it wrong," and he brings the pipe to his lips again. He sucks but sucks in air. He looks puzzled, and then looking at the bowl, notes that the weed is gone, having been dispersed from his last blow. "Oh, um," he starts, looking a little embarrased at Arduath.

[Giliath(#9838)] Giliath lifts his head haughtily. "The wines of the east," he repeats, with a note of disdain in his voice. "Cloying is exactly what those over-sweet, unimaginative, unsubtle vintages are. If that is what this 'westmansweed' is like, I recommend you not attempt it again," he counsels Jaithen.

"Do not worry," the Ranger reassures Jaithen. "We can try again later, when your breathing has fully recovered." He removes his pipe from his mouth, and blows a pseudo-smoke ring. It is more like a puff of smoke that is vaguely circular, and it rapidly disperses in the misty air. He frowns at it. "There are more refined elements to the practice - for which I have no talent."

"There are subtle variations of flavor one can detect with practice," he comments to Giliath. "Though it may be too sweet for some." He places his pipe back in his mouth.

Jaithen finally shrugs and smiles. "Another time then." He taps the pipe to clear out any remaining leaf and then tucks it in his coat pocket. Glacing at Giliath, he adds with a glint in his eye, "It will be attempted again, just another time."

[Elladan(#27059)] "It may be as Arduath said," comments Elladan. "One needs to get used to this practice like getting acquainted with strong drink. You may ask Master Bilbo for advice, Jaithen, and I am sure he will not only teach you how to use pipeweed but he should have plenty of stories to relate." 

[Giliath(#9838)] There is a glint in the eye of the elder elf as well. "I wish you joy of your attempts," he says to Jaithen, nodding to the others; then turns to continue his interrupted walk.

Arduath attempts another smoke ring and silently nods to Giliath. This ring fares a bit better. Then he seems to settle into himself, watching the rain as he puffs through his bowl's remaining pipeweed.

Elladan nods. "And so do I," he echoes Giliath. "I shall now see to have the hunt for that rampant boar arranged. It has troubled our woods enough. Arduath, your kin will be very welcome to join us." With that he picks up his bow again and with a brief gesture he asks his brother to follow him into the house. 

Date added: 2013-02-02 15:13:01    Hits: 95
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